Resort Northern Arrow

An All Private Railcar Excursion from St. Louis, MO & Chicago, IL., whistle stopping through the state of Michigan to the resort town of Petoskey, MI with optional side tour to Mackinac Island, MI.

St. Louis, MO – Chicago, IL – Durand, M I- Owasso, MI – Marion, MI – Cadillac, MI – Fife Lake, MI – Boyne Falls, MI – Petoskey, MI – (Mackinac Island, MI) & Return.

Up to 9 Days & 8 Nights, Based on your itinerary. 

The  Resort Northern Arrow

 Welcome Aboard!

Join us for a nostalgic private rail car whistle stop tour, to the beautiful and historic resort town of Petoskey, MI. In days gone by, the Pennsylvania Railroad operated many trains carrying summer vacationers from Chicagoland to the cooler shores of Lake Michigan at Petoskey, MI and Mackinac Island. Relive the days when private rail car travel was paramount aboard the Northern Arrow Special, all private train. Here is what to expect



Visit Marion’s Old Fashioned Days, Cadillac where the Shay locomotive originated, Fife Lake for swimming, Boyne City for Polish Festival and Mountaintown Station with optional side visit to the casino.  There will be side trips to Bay View, dinner at The Pier at Harbor Springs and a day on Mackinac Island by ferry at additional fare.


Tour Highlights: 

– Convenient St. Louis, MO or Chicago, IL boardings
– St. Louis, MO boarding passengers enjoy a full day of summertime fun on your own, exploring the “Windy City”,
Chicago, IL and beautiful Lake Michigan, just a short distance from our train.
– We’ll stop off at Marion, MI “Old Fashion Days”
– Our train stops at Cadillac, MI along Lake Cadillac with the beautiful & historic downtown, just footsteps away.  The
famous Shay locomotive was invented in Cadillac and one is on display downtown.
– “Swim From The Train”, Yes!!!….you heard it right! Our Fife Lake, MI stop is right on the downtown shores of
beautiful Fife Lake with its sun drenched, sand lined shore and picturesque beach side gazebo and close by
general store. Take a cool summertime dip!
– Attend Boyne Falls, MI annual “Polish Festival”, literally two steps off the train!
– Enjoy the quaint resort community of Petoskey, MI overlooking the shores of Lake Michigan’s Little Traverse Bay.
– Take an optional (at additional cost) side tour to the famous Mackinac Island & enjoy dinner at the Pier
Restaurant built out on and overlooking Lake Michigan at Harbor Springs, MI.
– Enjoy complimentary premium beverage & snack service throughout the trip, (as per itinerary)
– Dine aboard our private cars en-route and while parked. (as per your itinerary)
– Occupy our private rail-cars overnight, en-route and while parked. (as per your itinerary)

Wednesday (Day 1, StL boarding )

2:15 PM: Pre-Board St. Louis, MO For those passengers who will be embarking from St. Louis, MO we will be pre-boarding our private rail-cars at the Amtrak St. Louis Gateway Transportation Center 430 15th St., St. Louis, MO. 63103. Our “Resort Northern Arrow” private rail-cars will be located at the rear of Amtrak #304 “Lincoln Service” to Chicago. Our on-board service staff will meet our guests on the platform and assist you with your luggage in boarding.  After a review of safety instructions, accommodation amenities and on-board cadence of events, you are invited to our lounge for complimentary premium beverage and snack service.

StL Arch

3:00 PM: DP: St. Louis, MO. Amtrak #304, “Lincoln Service” our “Resort Northern Arrow”. With the skyline of St. Louis and the Gateway Arch visible from our train we thunder across the Mighty Mississippi River on our quest for Chicago.

Late Afternoon: As our train traverses the new high speed rails to Chicago the countryscapes of Illinois farmland zip by our windows. With our trains locomotive trumpeting our arrival in small town America, some towns look like they have stood still in time!

6:00 PM: (Approximately) Dinner; Our on-board chef has been hard at work preparing a tantalizing dinner for our guests this evening. Enjoy rail dining at its best with new found friends, ever changing scenery, delicious food and a glass of wine. Bon Appetite!

Evening: Enjoy an after dinner drink in the lounge as the sun slips below the horizon. The tall, well lit buildings forming the downtown Chicago skyline are now visible in the distance.

