American Rail Excursions, Inc.

Presents

The “City of Chicago” – 2017
A fun-filled New Orleans to Chicago Rail Adventure
Featuring One night in New Orleans, LA
and overnight enroute to Chicago, IL

April 27-29, 2017

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Trip# AR-17-D-2-R

American Rail Excursions, Inc. Welcomes You Aboard…

On behalf of all the crew aboard the “City of Chicago”, we are happy you have chosen to ride with us!  We are extremely proud of the fine family of historical and painstakingly restored and maintained private passenger rail cars, Royal Street and Pacific Union which you will be traveling aboard.

In years past, first-class service aboard the premier trains of America was the rule, and included with your train ticket. Those regularly scheduled trains from years gone by have, unfortunately, vanished into history. You can still, however, relive those days of first-class service, superb cuisine, and comfortable appointments, aboard, The American Rail Excursions Inc. operated, City of Chicago rail adventure.

For a nostalgic travel experience, step away from the crowd and back into railroad’s “Golden Age”.

Thank you for traveling with us aboard private rail cars that held some of the most prestigious positions on North America’s most famous trains.

Here Are The Highlights!

 Enjoy the “Crescent City”, New Orleans at your own pace! We’ll offer you a place to throw your hat, without the extra cost of a hotel room, while you explore the storied streets of New Orleans. The “Big Easy” has a little of everything, from the Colonial history and the mighty Mississippi River to the serene courtyards, Creole culture, architectural masterpieces, the St. Louis Cathedral, French Quarter, and the Garden District. Enjoy your appetite for exploration aboard one of the historical streetcar lines that traverse the city.

When it’s time to leave the city, we’ll offer up some good ole Southern Hospitality, aboard the private rail cars that make up our City of Chicago. Our first class on-board staff will pamper you all the while you are traveling aboard our vintage Streamliner as we travel up the Main Street Of Mid-America as part of Amtrak’s “City of New Orleans” train. Enjoy the unparalleled views, camaraderie, fun, and fellowship as the rhythm of the rails sing their song while our train conveys us to our destinations. Dine on-board our train with freshly prepared delicious meals. Enjoy complimentary premium beverages and snacks delivered right to your seat by attentive first-class, on-board service attendants.

All Aboard!

 

Itinerary:

Thirsday, April 27, 2017

    (Day 1, New Orleans)

UPT
Afternoon: Those passengers who have a pre-arranged early arrival into New Orleans, we welcome you aboard!  You will have the opportunity to drop off your luggage in your accommodations aboard our railcars before heading out to explore New Orleans on your own.

Getting around New Orleans is, at least, simplified by the famous Streetcar lines in New Orleans.  Our train, parked at New Orleans Union Passenger Depot, is served directly by the Loyola Avenue Line.

Ya’ll will want to enjoy all that New Orleans, the “Crescent City” on the Mississippi, or the “Big Easy” has to offer.  Known for its spicy, singular cuisine reflecting its history as a melting pot of French, African and American cultures you will have dining choices that are sure to satisfy the most demanding of palates.  There are the old favorites such as the Commander’s Palace, Brennan’s Restaurant, Cafe Du Monde with their world-famous Beignet or maybe Aunt Sally’s creating the iconic regional pralines.

With Streetcars being an integral part of New Orleans public transportation network since the first half of the 19th century you can economically enjoy a leisurely self-guided tour, using Jazzy Pass, of the city’s attractions.  There are four routes to travel, each providing a unique glimpse of New Orleans.  The most notable route is the St. Charles line. This line is 13 miles miles long. and traverses the Garden District, Riverbend and Palmer neighborhoods. En-route, stop off at one of the many local restaurants along the route! Enjoy!

 

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New Orleans French Quarter: there is so much to see beyond Bourbon Street.  This is the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans.  After being founded by Jean-Baptiste Le Moyne de Bienville, the city developed around the French Quarter.  Today, horse-drawn carriages traverse this unique area with its beautiful architecture, art galleries, museums and street-side cafe’s. Among other attractions are the New Orleans French Market, the oldest public open-air market founded in 1791.  It features uniquely New Orleans shopping, dining and musical traditions, very reminiscent of old world European markets.

