American Rail Excursions, Inc.
The “Twin Cities Zephyr Rail Tour”
St. Louis, MO – Chicago, IL – Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN
Chicago, IL – St. Louis, MO
From St. Louis, Wednesday, June 21 – Monday June 26, 2017; 6 days, 5 nights
From Chicago, Wednesday, June 22 – Sunday June 25, 2017; 4 days, 3 nights
For those who have never traveled by rail, you are missing one of the best kept secrets in the travel industry. Private rail car travel is a hidden gem. Likened to a land cruise, but much more private, traveling aboard an 85′ land yacht. Travel by private rail car is not just taking a sleeping car trip,… it is much more than that! Come aboard,… eat, drink, sleep and breathe in a whole other class of travel.
Welcome aboard our extended weekend rail cruse from St. Louis thru Chicago and on to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN. Our northward journey begins in St. Louis, MO where, just after departure, we cross the Mississippi River, a common thread in this rail adventure.
• Attentive first-class service provided by our professional, experienced on-board staff.
• Travel, dine and sleep in privately owned historic rail cars, up to six days and five nights based on your itinerary.
• Freshly prepared meals by our on-board chef. Up to five breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and a bon voyage party,
all served at crisp linen adorned tables, with china, silverware and fresh flowers. You will be attended to by our attentive
and dapper first-class on-board staff.
• Complementary premium beverage and snack service throughout the trip.
• Includes transfers and listed side tours with tour guide.
• Off-train dinner cruise.
• Over 1,400 miles of scenic rail travel aboard our nostalgic railcars, based on your itinerary.
• Convenient boarding locations; St. Louis, Alton, IL, Springfield, IL, Bloomington/Normal, IL and Chicago, IL.
wednesDAY June 21, 2017
(DAY 1, St. Louis boarding passengers)
Morning & Early afternoon: If you have arrived in St. Louis early and would like some close-by sightseeing may we suggest you stroll near-by historic St. Louis Union Station. Every vacation starts at the Station and St. Louis is no exception. St. Louis Union Station was, at one time, the largest and busiest railroad terminal. There is a self-guided tour covering this National Historic Landmark’s 100 years of history through an award-winning collection of letters, memorabilia and exhibits.
Today the hustle and bustle around the Station is the special charm that this unique shopping and dining destination offers. Take some time out and try anyone of the many exciting restaurants located in and around the Station.
5:00 PM(approx): Passengers wising to join our Twin Cities Zephyr Rail Tour rail tour in St. Louis should plan to meet our on-board service manager at Amtrak’s Gateway Transportation Center, 430 S.15th St., St. Louis 63103. Prearranged cell phone contact numbers will allow our on-board staff to guide you to our private rail-cars and will transfer your luggage directly to your accommodations. After our on-board staff has reviewed the amenities of your accommodations and you have read the on-board information packet, feel free to step down to our lounge and enjoy a complementary premium beverage and snack while getting acquainted with other passengers.
5:30 PM: Depart St. Louis on Amtrak #306, Lincoln Service, to Chicago, IL.
After the conductor calls “All Aboard” our Twin Cities Zephyr Rail Tour eases out of the station and we begin by crossing the Mississippi River. Peering through the windows of the train, the Gateway Arch gradually disappears behind us as we pick up speed for the journey to Chicago. The rolling hills, forests and occasional small town create the ever-changing scenery along with the train’s gentle sway, the rhythm of the rails sing their song.
6:30 PM:(approx) Dinner will be served on-board while en-route.
7:32: Depart: Springfield, IL. You may join the trip here.
8:36: Depart: Bloomington, IL. You may join the trip here.
Evening: With the sun setting on the Illinois prairie, the last glimmer of light silhouettes the trees and farms that dot the horizon. Enjoy a complimentary after dinner drink in the lounge while enjoying the sights from the comfort of your own chair.
11:10 PM: Arrive: Chicago Union Station. As our train thunders in to Chicago’s Union Station we will pause here for a while. First to discharge passengers and then to be switched to the passenger coach yard so that our cars may be serviced in preparation for the journey to the west, aboard our Twin Cities Zephyr Rail Tour.
Late Evening: Our first-class on-board staff has transformed your accommodations from it’s daytime configuration to one set for sweet slumber tonight. When you decide… retire to overnight comfort of your own private room. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service will be available until 11:00 PM local time.
Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight while parked in Chicago.
thursDAY June 22, 2017
(DAY 2 St. Louis passengers, DAY 1, Chicago boarding passengers)
7:00 AM: Wake up coffee available in our lounge.
Morning: St. Louis passengers may de-train for a half-day of exploration on your own in Chicago.
Lunch: On your own at any of the fine Chicago restaurants.