Chi skyline8:40 PM: AR: Chicago, IL; With the sky illuminated from the buildings standing sentinel to the rail entrance to Chicago Union Station, we thunder in and come to a screeching halt. The wwooosshh of air from our brakes signal our arrival into Chicago! If you are adventurous, you may detrain and explore Chicago’s night life on your own. You may retire at any time to the comfort and safety of your accommodation.

Note: Usually within an hour or so of our arrival our rail-cars will be wyed/serviced and moved to the Amtrak Chicago Yard Track that we will be parked on prior to the makeup of our “Resort Northern Arrow” Special and other private cars joining us in Chicago. Please plan accordingly.


Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight while parked in Amtrak’s Chicago 14th St. Coach Yard.

Thursday (Day 2, St. Louis Passengers only)

7:30-9:30AM, Breakfast Served On-Board; As you rise this morning, enjoy a fresh hot cup of coffee to knock the cobwebs off. Our on- board chef has been up early preparing a special scrumptious breakfast for our guests this morning.

Navy Pier

After breakfast, may we suggest you take time to alight from the rail cars and take full enjoyment of the summertime fun Chicago has to offer on your own. Try a Chicago River historical or architectural cruise. Visit Chicago’s lakefront! Try Navy Pier with all its water attractions. The choices are yours!

Lunch & Dinner will be on your own while touring Chicago today!

Evening: Welcome back! Although our location might be changed, and we might have new guests and neighbors, you’ll find the friendly and familiar faces of our first-class on-board staff welcoming you home! Enjoy a night cap in the lounge while viewing the Chicago skyline.

  Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight in Chicago

Friday, (Day 1, CHI Passengers /Day 3, StL Passengers)

7:30am-9:30am:    Breakfast Served On-Board; Once again a delicious, freshly prepared breakfast is ready for our guests enjoyment this morning.

Note: Due to anticipated switching throughout the morning and afternoon we suggest our passengers alight from the rail-cars and Not Be Trapped on the rail cars for the majority of the day during these operations.Chi yard

Lunch: On your own as you visit the sights of Chicago.

3:15 PM (Approximately)Chicago boarding or re-boarding passengers will meet American Rail Excursions, Inc on- board service manager at the fountain, under the escalator, adjacent to the Amtrak ticket counter.  Those passengers just joining our “Resort Northern Arrow” we will handle your baggage right to our train.  Please DO NOT, check your bags with Amtrak!  Once we have all accounted for we will pre-board our private rail-cars.

3:40 PM (ApproximatelyAmerican Rail Excursions, Inc. on-board service manager escorts all Chicago boarding & re-boarding passengers to Amtrak train #364 The Blue Water, our “Resort Northern Arrow”

4:10PM DP: Chicago, IL Amtrak #364 The Blue Water, our “Resort Northern Arrow”

Our first class onboard staff welcomes all our Petoskey, MI 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 for a gala Bon Voyage party complete with complimentary cocktails, and an array of tantalizing hors d’oeuvres.

The distinctive Downtown Chicago skyline gradually disappears behind us. With the city giving way to the suburbs, the more rural surrounding are now in view through the windows. The buzz of exhilaration is in the air, as our passengers enjoy the passing scenery. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues.

6:00 pm (approx): First seating for dinner. With the sun over the horizon of Lake Michigan, we’ll see glimpses of boaters as we pass through the recreational boating harbor of New Buffalo, MI. Enjoy your freshly prepared dinner, while taking in the sights just outside your window. Enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and friendly conversation over dinner.

8:00 pm (approx)Second seating for dinner.

Evening: Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues through midnight local time.

10:15 pm (approx): *As currently planned, upon our arrival in Durand, MI, the private cars belonging to our “Resort Northern Arrow” special train will be switched off Amtrak’s “Blue Water”.  Our “Resort Northern Arrow” special train will diverge off the well traveled Amtrak route and head towards Owosso, MI on the former Tuscola & Saginaw Bay R.R. (now Great Lakes Central RR). Once our train has completed all the necessary safety checks, the Great Lakes Central R.R. freight locomotives take over and we’re on the move. We’ll make the approximately 12 mile run from just outside Durand, MI to Owasso, MI where our train will park for the evening.

Late Night: And when you feel it’s time, retire to your room. Our first class onboard staff has transformed your accommodations from a comfortable day room, to its restful night time configuration.

Night: Goodnight!! Occupy rail cars overnight en-route and while parked in Owosso, MI.


