The American Passenger Rail Heritage Foundation’s Rail Rangers program will once again be teaming up with Zephyr Route Tours to present an onboard educational program for passengers aboard a historic 1950’s dome car round-trip between Chicago and Quincy, Illinois. Mark your calendar for Saturday, September 22nd, 2018. With Amtrak putting more and more restrictions on private car movements earlier this year — this is something that you should take full advantage of while you still can!
The excursion’s feature car will be the Milwaukee Road Super Dome #53, one of the ‘premium class’ cars owned by the Friends of the 261 organization. “A new outlook on happy travel” boosted the Milwaukee Road, with their first end-to-end dome cars built for any railroad. Built for the Milwaukee Road by Pullman Standard in 1952 as Super Dome 53, it is one of 10 ever built and is the heaviest passenger car ever built, weighing in at 104 tons. With over 85 feet of glass to look out on either side, you are sure to not miss a thing during the 500-mile trek across the nation’s breadbasket.
The journey departs Chicago Union Station shortly after 7:30am and returns just before 10:00pm. In the afternoon, passengers will have approximately three to four hours to enjoy the sights and sounds of Mark Twain’s Hometown of Hannibal, Missouri. A motorcoach transfer from Quincy to Hannibal is included in the package price; a riverboat ride on the Mississippi River is available for an extra $18 (highly recommended!). While on the train, enjoy freshly prepared meals each way.
On the westbound journey, you’ll learn interesting stories about everything passing by outside your window from APRHF Rail Rangers Executive Director Robert Tabern, APRHF Rail Rangers Chicago Coordinator Kandace Tabern, and Interpretive Guide Dave Poole. Landmarks include the BNSF “Racetrack” through the Western Suburbs of Chicago, Aurora, the filming site of “Superman: Man of Steel” in Plano, the Cherry Mine Disaster (we’ll even bring a prop along!), the two “high bridges” west of Princeton, Galesburg, Macomb, a beautifully restored grain mill, and much more! We’ll even point out the hidden spot where you can actually see camels in a pen along the tracks. The APRHF Rail Rangers will even have a limited supply of their Chicago to Quincy, IL railroad route guidebooks available onboard for a $15 donation to our 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Your support helps pays for the research, handouts, and other costs of doing our programs. Enjoy casual conversation and one-on-one interactions with Interpretive Guide Poole on the eastbound trip.
Passengers may board the excursion in Downtown Chicago at Union Station (departure 7:37am, return 9:51pm), in the western suburbs at Naperville (departure 8:12am, return 9:03am), or out in Princeton (departure 9:23am, return 7:48pm). Please inquire with Zephyr Route directly about the possibilities of accessing the excursion at other stops along the route.
Price is $349 per person for Chicago and Naperville bookings; $199 for Princeton, IL bookings. For more information and to purchase your tickets, contact Zephyr Route tours directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 542-3607.