Posts Tagged ‘Private passenger cars’

Plans Set for Annual New River Train

August 10, 2017

Plans have been announced for the annual New River Train, which will roll on Oct. 21, 22, 28, and 29 between Huntington, West Virginia, and Hinton, West Virginia, through the New River Gorge.

New this year will be a consist of all heritage cars from private owners.

Gone are the Amtrak Amfleet and Horizon  coaches that have characterized the makeup of past trains.

All of the 30 cars on the New River Train will come from private owners. Three Amtrak P42DC locomotives will pull the train.

Some of the passenger cars expected to be in the consist include California Zephyr vista-dome car Silver Solarium, Pullman-built Milwaukee Road Super Dome, Budd-built full-length dome car Summit View, the Overland Trail, a former Southern Pacific barber shop car, and Great Northern full-length dome car Prairie View.

Other cars will include lounge and passenger cars built for the New York Central, Pennsylvania Railroad, Baltimore & Ohio and Central of Georgia Railway

Sponsored by the the Collis P. Huntington Railroad Historical Society, the 51st running of the New River Train will travel CSX’s Kanawha and New River subdivisions, both of which are former Chesapeake & Ohio.

The train has a capacity of 1,200 passengers per day and usually sells out by early September. Some heritage coach tickets remain at $179 per person.


Amtrak Running Super Late Again

July 15, 2017

The past two Sundays have seen some extraordinary late running for Amtrak trains serving Northeast Ohio.

Now we can add today (Saturday, July 15) to that list. As this is written around 6: 30 a.m., the westbound Capitol Limited is still not in Pittsburgh. Amtrak’s website estimates it will arrive in Cleveland at 9:34 a.m., which is 6 hours and 41 minutes late.

An online report said the train left Washington late due to malfunctioning air conditioning in two cars.

Amtrak also reports that the westbound Cardinal is running 6 hours, 15 minutes late today.

The reasons for the last running the past two weekends have varied.

On July 2, flooding in New York State and Norfolk Southern track work in Ohio combined to force the westbound Lake Shore Limited to run more than five hours late and take a detour via Bellevue that added even more lateness as well as rare mileage for the train’s passengers.

On July 9 the westbound Capitol Limited suffered a locomotive failure in Pennsylvania that forced it to rely on freight units from its host railroads.

No. 29 became an afternoon train in Ohio rather than a middle of the night one.

Will this Sunday bring another catastrophic bout of late running? Probably not, but for those who missed the daylight westbound Capitol Limited, here is a look back at it passing through Elyria.

Looks like the AC might have failed on the NS unit given that it has an open nose door. On the rear was a string of private passenger cars.

Photographs by Roger Durfee

Excursions to Raise Money for Restoration

March 14, 2017

The American Steam Railroad Preservation Association has announced plans to operate two special passenger excursions to raise money for the restoration of Reading T-1 4-8-4 No. 2100.

Both trips will feature private cars attached to scheduled Amtrak trains. The excursions are being coordinated by Luxury Rail Travel of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania.

One trip will operate July 27-30 on the Adirondack between New York and Montreal.

The second trip will operate in November on the Pennsylvanian between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

The private cars expected to be used include a 1952 Budd observation-lounge, Alexander Hamilton, a former Pennsylvania Railroad car; and Passaic River, a 1948 Budd-built buffet-once owned by the Santa Fe. Both cars are now owned by the Morristown & Erie Railroad.

Private Car Charter to Pass Through Cleveland

September 16, 2014

A charter train of privately owned passenger cars will pass through Cleveland on Sept. 18-19 en route to a convention in Maine of private car owners.

The Pine Tree Limited, will depart Chicago Union Station on the morning of Thursday, Sept. 18, and spend the night in Cleveland at an undisclosed location.

The train will depart the next morning for its next stopover point in Binghamton, N.Y.

The train was chartered by the American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners and will be operated by Amtrak in cooperation with Norfolk Southern.

The train was originally scheduled to travel between Chicago and Cleveland via the former Nickel Plate Road mainline, but that has been changed to the Amtrak route via Toledo over the NS Chicago Line.

