Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #12: Day Riders Wanted for Private Car Excursion – Confirmed Trips to K.C., St. Louis & Chicago!

Thanks to your support, all of our September 2019 private rail excursions aboard private railcar “Hollywood Beach” are now a confirmed “go”. We have a very limited number of DISCOUNTED day ride seats available for trips through Illinois, Iowa, and Missouri.

Thanks to your continued support — we found out this weekend that enough tickets have been sold to make all of the September 2019 private car excursions with our private rail partner, “Hollywood Beach” — a confirmed go now. This includes narrated trips with us to Kansas City, Chicago, St. Louis, and other intermediate points.

However, only a handful of deep-discounted day ride tickets still available to those on exclusively on the Midwest Rail Rangers E-Newsletter list.

As a favor to us and you… Keith White, the owner of “Hollywood Beach” will continue to offer these lower priced tickets for the next couple of weeks, but please act very fast. We expect the small batch of tickets being held for Rail Rangers supporters (that’s you!) to sell out very quickly… possibly in the next few days. With increased costs and restrictions implemented by Amtrak, there are very few private rail excursions being out of Chicago this fall, too, so now is the time to book for sure if you want to go on these routes with us.

Here is an overview of your options to ride and the deep discounted prices being offered to those on the Midwest Rail Rangers E-Newsletter list:

Saturday, September 14 (St. Louis to Chicago):  “Hollywood Beach” will operate on the rear of Train #304, departing St. Louis at 3:00pm and arriving in Chicago at 8:40pm. This is a “dead head move” to get the car up to Chicago, but a limited number of lounge seats are available to the public. While this particular trip will NOT feature any on-board educational programs from the Midwest Rail Rangers, our special negotiated pricing will still apply for those who still want to go along for the ride.  $249/per person for the one-way ride — includes train ride from St. Louis to Chicago, snacks, and meal.

(NOTE: You can ride Amtrak Train #301 on Saturday morning from Chicago to St. Louis… and easily have enough time to connect with this private car trip back north).

Sunday, September 15 (Chicago to Kansas City, MO):  “Hollywood Beach” will operate on the rear of Train #3, departing Chicago at 2:50pm and arriving in Kansas City at 10:00pm. Enjoy an on-board educational program provided by Midwest Rail Rangers Interpretive Guides Robert Tabern, Kandace Tabern, and Dave Poole from Chicago to Galesburg, Illinois. The trio will provide free route maps and tell you interesting stories about the people, places, and history seen along the route — including about the infamous Cherry Hill Coal Mine, whose slag hill you can see from the train. $299/per person for the one-way ride — includes train ride from Chicago to Kansas City, snacks, and meal.

(NOTE: You can return home on Monday morning from Kansas City by flying or riding Amtrak’s regularly schedule Southwest Chief train).  Hotel in KC at your own cost.

Saturday, September 21 (Kansas City to Chicago):  “Hollywood Beach” will operate on the rear of Train #4, departing Kansas City at 7:28am and arriving in Chicago at 2:50pm. Enjoy an on-board educational program provided by Midwest Rail Rangers Interpretive Guides Robert Tabern and Kandace Tabern the entire way from Kansas City to Chicago. The duo will provide free route maps and tell you interesting stories about the people, places, and history seen along the route — including the scenic and historic crossings of the Des Moines River and Mississippi River. $299/per person for the one-way ride — includes train ride from Kansas City to Chicago, snacks, and meals.

(NOTE: You can head out from Chicago to Kansas City on Friday by flying, or taking Amtrak’s regularly scheduled Southwest Chief train. Hotel on Friday night in KC at your own expense).

Sunday, September 22 (Chicago to St. Louis, MO):  “Hollywood Beach” will operate on the rear of Train #303, departing Chicago at 9:25am and arriving in St. Louis at 3:00pm. Enjoy an on-board educational program provided by Midwest Rail Rangers Interpretive Guides Bob Neil and Bruce Stahl the entire way from Chicago to St. Louis. The duo will provide free route maps and tell you interesting stories about the people, places, and history seen along the route — including themes such as the I&M Canal, Abraham Lincoln, Route 66, and the Gateway Arch. $249/per person for the one-way ride — includes train ride from Chicago to St. Louis, snacks, and meal.