While you are visiting the French Quarter, be sure to stroll along Royal Street, our railroad cars’s namesake. Only one block from the raucousness of Bourbon St., is the elegant epicenter of the local artistic culture.  Royal Street is an eye-pleasing mix of classy antique shops, boutiques, fine jewelry stores, colorful art galleries and world class restaurants.  You’ll not want to miss out out on viewing some of the most frequently photographed buildings which date back to the 18th and 19th centuries.

For those passengers that are just joining us this morning, … our private railcars are located at New Orleans Union Passenger Terminal, 1001 Loyola Ave., New Orleans, LA 70113.  We will have your on-board accommodations ready! Just drop off your luggage and start enjoying the “Big Easy”!

Lunch: On your own while enjoying the sites.

Afternoon: This afternoon, depending on your individuals’ preferences, you might continue to absorb the sights and sounds of the world famous French Quarter and historic Jackson Square, home of the Cabildo and Presbytere Museums. Visit one of the historic cemeteries, referred to as “Cities of the Dead”, and learn about this unique, above ground, burial system. Marvel at stories of voodoo and piracy on Bayou St. John, the water-way used by Jean Lafitte and his band of pirates, as we make our way to the shore of Lake Pontchartrain. View the longest bridge over water in the world, the Lake Pontchartrain Causeway. Or follow the path of the St Charles Avenue streetcar line, the oldest continuously operating passenger railway system in the world, past the homes of former Kings and Queens of Mardi Gras, stately mansions and the world famous, exclusive Garden District. View Tulane and Loyola Universities across from Audubon Park, home to one of the top five zoos in the nation, The Audubon Zoo.

Of course the Mississippi River is an attraction all its own in New Orleans.  The Riverfront has many unique attractions.  One that you won’t want to miss is the historic Steamboat Natchez, one of six authentic Steamboats left on the Mississippi River. Enjoy a Steam Calliope Concert daily. Tap your feet to live Jazz (seasonal) on every cruise. This two hour day cruise takes you back to a time when cotton as king and life was as slow and graceful as the current on the Mississippi River. Enjoy the captain’s narration of the highlights of one of the world’s busiest ports. Tour the Historic Steam Engine Room and learn how steam powers the engine to turn the Paddle-wheel and provide the energy for the delightful tunes from the calliope Cruise past the Chalmette Battlefield, where Jean Lafitte and his buccaneers joined forces with Andrew Jackson to defeat the British in the Battle of New Orleans.

This afternoon you may also wish to visit the spectacular National World War II Museum, 945 Magazine St, 1 block east of Lee Circle.  The museum depicts the lives of American man and women who took part in WWII.  Their story is told via artifacts, letters, posters, cigarette packs and showcases larger artifacts from D-Day Normandy and the Pacific fronts.  A 4D theater shows the exclusive Tom Hanks production Beyond All Boundaries.

For those passengers joining us this afternoon, our private railcars remain parked for your convenience at New Orleans Union Passenger Depot.  Welcome Aboard!

Late Afternoon: After a great day exploring New Orleans stop by our lounge for a “tall cool one”!  Complimentary premium beverage and snack service is in full swing. Catch up on the days past events before heading out on the town tonight.

Evening: Whether it is Mulate’s Cajun Restaurant with it’s casual N’awlins Cajun food and music to Brennan’s, a New Orleans legend in dining experience, the choices abound!  Enjoy dinner on your own this evening.

Late Evening: Enjoy the comfort of your own private lounge setting on the train. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues in our lounge until 11 PM local time.

Night: Occupy rail cars overnight while parked in New Orleans.

 

friday, april28, 2017

    (Day 2, Depart New Orleans)

7:00 AM; Wake-up coffee available in Royal Street’s lower lounge and at the buffet on Pacific Union.

7:30-9:00 AM: Breakfast served on-board while parked in New Orleans.

Morning: American Rail Excursions, Inc. on-board service manager will be available to greet Chicago bound boarding passengers. Those passengers who have a pre-arranged early boarding, we welcome you aboard! You’ll have the opportunity to drop off your luggage in your accommodation aboard our rail cars before heading out to explore New Orleans on your own. May we suggest you enjoy lunch before re-boarding.

