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A Train of Thought to Put You on the Fast Track to Success
Last week my husband and I made our move. After decades of living in Upstate NY, we moved to Florida (hey! It’s hot down here!) – and are now transitioning to new lives in a new place, with new friends, new challenges, new fun and more. The 1200+ mile trip itself was made a little easier by taking the Amtrak Auto Train. If you aren’t familiar with the Auto Train, it’s a service that transports both you and your car, leaving from the Washington DC area and traveling non-stop to Sanford, Florida, just north of Orlando. Your car is loaded onto a special train car built for that purpose, while you ride in a nicely equipped passenger train car. It’s a long trip – 800+ miles – and by train it is scheduled for 17 hours, leaving late in the afternoon and arriving early the next morning. Because the trip takes so long, they include additional services as part of the price including two meals (dinner, and breakfast the next morning), movies, a lounge car, internet access and other amenities to help you while-away those many hours. You even sleep right on the train, either in a sleeping car or right at your seat. So why do I wax poetic about the Auto Train on a blog that is focused on private, independent patient advocates? Because, oddly enough, I think we private, independent advocates can take some lessons from the Auto Train service – both positives and negatives. Lesson #1: Find a Need and Fill It The Auto Train has been available for north-south travel for decades. I can just hear the train of thought (pun intended!) that was used to create the service – the aha! moments that led to its development. Amtrak, which already had trains going north and south, realized that there were potentially millions of people who wanted to fast track (more pun intended!) to the south in the winter, and the north for the warmer months. They could fly, of course, but what if they wanted their own cars for the many months they would…