AAPRCO trains are known for taking routes that offer passengers “rare mileage” over freight-only rail lines.

The train will eventually reach Portland, Maine, on Sept. 21. Many of the cars will return to Chicago on Sept. 25-26, traveling in part on the route of Amtrak’s Lake Shore Limited.

The APPRCO convention will be held Sept. 21-25.

All passengers riding the special train must be members of AAPRCO or the guest of an AAPRCO member. Passengers and guests do not have to register for the convention to ride all of a portion of the trip.

Some owners of the cars that will make up the Pine Tree Limited are selling space to the public. Some of these cars will originate at distant points and travel to Chicago via Amtrak.

For example, car Vista Canyon was to depart Tucson, Ariz., on Sept. 11 on the Sunset Limited en route to Los Angeles where it would connect with the Southwest Chief for the trip to Chicago. It will return on Amtrak via New Orleans.

The fare to ride the Vista Canyon for its entire journey is $8,750, based on double occupancy.

The Los Angeles Railroad Club will offer three cars on the AAPRCO special. The fare aboard the Pacific Sands and Tioga Pass is $6,750 per person and space in both cars is already sold out.

The club will offer a third car, Salisbury Beach, at a fare of $5,350 per person. In early September, this car still had a few rooms available.

Closer to home, the Cincinnati Railway Company will operate three cars that were to originate in Cincinnati on Sunday, Sept. 14, traveling to Chicago via Amtrak’s Cardinal.

The Oliver Hazard Perry is being sold as a unit, not by individual rooms as is typically the case with private cars on special trains. The price for the car is $38,500.

The Cincinnati group also plans to take the Birch Grove and The Observatory to Maine.

Rooms in the Birch Grove were listed at $22,000 for a quad suite of two rooms en suite, $12,000 for a double bedroom and $6,000 for a roomette.

The Observatory was priced at $12,750 for a master bedroom and $12,500 for a double bedroom.

Two things are obvious in this cursory review. Its helps to be wealthy if you want to ride this train and you need to have a lot of free time.

Yet a friend of mine who is an avid rare mileage collector – and who will not be riding the Pine Tree Limited – once told me that some ordinary middle class individuals scrimp and save their money during the year to purchase a room aboard a private car for one of the APPRCO specials.

Aside from some rare mileage, those who ride these specials enjoy an experience that you just can’t get on Amtrak, even in the most pricey sleeper accommodations.

Many of these private cars carry their own chefs and have very attractive interiors. Most of the cars were built in the streamliner era. We’re not talking Amfleet or Superliner equipment.

For the rest of us, it is an opportunity to see an unusual train as well as to ponder what it must be like to ride like a railroad tycoon.

Article by Craig Sanders

Pennsy E units Visit Ohio, Again

August 8, 2011

The private car chrater "Pacific Express" rounds the curve at Hubbard, Ohio, and passes a former Conrail caboose on Sunday, August 7, 2011.

Bennett Levin’s E8A locomotives made their second appearance in Ohio of 2011 on Sunday (August 7). The locomotives, adorned in a Pennsylvania Railroad livery, passed through Ohio en route to the National Train Day celebration in Chicago in May before returning to their Philadelphia area home.

On Sunday, the Pennsy E units were pulling the Pacific Express, a private car charter train that originated in Hoboken, New Jersey, on Friday and ended its journey in Philadelphia on Monday. The train traveled over a primarily former Erie Railroad routing until getting to Youngstown where it assumed a mostly all former PRR trek except for a stretch of former New York Central track on the Norfolk Southern  Youngstown Line.

Several Akron Railroad Club members were trackside to photograph the special train including Roger Durfee, Alan Savage, Richard Thompson, Cody Zamostny, John Puda, Peter Bowler and Craig Sanders.

To read an article written by Sanders and to view a gallery of photographs, click on the link below.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

E8A Nos. 5711 and 5809 sparkle in the early afternoon sunlight at Lowellville, Ohio, on Norfolk Southern's Youngstown Line. This is former Pennsylvania Railroad trackage.