12:30 PM: American Rail Excursions Inc. on-board service manager will meet all boarding passengers, with their luggage in New Orleans Union Passenger Depot, 1001 Loyola Ave. New Orleans, LA 70113. We will gather in the Amtrak waiting area.

Please do NOT check any bags with Amtrak! As soon as our pre-boarding check-in is completed, our on-board staff will escort our group to our awaiting train.

12:45 PM:  Board our private rail cars which will be on the rear of today’s New Orleans, LA departing Amtrak #58, the City of New Orleans, our City of Chicago. Our on-board staff welcomes all our Chicago bound travelers aboard our private cars.  Your luggage has already been placed on you room.  After a review of your accommodations, amenities, and safety instructions, we invite all to enjoy complimentary cocktails, an array of tantalizing snacks and hors d’oeuvres should temporarily quell your appetite until dinner.

1:45 PM: Depart: New Orleans, LA Amtrak train #58, the City of New Orleans, our City of Chicago.

Afternoon: As our train glides out of New Orleans crossing the bayous, swamps and traversing the western shore of Lake Pontchartrain our train travels through the small towns of Louisiana and Mississippi. Passengers are sure to enjoy the panoramic view of the land, from the comfort of Royal Street’s rear observation “Lookout Lounge”.  While the miles of silver rail disappear behind us, our first-class service attendants will pamper guests, as they enjoy complimentary snacks and beverages delivered right to their seats.

 5:00 PM: (approx): Dinner served on-board, en-route in Royal Street’s lower lounge. Our on-board chef has created a delicious dinner that promises to delight and satisfy even the heartiest appetites of our passengers. Enjoy camaraderie and friendly conversation over dinner. Bon Appetite!

6:30 PM: (Approx): Second seating for dinner, if required.

Evening: Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues in our lounge until 11 PM local time. Memphis
10:00 PM: Arrive: Memphis, TN.
Amtrak train #58, The City of New Orleans, our City of Chicago. If you are awake, you can take this opportunity to step off our train and stretch your legs a bit.

The city lights of Memphis, home of Jazz, Blues, Rock ‘N’ Roll and Barbecue are just a few blocks away. Our train will pass by the waterfront as we depart Memphis. TN.

10:40 PM: Depart: Memphis, TN. Amtrak train #58, The City of New Orleans, our Gateway Flyer Train. As our trail rolls thru Memphis, you might catch a glimpse of Beale Street! Now if you said you saw Elvis!!!…..Well,….you probably stayed at the lounge too long! Now!…..If you said you saw a Pyramid by the river,……we believe you!

Late Evening:  While all are enjoying conversation, camaraderie and the next sights, rooms have been readied in anticipation of weary travelers. The gentle sway and rhythm of the rails are a nighttime lullaby, coaxing you to retire. Enjoy the night. Sweet Rail Dreams!

Night: Occupy rail cars overnight en-route.

 

saturday, april 29, 2017

    (DAY 3, Arrive Chicago)

7:00 AM: Wake-up coffee available in Royal Street’s lower lounge and at the buffet on Pacific Union.

 7:30-9:00 AM: Breakfast served on-board en-route. Our on-board chef has prepared a hearty breakfast for your enjoyment.

9:00 AM: Arrive: Chicago, IL. Chicago Union Station. As our train thunders and clanks in to the cavernous Chicago Union Station our rail travel for today, is coming to a close. The woosshhh! of the air brakes signal the end of the line for this trip.

If Chicago is your final destination, we thank you and bid you a farewell! May we suggest that our passengers take this opportunity to alight from our rail cars and enjoy the sights of Chicago on your own. All passengers must de-train by 9:30 AM.  NOTE: If due to connecting flights, trains, etc. schedules you need to remain on-board, then American Rail Excursions, Inc. will require an additional $100 per night, per accommodation.  Accommodations must be vacated by 10:00AM Tuesday Morning, May 2nd, 2017.

Usually within an hour or so of our arrival in Chicago Union Station, the private rail cars making up our City of Chicago will go to the yard for necessary post trip service & inspection.

Thank you for traveling with us!