(NOTE: You can ride Amtrak Train #306 back northbound from St. Louis to Chicago on Sunday night to return home the same-day, if you so choose).

To book, please contact Keith White, owner of “Hollywood Beach”. To get these special rates, you must mention “Midwest Rail Rangers” at the time of making your reservation.  You can e-mail Keith at onecniccat@prodigy.net OR call him at (708) 446-1269.

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #11: A Busy Summer for the Midwest Rail Rangers

Join us on the South Shore… historic private rail trips to St. Louis, Kansas City, and the Twin Cities… or Amtrak charter trips to Detroit, Milwaukee, and Carbondale!

It has definitely been a busy summer so far for the Midwest Rail Rangers — but the best is yet to come with plenty of trips on our schedule.

Before we get into that… we want to take a quick minute and thank all of you who we met in the past couple of weeks… including at Galesburg Railroad Days the weekend of June 22-23. Plus, we also are welcoming a new private car partner to our roster. We were contacted by Blue Pine Rail… who organized a private rail excursion on the last run of the Hoosier State on Sunday, June 30th. We were asked to narrate between Lafayette, Indiana and Chicago on this previously sold out excursion that involved two historic Pennsylvania Railroad cars. We hope to partner with Blue Pine Rail in the future and make their trips available to those of you on our Roundhouse E-Newsletter List.

Even though the July 4th Holiday weekend has come and gone… we still have a lot in store for you this summer and fall.  Here is a quick update —–

South Shore Line:

Our on-board educational programs continue on the South Shore Line!  We are taking a break for a couple of the upcoming weekends due to Taste of Chicago and other major events going on in the city that will result in sold out trains.  But, don’t worry… we will be back on-board with a Rail Rangers “Doubleheader Weekend”.  Docents will be aboard on both Saturday, July 27 and Sunday, July 28.  Additional dates in August are posted. In the next week or so, we will also post our remaining dates through December 2019… plan ahead and come out and ride with us and experience the fall foliage of the Indiana Dunes.

Amtrak Charters with the 20th Century Railroad Club:

If you are looking to catch the Midwest Rail Rangers aboard Amtrak, look no further than our charters organized by the 20th Century Railroad Club. Tickets are still available for upcoming excursions to Michigan (July 19-21),  Milwaukee and on to Green Bay via motorcoach (August 17), and of course our “signature” trip of the year — a two-day weekend excursion down to Carbondale on October 26-27. This excursion to Southern Illinois was designed by both the Midwest Rail Rangers AND the 20th Century RR Club. We will see the best of the southern part of the state via rail and motorcoach. Included are narration on the train and bus — plus an organized walk with a U.S. Forest Service Ranger and free time in Superman’s Hometown of Metropolis.  We and the 20th Century Railroad Club are looking for ideas for 2020 Amtrak Charter Trip ideas!

Private Rail Excursions:

Of course, our most popular trips that we offer involved private rail cars —- many of you have had the chance to ride with us aboard historic 1940’s, 1950’s, or 1960’s railcars. We partner 7 different private car owners and excursion organizers to bring you fun and entertaining on-board educational programs aboard excursions.  Our private rail excursion we hope you join us on will be aboard “Hollywood Beach”.  Sleeping car space and day trip space are available for this special trip that will be operating in September. Rail Rangers guides will be aboard between Chicago and Galesburg, Illinois on Sunday, September 15… between Kansas City and Chicago on Saturday, September 21 (NEW TRIP ADDED!!!)… and Chicago and St. Louis on Sunday, September 22.  This excursion will only run if enough seats are sold — especially two remaining sleeping car compartments. We would love to ride the rails and bring you fun stories once again aboard “Hollywood Beach”… one of the most beautiful single-level railcars out there.  A handful of tickets are also available for a special full-length dome car excursion that the Midwest Rail Rangers will be doing on the weekend of October 4-6, 2019 in partnership with Zephyr Route.  Zephyr Route was one of the Midwest Rail Rangers’ charter partners in 2015 and has offer an array of fun excursions over the year.  This “fall colors” trip will be no different — as we head up and down along the Mississippi River.  This is a fun and relaxing trip with a full day to relax in Minneapolis-St. Paul between excursions.

No matter if it’s on the South Shore, an Amtrak charter, or a private rail excursion… we hope that you can make Rail Rangers part of your summer plans this year!