Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #21 — COVID-19 Statement & Schedule Update 1 — March 18, 2020

FACING COVID-19 TOGETHER: An important message from the Midwest Rail Rangers about our upcoming onboard educational programs

March 18, 2020

Dear Friends,

The Midwest Rail Rangers’ Board of Directors and our Interpretive Guides care about your health and well-being in these unprecedented times.

After consultation with our various partner organizations (including the Northern Indiana Commuter Transportation District and Indiana Dunes State Park)… the MRR Board of Directors has regrettably decided to cancel our upcoming onboard educational programs aboard the South Shore Line on March 29, 2020… April 4, 2020… April 18, 2020… and April 25, 2020.

While the MRR Board was trying to wait as long as possible to make a decision … hoping not to have to cancel any of our programs at all… we feel now is the time to share our action plan so our supporters can plan accordingly for the upcoming month or so. This decision also falls in line with the current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) current recommendation that higher risk individuals avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people. We often have 10 or more people now attending each of our onboard educational programs on the South Shore.

We hope that you will continue to ride and support the South Shore Line as much as you are able during the upcoming weeks. To make learning about the route still possible, we have decided to make our MP3 narration podcasts for the South Shore Line available at no cost to everyone through April 30, 2020. If you are interested in this offer, simply head to the Midwest Rail Rangers’ on-line store at … click on the “MP3 Route Podcasts” link… and scroll down and find the direction of travel you are planning. Follow the instructions for your free download. Much of the information you will hear in the podcasts is the same information you would have gotten from our guides on the train.

We will also continue to sell our “Outside the Rails” route guide books and route guide e-books for the South Shore Line during this time as well. So… there are plenty of chances to still ride the South Shore Line in small groups, if you desire, and learn about the interesting people, places, and history outside your window.

We are always optimistic at the Midwest Rail Rangers… and at this point… we are planning to re-start our regular operations again on April 30, 2020. In fact, we will be publishing our Summer 2020 schedule shortly. Obviously, future changes may need to be made… but we are hoping for the best.

The four previously-mentioned onboard educational programs aboard the South Shore Line are the only cancellations the MRR Board is making at this time.

All programs scheduled after May 1, 2020 ARE DEFINITELY considered “a go” at this point… including those with the South Shore Line, our private rail partners, the 20th Century Railroad Club of Chicago, the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad, and our various outreach events.

Please continue to monitor our website, e-newsletters, Facebook and Twitter pages for more information and updates, as needed.

We wish you and your family well. If you have any questions about this, feel free to send an e-mail to us at:


Midwest Rail Rangers Board of Directors

Robert Tabern, President

Bob Neil, Vice President

Dave Poole, Treasurer

Kathy Bruecker, Secretary

Kandace Tabern, Educational Officer

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #20 — New Private Car Trip Alert — March 1, 2020


Hollywood Beach Private Car Operating Galesburg/Quincy Day Trip Roundtrip on Saturday, June 27, 2020

If you’re looking to feel like a true ‘Rail Baron’ of yesteryear while the cornfields and farms

of Illinois zip by outside your window, then the Midwest Rail Rangers have a trip for you!

The Midwest Rail Rangers is proud to announce that we will once again be partnering with Keith White, owner of the Hollywood Beach private car for a special round-trip rail journey from Chicago Union Station to Galesburg and Quincy, Illinois on Saturday, June 27, 2020.

The trip departs Chicago Union Station at 7:37 a.m. Passengers will be guaranteed a seat
in “Hollywood Beach”; this unique sun lounge-sleeper car was built in 1956 by Pullman Standard for Seaboard’s Silver Meteor service between New York City and Florida. The car was also subsequently used by the Seaboard Coast Line and Amtrak. The luxurious lounge section features oversize windows that curve into the roof-line, and the remainder of the car contains of five double bedrooms.

Passengers may also board the car at La Grange Road at 7:56 a.m., Naperville at 8:12 a.m., Plano at 8:35 a.m., Mendota at 9:02 a.m., or Princeton at 9:23 a.m.

Travelers aboard the car have the option of de-training from the private car at Galesburg (10:20 a.m. arrival) and spending the day on their own attending the 43rd Annual Galesburg Railroad Days. The private car will return back to Galesburg at 6:55 p.m. the same evening and make all eastbound stops, arriving back into Chicago at 9:51 p.m.

Travelers looking for an even longer train ride aboard “Hollywood Beach” also have the option of riding to the end-of-the-line at Quincy, Illinois (11:59 a.m. arrival, 5:30 p.m. same-day departure) and exploring the scenic town situated on the eastern banks of the Mississippi River.

Midwest Rail Rangers President Robert Tabern explains, “It’s not so much the destination here — it’s the journey. The chance to ride in a luxurious railcar that was running in the 1950’s is becoming less and less of an opportunity for today’s passengers. I recommend people ride now before trips like this become too expensive for car owners to offer to the general public. Who doesn’t want to feel like a rail king for a day?”

For more information about the trip including pricing details and to purchase your tickets, contact Keith White at or call (708) 446-1269.

Since there will be VERY LIMITED private car trips offered out of Chicago this year, tickets are expected to fill up very fast for this excursion aboard “Hollywood Beach”. It is highly recommended you call and make reservations before the end of this week to ensure that your seat is confirmed.

Onboard educational guides rotating programs for passengers will be Midwest Rail Rangers Vice President Robert Neil and Midwest Rail Rangers Treasurer Dave Poole.

A portion of each ticket sold goes to support the Midwest Rail Rangers, which will be providing on-going commentary for passengers on this trip about many of the trackside towns along the old CB&Q Route between Chicago and Quincy. The Midwest Rail Rangers are also a regular fixture on the South Shore Line, providing commentary to passengers between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana two to three weekends per month year-round. Plus, volunteers from the group present educational programs aboard the Sky Parlour at the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad in Trego, Wisconsin. Details about the group can be found at