 

What’s Included:
 Attentive first-class service provided by the American Rail Excursions, Inc. staff.
 One-Way rail and accommodation charges aboard our private rail cars for this trip, based on your reservations.
 Up to one night accommodations aboard our private rail cars, parked in New Orleans, LA, based on your reservations.
 Up to three days and two nights lodging and transportation accommodations aboard our private rail cars.
 Up to two breakfasts and one dinner all served on-board our rail cars while en-route or parked, based on your itinerary.
 All meals prepared fresh by our on-board chef.
 Complimentary premium beverage and snack service throughout our entire trip, while parked in New Orleans and while enroute to Chicago.
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About Your Accommodations:

Double Bedrooms:

Double bedrooms have space for two passengers. Each double bedroom features either one large couch or a small couch and lounge chair for comfortable private day travel. Every double bedroom has a large window. By night, each double room has two beds (1-upper and 1-lower). Every room is furnished with adjustable climate control, fan, reading lights, fold-down table, garment closet and full-length door mirror. The annex (your private bathroom) has a fold-down sink; large lighted wall mirror, toilet and a 110-volt convenience outlet. Your linens, towels and soap are also provided. Best of all, your attendant will turn down your bed, arrange for a wake-up call and bring your morning tea, coffee, or juice right to your room. All sleeping cars are equipped with a shower.

Costs:

Double Bedroom, Double Occupancy:
2 people, 1 room, one upper and one lower bed at night. Private washroom.
   Chicago arriving:   $799.00 per person double occupancy, double bedroom. 

Double Bedroom, Single Occupancy:
1 person, lower bed at night. Private washroom.
   Chicago arriving $1,399.00 per person, single occupancy, double bedroom.

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Roomettes:

Roomettes have space for one traveler. Roomettes feature a small couch, in-wall fold-down sink, Roomettegarment closet, large overhead luggage rack and a huge lighted wall mirror with an electrical outlet. By night, each room has one lower bed. For your added travel comfort, each room has an adjustable climate control, fan and reading/night lights. Roomettes 1-6 additionally have an in-room toilet. A general toilet is located down the hall for your use in Pacific Union. Your linens, towels, bath towels, soap and shampoo are also provided. A shower and changing room is located at the end of the car.

Costs: Roomette, Single Occupancy:
1 person, 1 roomette,  one lower bed at night
   Chicago arriving:  $899.00 per person single occupancy in a Roomette.

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En-suited Two Double Bedrooms (Suite)

Two Double bedrooms: bedrooms have space for two passengers. Each double bedroom features either one large couch or a small couch and lounge chair for comfortable private day travel. Every double bedroom has a large window. By night, each double room has one bed (1-lower). Every room is furnished with adjustable climate control, fan, reading lights, fold-down table, garment closet and full-length door mirror. The annex (your private bathroom) has a fold-down sink; large lighted wall mirror, toilet and a 110-volt convenience outlet. Your linens, towels and soap are also provided. Best of all, your attendant will turn down your bed, arrange for a wake-up call and bring your morning tea, coffee, or juice right to your room.

Costs:  Suite, two Double Bedrooms en-suited, one or two persons
   Chicago arriving $2,598.00 per suite.

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Food and Beverage Service:

American Rail Excursions Inc. nostalgic rail tour includes (as per your itinerary) nostalgic rail dinning featuring traditional American cuisine, freshly prepared by our on-board chef. The combination of fine food, crisp white linens, first-class on-board service and awe inspiring scenery set the stage for a most memorable trip. Menus are ever-changing, reflecting the influences of the towns and cities we visit. Bon appétit!

The following is a sample of cuisine, freshly prepared aboard our rail cars.

Our sample menus include:

Sample Breakfast Menu

 Denver Scrambled with Cheese
or
 Old Fashioned Railroad French Toast
 Potatoes O’Brian
 Tender Sausage links
 Crisp Bacon
 Assorted Fresh Fruit
 Assorted Cold Cereal
 Assorted Breakfast Pastries
 English Muffins
 Toast & Jelly
 Assorted Chilled Juice,
 Freshly Brewed Coffee, (Regular or decaffeinated)
 Assorted Teas
 Milk, Hot Chocolate
 Complimentary Eye-opener from our bar

Sample Dinner Menu

 Mesclun salad, served with honey roasted walnuts, bosch pears, gorgonzola crumbles and topped with a
Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing
 Roast Prime Rib of Beef
 Idaho Oven-Baked Potato with butter and sour cream
 Medley of Seasonal Vegetables
 Assorted Dinner Rolls and Butter
 Chocolate Torte Cake
 Fresh Brewed Coffee, Regular and Decaffeinated
 Assorted Teas
 Soft Drinks
 Milk
 Domestic and Imported Beers, or Wine
 Your Favorite Mixed Drink from the Bar

Our on-board chef prepares all meals fresh.

