Sometimes a travel experience is not merely a destination but the journey itself. So it is with a trip on a private railroad car.
Most frequently private cars travel behind regularly scheduled Amtrak passenger trains, but they can also travel off the beaten path. Special trains are organized at least annually by The American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners (AAPRCO). This year the special train is headed from Albany, New York to Burlington, VT. The schedule is listed on the Association’s website, www.aaprco.com. Many car owners rent out bedrooms for the journey.
Among the cars on this year’s adventure will be my car, Dearing. She is a 1925 platform car with three bedrooms, lounge, dining room and kitchen. You can learn more about her at www.dearingrailroad.com
There will be a wide variety of vintage cars ranging from domes and lounges to round end observation business and sleeper cars. They date from 1911 to the 1950s. Cars available for charter are listed on the AAPRCO website. Those interested in chartering a car can contact the owner for pricing and available destinations. Excursions offered by members are also listed on the website.
A representative of the owner travels with the car. In most cases, that is the chef so passengers can expect first class meals served on linen tablecloths with fine glassware, antique silver and specially-made china.
Despite a journey on a private car being a trip back in time to a more relaxed era, most cars are equipped with the most modern conveniences: satellite TV, Wifi and GPS. All have modern heating cooling, electric and plumbing systems.
Private cars provide a luxurious travel experience for special occasions, corporate meetings, family vacations and group reunions.