Photo Credit: TN
Train Travel Lovers Will Be Able To Experience Historic Train Cars Across The Hudson River This Spring
This spring, train travel lovers will be able to experience vintage-style historic train cars that will take passengers back to the mid-20th century. Offered by Hudson River Rail Excursions, the travel starts at Moynihan Train Hall, in Pennsylvania, and heads to the Albany-Rensselaer station, in New York.
Managed by the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey, the company has released its schedule for the 2022 season of its popular Hudson River Rail Excursions.
According to the Hudson River Rail Excursions, this schedule represents a near-doubling of the previous year’s inaugural schedule. Originally beginning with only four departures, tickets sold out in a matter of two minutes. Another eight sold-out trips were added throughout the month of October.
“The demand for these trips last year was far and beyond what we could have hoped for,” said URHS President Kevin Phalon. “It was humbling to find that so many are so passionate about history and about our old railroad cars. We are looking forward to another sell-out year.”
The excursions feature two different classes of service for train travel lovers. Passengers in the Hickory Creek will be treated to a full-service meal, cooked by the chef in the car’s onboard kitchen. Beer and wine are included, and drinks and hor d’oeuvres will be served to passengers at their seats throughout the trip. Hickory Creek and Tavern-Lounge No. 43 traveled in the 1940s and 50s.
As UHRS stated on its social media, the travelers will make a journey back in time as they board in one or two of its historic cars. The company revealed that during the trip between New York and Albany, passengers will be able to enjoy the amazing view of the passing Hudson River.
“After an intermission at Albany-Rensselaer, our train will skate along the Hudson with the setting sun. Our historic rail cars, traveling on the tail end of Amtrak’s Empire Service, will traverse the very tracks that the 20th Century Limited did from 1902 to 1967.”
The Hickory Creek car belonged to the world-famous 20th Century Limited. Billed as “The Most Famous Train in the World”, the company railroad’s most esteemed train sped along the 958-mile “Water Level Route” between New York and Chicago 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, the company inaugurated a new set of cars for its most famous train. Among them was the Hickory Creek, an observation-sleeper-lounge car. “The car was acquired by URHS in 1991 and has been meticulously restored to its historic appearance. The car is Amtrak-certified and is available for private charter through URHS,” said Phalon. Tickets to The Hickory Creek cost $349 plus taxes and fees ($20).
As for the Tavern-Lounge No. 43, the car operates scheduled public excursions from New York City on a regular basis. The excursion traverses the original New York Central mainline between Manhattan and Albany.
The No. 43 car was constructed in 1947 by the Budd Company. It was one of 13 tavern-lounge cars that New York Central used on its daytime long-distance passenger runs.
The car has comfortable lounge chairs and cozy tavern booths, offering passengers a reprieve from their coach seats, where they could drink, eat, and socialize with other passengers. The trip ticket costs $143 plus taxes.
When it was inherited by the Penn Central Railroad, the car was renumbered 4443 and often ran on trains between New York and Washington. It was inherited by Conrail in 1976, then later NJ Transit, under which it operated as a commuter lounge on the North Jersey Coast Line. It was retired in 1987 and donated to URHS in 1991 by NJ Transit, which was restored and maintained its historic appearance.
Tickets to ride those historic train cars will go on sale Friday, April 22 at 10 am.