Premium Beverage Service Includes:

 Miller Lite and Heineken beers
 Chardonnay, Merlot, and White Zinfandel wines
 Mixed drinks derived from scotch, bourbon, gin, vodka, rum and mixers. (No blender or frozen drinks)
 Soft Drinks including Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Ginger Ale
 Bottled still waters
 Fresh Brewed Coffee (Regular or Decaffeinated)

Dry Snacks include:

• Planter’s dry roasted peanuts
• Goldfish
• Chex mix
 Gardetto’s Mix

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Why you should participate in this Unique Excursion

This is the comfortable, hassle-free way to see New Orleans in all its splendor. We will be attached to an Amtrak train, but only our passengers will have use of our private cars. Your room on the train is your hotel. No checking into and out of hotels. No unexpected hotel charges. No baggage hassles. Just excellent service by a friendly crew. We make it simple and pleasant for you.

May we make your reservation today?

a 50% deposit per person is due at time of booking.
Full open balance due by 4/8/17.
Please contact us about availability after 4/10/17.
No refund unless trip is canceled.
Tickets are transferable to another person with prior approval.

Please reserve your space before 4/8/17.

City of Chicago

Trip #AR-17-D-2-R

Thank You!

American Rail Excursions, Inc.

Click to view reservation form

Carole Sheeler, Reservation Manager
4851 E. Farm Road 194
Rogersville, MO 65742
Phone: 417-818-5969
E-mail: carolesheeler@gmail.com

or
Roger J. Verbeeren Jr., Main Office
P.O. Box 9
Madison, IL 62060-0009
Phone 618-451-0100
Fax: 618-451-8934
Email: roger@americanrail.com
or
Frank Corley, Reservations and Group Sales
P.O. Box 2345
Dearborn, MI 48123-2345
Phone 313-300-8411
Email: franktrainman23600@hotmail.com

Important Information – Please Read

American Rail Excursions, Inc. welcomes everyone who wishes to travel with us on our public trips. However, because this is vintage railway equipment produced in the 1940’s and 1950’s, there are no special facilities available for those passengers that might have a disability.  We welcome those passengers that are disabled, but please consider the suitability of these trips carefully. We encourage you to call us at 618-451-0100 or e-mail us at roger@americanrail.com for additional information for your specific situation.

Responsibility

Enrollment in and payment for a tour shall constitute agreement and acceptance by the passenger of the terms and conditions set forth herein.  In the responsibility of their own negligence, neither American Rail Excursions, Inc., Royal Street Railcar, LLC, IFE Leasing, Inc., Pacific Union Sleeping Car Co. L.L.C., Keith’s Railway, LLC or railcruise.biz  nor their agents shall be responsible for cancellations, delays, diversions, or substitution of  equipment or any act of omission whatever by Amtrak, transportation companies, of any other persons providing any of these services necessitated by same.  Nor shall they be liable for any loss or damage to baggage or property, or for injury, illness, or death, or for any damages or claims whatsoever arising from the loss or the negligence of any person not their direct employee or under their exclusive control. Transportation companies, Amtrak, etc. are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board train or conveyances.  The passenger contracts in use by Amtrak or transportation companies and passengers or purchasers of this tour, assumes no responsibility in this connection.  Payments are not refundable unless the trip is canceled.  We reserve the right to cancel a trip prior to departure, in which case your entire payment to us will be refunded without further obligation on our part.  Smoking is not permitted on these cars (except on the ground at the longer station stops).  As is the case of all travel, regardless of destination, we cannot guarantee clear weather at all times. Clouds, rain or other weather conditions beyond our control may obscure scenic highlights.  We have no control over the various transportation companies providing services for the excursions, and thus it must be understood that changes in the equipment, dates, routes, or other accommodations, though unlikely, can occur.

 

Travel insurance is Highly Recommended for any extended trip to protect your interest.

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