Saturday, (Day 2/4)

7:30-9:30AM, Breakfast Served On-Board; Once again a delicious, freshly prepared breakfast is ready for our guests enjoyment this morning.

It’s dawn of our second day on the high iron, and today promises to be one to remember. Our onboard chef has freshly prepared a delicious and hearty breakfast for your enjoyment.

8:00 AM DP; Owosso


With a blast from our locomotive’s horn, the engineer gently eases our all private car, Resort Northern Arrow special train out of the Owosso, MI yard. We are on the move! Much like a presidential train, our Resort Northern Arrow train commands the attention of both young and old, as we rumble through the Michigan countryside.

With our engineer at the throttle, we bob up and down the gentle hillsides without missing a beat. The rhythm of the rails sings its soothing song, as our passengers enjoy some of the most picturesque views of small town America.


11:45 AM AR Marion; Before you know it our locomotive’s horn heralds our arrival into Marion, MI. We’ll dwell here for about two hours. We’ll enjoy this quaint Michigan small town’s festival, “Marion Old Fashion Days”. Lunch will be on your own while enjoying the hospitality of Marion, MI.Train-with-mayor
12:45 PM DP Marion Departing Marion, MI we’ll make a run for Cadillac, MI, passing through Mt. Pleasant, Clare and Farwell before we skirt the shores of beautiful Lake Cadillac.


1:30 PM AR Cadillac Cadillac Lake sunrise
As our train tip toes into downtown  Cadillac, MI the shores of Lake Cadillac just about lap up to the rails.  Look for the Shay locomotive on display just to your right in a downtown park. Our train will not stop in Cadillac, we’ll pass through Cadillac, MI, where just outside of town our Resort Northern Arrow train will wye and then continue north.


3:30 PM DP Cadillac, MI
With Cadillac now just a memory, our first class onboard staff would like to serve you a complimentary premium beverage and some snacks for your enjoyment.

4:45 PM AR Fife Lake
Get your swimsuit and sandals on, grab your beach towel & sunscreen we are stopping at Fife Lake! Our train will swing around a great little swimming area. Weather permitting we’ll make this unique swimming hole stop for about two hours or so. Get your cameras out, because you won’t see this on Amtrak. If you do not want to go for a swim then enjoy the hospitality Fife Lake residents have to offer. Take a short self guided tour of this quaint community. Two local museums are just a short stroll away. Local shops, restaurants and even an ice cream parlor are a stone’s throw away from the train!

6:00 PM DP Fife Lake 
With the sand gone from between your toes and the swimsuits drying in the vestibules, our train is highballing towards Boyne Falls, MI and that city’s annual event “Polish Fest”. Enjoy a complimentary beverage of your choice and a snack while watching from the comfort of our rail cars as we continue our northward trek to Boyne Falls, MI.

Evening: Arrive: Boyne Falls, MI
Enjoy Polish Festival, now in sight, as Ray, our train engineer, whistles wildly, as this spectacle (our train) now, for a moment, brings the festival to a halt. As our train thunders onto the Boyne Falls station platform, our Northern Arrow special train squeals to a gentle halt. As our traps (stairs) are lowered the wonderful aroma of many types of food converge on our senses, with all our passengers eager to partake, we’ll dwell here a few hours for all to enjoy. The festival dinner and all activities are on your own this evening.
9:45 PM Depart: Boyne Falls, MI. Polish Festival
Our Northern Arrows special train’s whistle trumpets the “All A-Board” to our passengers. With all passengers back on-board our Northern Arrow special train slips away from Boyne Falls, MI under the cover of darkness. Re-united on-board passengers gather in the lounge for a night cap. Enjoy a movie in the lounge or retreat to the comfort and privacy of your room, now readied for a restful evening of sleep.


Late Evening : Arrive: Petoskey, MI. 
As our train rolls slowly into the heart of Petoskey, the serenity of this quaint little town is broken by the deep rumble of our engines. With flashing lights of the police squad cars escorting our train through downtown,…we have arrived. Once our train is secured, those passengers that have booked hotel space locally, on their own may disembark at this time. Our train will remain parked here until our departure on Tuesday August 7, 2012 at approximately 9:00am.



Note* Passenger wishing to stay in the historic Perry Hotel (about 100 yards from our train) in the Gaslight District should call 800-737-1899 or 231-347-4000 for reservations. Passengers may stay two nights in the hotel but must be back on board no later than 7:00 AM, Tuesday, August 7, 2012. Hotel stay is not included in train tour fare.