1:00 PM (Approx) All St. Louis re-boarding passengers and Chicago boarding passenger will meet the American Rail Excursions Inc. on-board service manager at the fountain under the escalators adjacent to the former Amtrak Ticket counter for special check-in. For our Chicago boarding passengers, DO NOT check any luggage with Amtrak. Complimentary baggage handling is provided by our on-board service attendants who will transfer your luggage directly to your accommodations.
1:30 pm: (Approx) Board our Twin Cities Zephyr Rail Tour. Our on-board staff welcomes all our Montana bound travelers. Your luggage has already been placed in your room. After a review of your accommodations, amenities and safety instructions, we invite all to our lounge to get acquainted and enjoy complimentary premium beverages and snacks. An included bon voyage hor d’oeuvres party is underway, ENJOY!
2:15 PM DP Chicago Amtrak #7, the Empire Builder, our Twin Cities Zephyr Rail Tour. As our conductor calls “All Aboard”, our train gradually glides out of the confines of Chicago’s Union Station. The distinct Downtown Chicago skyline gradually disappears behind us. With the city giving way to the suburbs, and the more rural surroundings now in view through the windows, the buzz of exhilaration is in the air as our passengers get acquainted. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues.
While all passengers have been getting settled and enjoying complimentary beverage and snack in the lounge, our first class on-board chef has been busy preparing a scrumptious dinner for all to enjoy.
3:55 PM DP Milwaukee As our train slips away from the new Milwaukee Intermodal Station we parallel the Menominee River, we might think about the first inhabitants on the region, the French trappers and traders. But Milwaukee was made famous by the German immigrants,… they brought the beer and transplanted their beer gardens.
Late Afternoon: With our train sprinting across the farm studded landscape, and cattle grazing in the fields, we are reminded that these Wisconsin farms produce over 20% on Americas cheese.
Slipping in to the town of Portage, WI, this was a regular stop over point for settlers, traders and trappers who had to “portage” (carry) their canoes and gear between the Fox and Wisconsin Rivers on their trips between the Mississippi River and Lake Michigan.
6:00 PM (Approx) Dinner: With limestone bluffs and beautiful sandstone rock formations formed and carved by the river, it’s hard to believe it is dinner time already. Our on-board chef has been busy preparing a delicious dinner for your enjoyment. Sit down and enjoy dinner and the scenery.
Evening: Complimentary premium beverage and snack service until 11 PM local time. With sunset not far off, we have traveled almost 140 miles along fertile farmland, river towns with scenes of barges and restored paddle-wheel riverboats that have been emblazoned on visitors for decades.
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 night time lullaby coaxing you to retire. Enjoy the night. Sweet Rail Dreams!
10:03 PM AR St. Paul, MN Amtrak #7, the Empire Builder, out Twin Cities Zephyr. Although we have arrived in the older, smaller half of the twin cities, our journey is not over yet. We will pause here for crew change and services.
10:20 PM DP St. Paul, MN We will now make a short sprint over to Minneapolis, MN, Midway Station where our cars will be cut-off our train.
10:45 PM AR Minneapolis, MN Minneapolis/St. Paul Midway Station, 730 Transfer Rd., St. Paul, MN 55114. where our cars will be parked for the next two nights.
Night: While all are enjoying conversation and camaraderie your room has been readied in anticipation of our weary travelers. Occupy your comfortable room aboard our train while parked in Minneapolis, MN.
friDAY June 23, 2017
(DAY 3 St. Louis, DAY 2, Chicago)
7:00 AM: Wake up coffee available in our lounge.
7:30 – 9:00 AM Breakfast: With the dawn of a new day the aroma of freshly brewed coffee and bacon filtering through the train signals it is time to rise and shine. Our on-board chef has a hearty, delicious breakfast for all to enjoy this morning.
Morning: This morning we will depart our hotel on the silver rails for an included all day tour of the Greater Twin Cities area. These peaceful, picturesque sister cities are nestled in a vast hardwood forest adorned with lakes, waterfalls, the Mighty Mississippi River and a stunning parade of gorgeous older-styled homes.
Lunch: During the course of our tour we will pause for lunch in your own.
Afternoon: As our tour continues we will visit all of the must see attractions, with time to visit and take pictures. Included are the Guthrie Theater, Minnehaha Falls, Stone Arch Bridge, Summit Ave with the Governor’s Mansion and the James J. Hill house, Chain of Lakes and the Walker Sculpture Garden featuring the “Spoonbridge & Cherry”.
Dinner: We will arrive at the docks for an included dinner cruise this evening (3 hours approx). Our dinner cruise will showcase the amazing views of the greater Twin Cities from see-level. The towering river bluffs and riverfront views of the downtown Minneapolis Skyline will have you in awe! Enjoy.
Late Evening: At the conclusion of our cruise we will transfer back to out train. Upon re-boarding complimentary premium beverage and snack service commences and continues until 11 PM local time.
Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight while parked in St Paul, MN.
saturDAY June 24, 2017
(DAY 4 STL, DAY 3, CHI)
7:00 AM: For those early risers, wake up coffee will be available in our lounge for your enjoyment.
7:30 – 9:00 AM Breakfast served on-board while we are parked in St. Paul, MN Our on-board chef has prepared a hearty breakfast for all our guests this morning. The beautiful sunrise and brisk mountain air beckon our passengers to the great outdoors.
Morning: Tour Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN continues. Tentative. We will visit the Minnesota Streetcar Museum. We’ll ride carefully restored former Minneapolis streetcars.
Lunch: Lunch on your own while we explore the Twin Cities.
Afternoon & Evening: No trip to the Twin Cities would be complete without a visit to the Mall of America.
Since opening its doors in 1992, Mall of America® has revolutionized the shopping experience and become a leader in retail, entertainment and attractions. Mall of America is one of the top tourist destinations in the country as well as one of the most recognizable brands.
Mall of America has earned a national reputation for entertaining guests. From musical acts to celebrity book signings to fashion shows, Mall of America is the Hollywood of the Midwest. Along with coverage in many national and local broadcast and print media outlets, Mall of America has been featured on the Discovery Channel, Travel Channel and TLC. By hosting more than 400 events each year, the Mall has become the place where fans can meet and greet their favorite celebrities or take part in interactive, one-of-a-kind events.
MALL OF AMERICA COMMUNITY
Mall of America has been described as a city within a city. Along with an extensive range of retail, restaurants and entertainment, there are many unique features to Mall of America likely to be found in any community.
Dinner: With over 50 restaurants to choose from you’re never more than a few minutes from excellent dining at Mall of America®. Find delicious eats throughout the Mall, including several options in our South Street Dining area on Level 3, South and the brand new Culinary on North addition on Level 3, Central Parkway. Enjoy that special dinner on your own this evening.
Evening: After dinner, return back to the quiet comfort of our train. There may still be some time to search out some nightlife in …or head to our lounge where complimentary premium beverage and snack service will be available until 11 PM local time.
Night: After a busy, fun-filled day, return to your private accommodations on-board our Twin Cities Zephyr. Occupy rail-cars overnight while parked in St. Paul, MN.
sunDAY June 25, 2017
(DAY 5 STL, DAY 6, CHI)
6:45 AM (approx) The Minnesota Commercial RR will move our railcars from our parking spot and attach us to the rear of today’s St. Paul MN departing Amtrak #8, the Empire Builder.
7:00 – 8:30 AM: Breakfast Once again our on-board chef has prepared a delicious breakfast for your enjoyment..
8:00 AM: DP: Minneapolis, MN, Amtrak #8. We will travel across Wisconsin on our way back to Chicago.
Morning: Enjoy our last day all together as the rivers and forests of Wisconsin fill our windows.
Afternoon: Complimentary premium beverage and snack service is available in the lounge until our arrival in Chicago.
2:07 PM: DP: Milwaukee, WI. With the brewery of Milwaukee disappearing quickly our train high-steps on the fast-iron on our quest for “the Windy City”, Chicago.
3:55 PM: AR: Chicago Union Station. With the Wooossshhh of the air-breaks our rail adventure for Chicago bound passengers has come to a close. Farewells are said as our first-class on-board staff assists de-training passengers with their luggage.
St. Louis passengers: You will take this opportunity to step off our arriving train while it dwells in Chicago’s Union Station and enjoy the “City that Works”, Chicago.
Note: Within an hour or so of our arrival our train will be moved to Amtrak’s
coach yard. There it will receive a post-trip inspection.
During this time the train will be inaccessible and unavailable for occupancy
for several hours while the equipment is being serviced and inspected.
Please plan accordingly.
Dinner: On your own while touring greater downtown Chicago. May we suggest some all-time favorites; The Weber Grill, Lowry’s Prime Rib, Morton’s Steak House, Uno’s, Ed Debevic’s or Don Pedro’s. The choices abound and all are just a short cab ride away! Enjoy
Evening: Usually after 8 PM our rail-cars are available, our on-board service manager will advise you for re-boarding in the station. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service will be available until 11 PM local time.
Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight while parked in Chicago.
monDAY June 26, 2017
(Day 6, St. Louis passengers only)
7:00 AM: For those early risers, wake up coffee will once again be available in our lounge for your enjoyment.
7:30 – 9:00 AM: Breakfast served on-board. The tantalizing aroma of fresh hot coffee, coupled with our on-board chef’s special creation this morning beckons all to breakfast.
9:25: Depart: Chicago IL. Our St. Louis passengers will be returning home on today’s departing Amtrak #303.
