The New York Central’s 20th Century Limited was billed for years, as “The Most Famous Train in the World.” The railroad’s fabled train sped along the 958-mile “Water Level Route” between New York, averaging 60 MPH, for sixty-five years – making the trip in just sixteen hours. The train was exclusive and sophisticated; boarding passengers walked along a crimson red carpet. In 1948, General Dwight D. Eisenhower ceremoniously inaugurated a new set of cars for the New York Central’s most famous train. Among them was the Hickory Creek, an observation sleeper lounge. The car was acquired by URHS in 1991, and has been meticulously restored to its historic appearance.
Now is your chance to ride this beautiful car. We’ll have only 24 seats available per day, offering you unparalleled service in our Chairman’s Class. Enjoy chef-prepared food, beverage service, all while enjoying the scenery of West Virginia’s New River Gorge from the elevated Lookout Lounge at the back of the car. Book your seats now for a historical, unforgettable ride aboard the Hickory Creek!
This former Seaboard Airline Lounge Class car features a unique domed ceiling, with plenty of room inside to stretch out in its spacious seating area. Walk down the hall from the lounge and you’ll discover three spacious Private Suites.
Built in 1949 for the Pennsylvania Railroad for use on the famous Broadway Limited train between New York and Chicago, this beautiful observation car is one of our three Chairman’s Class cars, bringing up the markers on the 2021 Autumn Colors Express.
The Frank Thompson will not operate with reserved seating. Chairman passengers in the Frank Thompson will pick seats within the lounge upon arrival.
Built in 1953 by the St. Louis Car Company, the Wisconsin Valley, formerly a U.S. Army Medic car, offers you a smooth ride while enjoying a quiet lounge environment. With comfortable lounge chairs and table seating for 20, this is an exciting addition to the 2021 Lounge Class.
261’s beautifully restored, and recently re-glazed Lake Pepin is a member of the 2019 Deluxe Coach Class. Built by the Budd Company in 1952 for the Pennsylvania Railroad as a 60-seat coach, 14-seat lounge, and delivered for service on the Boston-Washington Senator, it was later converted into a straight coach and used on the Pennsylvania’s Clocker service.
The Berlin, part of our 2021 Private Suite Class was built by Pullman Standard in 1956 (Lot 6953, Plan 4198) for the Union Pacific Railroad as an 11 double bedroom sleeper “Placid Lake” #1504 for service on various Overland Route trains. The Placid Lake was frequently assigned to the Union Pacific streamliner City of Los Angeles. Today, it’s an all-suite palace, ready to host you and your party in one of its six suites.
Click below to see seat numbers. Note – Seats must be purchased in groups of 4 for this car in the same Room.
Silver Palace was built for the Western Pacific Railroad in 1948 as a 46 seat coach, with an additional 24 seats in the dome, for the famed California Zephyr. The car plied the scenic route between Chicago and Oakland, CA, for over two decades, until the train was discontinued in March 1970. As WP had no need for the car after the train was eliminated, the car migrated East and joined the fleet of the new, private Auto-Train Corporation, operating initially between northern Virginia and Florida and later, between Louisville, KY, and Florida.
After the demise of the original Auto-Train, the car was sold into private ownership and passed through several owners. The car was extensive remodeled as a lounge car for country western singer Merle Haggard but was then sold once again and its final assignment was on the Algoma Central Railway in Canada, toting passenger to and from the scenic Agawa Canyon north of Sault Ste. Marie. The car was acquired by the Friends in December 2017 and it has been under restoration since its arrival at Minneapolis Junction. Silver Palace will continue its role as a first class lounge car with the dome seat sold exclusively as “Dome Class”.
Built in 1952 for the Pennsylvania Railroad’s Congressional between New York and Washington as the parlor car Henry Hudson. It was acquired by Amtrak in 1971 and converted to a buffet/table car in 1986. After being sold by Amtrak, the car ran in charter service through Mid-America Railcar, wearing the names Henry Hudson and Keystone Grill. Paxrail acquired the car in October 2013 and renamed it Warriors Rest. Purchased in 2017 by the Friends of the 261 the car is now configured as a full length lounge.
Built by American Car & Foundry in 1947 for the Central of Georgia Railway as segregated coaches (white and black passengers had separate seating sections) No. 541 & 542. These cars were used on the Nancy Hanks II streamliners that operated between Atlanta and Savannah, Ga. They were later renumbered 671 & 672, then sold to the Algoma Central Railway and used on its famous Agawa Canyon Tour Train between Sault Ste. Marie and Agawa Canyon in Ontario as cars No. 442 & 443.
The Friends of the 261 acquired these cars in 1998 and upgraded it them to Amtrak specifications; each containing 52 coach seats.
In 1935 the Milwaukee Road named its streamlined passenger trains Hiawathas after Longfellow’s poem. The Nokomis, named after Hiawatha’s grandmother and the Wenonah, named after the mother of Hiawatha and after the city in southeast Minnesota on the Milwaukee Road main line. While the city spells the name “Winona,” the American poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow used this spelling in his epic poem The Song of Hiawatha in 1855.