Perry Hotel








 Night: With our “Resort Northern Arrow” special private train now parked in downtown Petoskey, MI, our onboard passengers enjoy a restful night in their comfortable beds.

Sunday, (Day 3/5) Layover in Petoskey

7:30-9:30am Breakfast  served onboard

As you rise this morning, the crisp bright sun is trying to peek around your drawn shade. The aroma of fresh hot coffee and bacon on the grill kind of kick starts you! Enjoy our onboard chef’s culinary delights!

Late Morning: Today enjoy all that this summer haven for tourists has to offer. Stroll around town and visit the unique stores and shops in Petoskey, MI . Rent a bicycle or just hike around town. Visit the magnificent Little Traverse Bay, Lake Michigan shores that are just a few blocks away from our train. The choices are yours.

Afternoon: Enjoy Lunch on your own this afternoon as you tour Petoskey MI

Late Afternoon: Want to wet your whistle? Return back to our lounge for some complimentary premium beverages and snacks.

4:00pm (approx):  *Optional A group bus transfer will depart from our train to the beautiful Pier Restaurant overlooking Lake Michigan, located in beautiful Harbor Springs. Additionally, a tour of the historic town of Bayview, MI. is included.

Evening: For those passengers not on the tour tonight, enjoy a wonderful dinner on your own at any one of the fine restaurants Petoskey, MI has to offer. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues aboard our rail cars.

Late Evening: With a full day of hearty activities now behind you, our first class onboard staff have transformed your accommodations to its comfortable cozy night mode.

Night: Occupy rail cars overnight parked in Petoskey, MI.

Monday, (Day 4/6) Layover in Petoskey

7:30-9:30 am:
Breakfast served onboard while parked in Petoskey, MI

Early Morning:
Today is yours to do as you wish. For all passengers activities, lunch & dinner will be on your own today.

9:00 am Depart:  Petoskey, MI.*optional at additional cost
For those passengers who have elected to participate in the optional motor coach tour from Petoskey to Mackinac Island and Victory Casino, we’ll all gather next to our train at the depot for departure.

Upon arrival of our motor coach at the Mackinac City, MI docks, we’ll transfer via ferry boat to Mackinac Island where you’ll tour the island on your own.

If you desire, enjoy lunch on your own at the famous Grand Hotel overlooking Lake Michigan and Lake Huron. 
(Reservations, call 800-334-7263 – passenger settlement) and after lunch stroll their verandah and visit the unique shops.

After lunch why not travel by the infamous Mackinac Island horse drawn carriage, which ultimately returns back to downtown. Enjoy stopping in the downtown shops. Don’t forget to purchase some world famous Mackinac Island fudge!

5:00 pm: Depart Mackinac Island via ferry boat.

As soon as all passengers have re-boarded our motor coach, we’ll head on back to Petoskey and the train. For those passengers wishing some additional evening fun, our motor coach will make an interim stop at Victory Casino. Try your luck…for those who want to beat the house.

Once again join your new found friends in our lounge for complimentary premium beverage and snack service. And when it’s time to call it quits.. your comfortable beds have been prepared for sweet slumber tonight.

Night: Occupy rail cars overnight parked in Petoskey, MI.

Tuesday (Day 5/7)

7:00-9:30am: Breakfast served onboard en-route.

9:00am: Depart: Petoskey, MI. With our “Resort Northern Arrow” special train reassembled we bid farewell to our hosts, the friendly folks in Petoskey, MI. With the train easing away from our downtown parking spot, the townsfolk have gathered at door steps, porches, crossings and at their place of work to wave good-bye to all our Resort Northern Arrow passengers.

Morning: Once out of town, we’ll pick up the pace as we head south through Kalkaska, MI. Our train will continue southward as we traverse the beautiful Michigan countryside to Cadillac, MI.

Late Morning: With our train once again high stepping down the rails, our first class onboard staff has your favorite complimentary cocktail and snack for your enjoyment as you enjoy the sights and the company of new found friends.

1:00pm (approx): Arrive Cadillac, MI. With our “Resort Northern Arrow” special train gently coming to a halt in downtown Cadillac, MI. we suggest you take this opportunity to step off the train, stretch your legs and do a little shopping and exploring of Cadillac, MI on your own. Be sure to take a look at the famous Shay logging locomotive on display in downtown Cadillac’s park.  This type of locomotive was invented here in Cadillac.  Lunch will be on your own in Cadillac, MI this afternoon. Our train will retreat from our downtown stop to the railroads nearby rail yard to service our train. We will return to the same spot we dropped you off once our service has been completed. Please plan accordingly!