Morning: Behind us we leave the bustling city and sprawling suburbs of Chicago we will enjoy the newest “high speed” line in Illinois as we travel at speeds up to 110 MPH. This unprecedented view can only be seen from the windows of our train.
11:39: Depart: Bloomington, IL. You may depart the trip here.
12:00 (approx) Lunch: A light luncheon will be served on-board en-route as we travel back to St Louis, MO.
12:50: Depart: Springfield, IL. You may depart the trip here.
3:00 PM: Arrive: St. Louis As the Gateway Arch comes in to view, we will be arriving at our final destination, St. Louis, MO. Upon arrival, our first-class on-board staff bids everyone a fond farewell and thanks for wonderful journey!
Thank You! From the American Rail Excursion Inc. staff.
• Attentive first-class service provided by our American Rail Excursion, Inc. staff.
• Round-trip rail and accommodations charges aboard our private rail-cars for this trip based upon
• Double Bedroom, Single or double occupancy or Roomette, single occupancy aboard our private
rail-cars (per your reservation).
• Complimentary baggage transfer at St Louis Gateway Transportation Center or Chicago Union Station
to our private rail-cars.
• Up to six days and five nights lodging and transportation accommodations aboard our private rail-cars
based on your itinerary.
• Up to five breakfasts, two lunches, two dinners and our bon voyage hor d’oeuvres party,
based upon your itinerary.
• All meals prepared fresh by our on-board chef
• Complimentary premium beverage and snack service throughout our entire trip.
• Two days of off-train tours in the greater Minneapolis/St. Louis, MN area.
• One off-train dinner while on tour.
About Your Accommodations:
Roomettes have space for one traveler. Roomettes feature a small couch, in-wall fold-down sink, garment 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
St. Louis boarding: $1,999.00 per person single occupancy in a Roomette.
Chicago boarding: $1,899.00 per person single occupancy in a Roomette.
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
St. Louis boarding: $1,799.00 per person double occupancy, double bedroom.
Chicago boarding: $1,699.00 per person double occupancy, double bedroom.
Double Bedroom, Single Occupancy:
St. Louis boarding: $3,399.00 per person single occupancy, double bedroom.
Chicago boarding: $3,299.00 per person single occupancy, double bedroom.
Two Double bedrooms En-suited: room has space for one or two passengers. Deluxe suite features one large couch, one small couch and lounge chair for comfortable private day travel. the Deluxe Suite has two large windows. By night there are 2 lower beds. Every room is furnished with adjustable climate control, fan, reading lights, fold-down table, garment closet and full-length door mirror. The annex (you have two) has a fold-down sink; large lighted wall mirror, toilet and a 110-volt convenience outlet. Your linens, towels and soap are all 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: Deluxe Suite, Single or Double Occupancy:
1-2 people, 2 rooms en-suited, one lower bed at night in each bedroom
St. Louis boarding: $6,798.00 Single or Double occupancy, Deluxe bedroom.
Chicago boarding: $6,598.00 Single or Double occupancy, Deluxe bedroom.
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
• Old Fashioned Railroad French Toast
• Potatoes O’Brian
• Tender Sausage links
• 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 Lunch Menu
• Tossed Caesar salad Served with homemade Croutons and freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
• Baked spaghetti or lasagna
• Garlic bread sticks
• Spumoni ice cream
• Freshly Brewed Coffee (Regular or Decaffeinated)
• Assorted Teas
• Soft Drinks
• Domestic and Imported Beers, or Wine
• Your Favorite Mixed Drink from the Bar
Sample Dinner Menu
• Mesclun salad, served with craisuns, bosch pears, gorgonzola crumbles and topped with a
Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing
• Medalions if Beef Tenderloin
• Idaho Oven-Baked Potato with butter and sour cream
• Freshly steamed aspargus
• Artisan Rolls
• Cheese cake topped with fresh strawberrys
• Fresh Brewed Coffee, Regular and Decaffeinated
• Assorted Teas
• Soft Drinks
• 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:
• Chex mix
• Gardetto’s Mix
Why you should participate in this Unique Excursion
This is the comfortable, hassle-free way to see Illinois, the Mississippi River and Minneapolis/St. Paul in all its splendor. We will be attached to Amtrak trains, 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 5/5/17
Call for availability after 5/1/17
No refund unless trip is canceled.
Tickets are transferable to another person with prior approval.
Please reserve your space by 5/5/17
“The Twin Cities Zephyr Rail Tour“
June (21)22 – June 25(26), 2017
American Rail Excursions, Inc.
Carole Sheeler, Reservation Manager
4851 E. Farm Road 194
Rogersville, MO 65742
Roger J. Verbeeren Jr., Main Office
P.O. Box 9
Madison, IL 62060-0009
Frank Corley, Reservations and Group Sales
P.O. Box 2345
Dearborn, MI 48123-2345
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 email@example.com for additional information for your specific situation.
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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