Re-creating the Golden Age of Rail Travel

Re-creating the Golden Age of Rail Travel :Pullman Rail Journeys, a Chicago-based independent operator of first-class passenger service on Amtrak and private trains and charters, plans to introduce overnight train service between Chicago and New York in mid-2014.

The new route, scheduled to operate on Amtrak, is part of a larger mission to bring back the golden age of train travel with artfully restored vintage cars and attention to detail, Angela Arias, vice president of marketing for Premier Rail Collection, which owns Pullman Rail Journeys and six other passenger railroads, said in a telephone interview.

The idea is to replicate what travelers would have experienced on sleeping cars built and operated by the Pullman Palace Car Company from the mid-1800s until the 1950s, Ms. Arias added. “Perfect service, exemplary food and authentic rail cars” will be the hallmarks, she said.

Pullman Rail Journeys is not connected to the original Pullman company.

Menus will feature freshly prepared comfort food based on original recipes but tailored to modern tastes, served in four-course meals with white linens.

There will be plenty of other amenities on board, like air-conditioning, power outlets and WiFi, showers and private baths in select cars.

The concept for the revival began with Edwin E. Ellis, president of the parent company Iowa Pacific Holdings, which in recent years acquired original Pullman rail cars, many rescued from freight yards and backyards across the country. (Mr. Ellis began his career as a brakeman in Kentucky and previously was an executive at Amtrak.) Of the some 70 cars in various stages of restoration and service, “12 are rail ready,” Ms. Arias said.

The company currently offers weekly scheduled service between Chicago and New Orleans via the Illinois Central line. Service between Tulsa and Oklahoma City, not available for 50 years, according to the company, is set begin in February. Other routes are being identified for future development, Ms. Arias said.

Fares start at $500 per person one way and include overnight sleeping accommodations, and all food and beverages.

Re-creating the Golden Age of Rail Travel

Source : intransit.blogs.nytimes.com

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