Since 1971, you’ve been able to travel by train to Florida with your car, avoiding the mayhem of Interstate 95. And although the service is now run by Amtrak, it actually started as a private enterprise. How It Got Started
Trains carrying passengers and their cars have been used in Europe for decades, but in the early 1970s, the U.S. Department of Transportation conducted a study of long distance rail travel to avoid the problems of the oil crisis. In 1971, Eugene Garfield took the idea and started the Auto-Train Corporation, buying his own fleet of locomotives, Pullman sleepers, dome car-coaches and dining cars. Most important, he acquired 62 bilevel autorack cars.