3:00pm (approx): Depart Cadillac, MI. With our engineer whistling the “All Aboard”, our “Resort Northern Arrow” special train slips away from Lake Cadillac and the downtown area. We encourage our passengers to safely enjoy the open air feel of our vestibules where you can capture on film, the breathtaking scenery and sweet fresh air, that abound on the Resort Northern Arrow route. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues through the afternoon.

5:15 PM: Arrive: Mount Pleasant, MI. Our “Resort Northern Arrow” special train will pull right into the heart of Mount Pleasant. MI. The station, now Mountaintown Station Brewery and Steakhouse is a casual brew pub. This eatery is our station stop, we’ll dwell in Mt. Pleasant, MI for about two hours. You may choose to further explore Mt. Pleasant seeking out shops, restaurants or other points of interest on your own. Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at the establishment of your choice.

7:00 PM: DP Mount Pleasant, MI. With all our passengers once again onboard, our train departs Mt. Pleasant, MI. As the sun sets on the picturesque rolling countryside, we’ll retrace our route back to Durand, MI. While en-route why not take this, your last evening opportunity, to enjoy some fun, friendship and fellowship with new found acquaintances. In our lounge, conversation centers around the past days of our rail adventure. By now our first class on-board staff knows just what favorite beverage of choice is… enjoy!

Note* As of this date, the remaining exact timing and routing of our “Resort Northern Arrow” has not yet been finalized with Amtrak and the state of Michigan transportation department. Although some times and routing may change, it does not appear that our final arrival into Chicago Union Station will be greatly affected. As always… Please plan accordingly.

9:30 PM AR: Owosso, MI. Although our arrival time in Owosso, MI. is predicated on the final operating plan, our “Resort Northern Arrow” will discharge our freight locomotives here and Amtrak’s power will be added. The dwell here, will be dependent on the timing of these operations. 

Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight en-route to and parked in Durand, MI.

Wednesday (Day 6/8)

5:00 AM DP Owosso, MI. 

6:15 AM AR: Durand, MI.

7:47 AM DP: Durand, MI. Our “Resort Northern Arrow” train will be made part of today’s departing Amtrak #365, The Blue Water.

7:30-9:30am: Breakfast  served onboard en-route. With our train back on the fast, high iron we’ll top 90mph on some segments as we briskly return to Chicago, IL.

Late Morning: With the state of Michigan now only a memory, our “Resort Northern Arrow” special train has downtown Chicago in its sight.  The pristine countryside has now been replaced by the harsh urban environment.  The tall downtown Chicago skyscrapers stand sentinel to our arriving train.

11:59 AM AR: Chicago, IL. Union Station. As our “Resort Northern Arrow” special train ducks under the cover of Chicago Union Station, the squeal of the brakes and woosshhh of the air signal the end of the line, for this trip. With our on-board staff assisting all our passengers and their luggage off the train, hugs and fond farewells are exchanged as we all have returned with new found friends. The trip ends here for our Chicago bound passengers.

Thursday (Day 9 StL passengers only) 

7:00 AM DP: Chicago behind Amtrak #301 to St. Louis and the end of a terrific journey.

12:20 PM AR: St. Louis Amtrak Station


Sample Breakfast Menu

• Denver Scramble
• Hash Brown Potatoes
• Sausage Links or Bacon
• Assorted Fresh Fruit
• Assorted Yogurt
• Assorted Cold Cereal
• Assorted Breakfast Pastries
• Bagels and Cream Cheese
• English Muffins
• Toast & Jelly
• Chilled Juice
• Freshly Brewed Coffee Regular or Decaffeinated
• Hot Chocolate, Tea or Milk
• Eye Opener from the bar

Sample Dinner Menu

• Mesclun salad, served with honey roasted walnuts, bosc pears, gorgonzola crumbles and topped with a Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing
• Roast Prime Rib of Beef
• Chicken Marseilles sautéed in a Marseille wine sauce
• Oven-Baked Idaho Potato
With butter, sour cream and chives
• Medley of Seasonal Vegetables
• Dinner Rolls and Butter
• Chicago Style Cheesecake Adorned with Fresh Strawberries
• Fresh Brewed Coffee, Regular and Decaffeinated
• Tea, Milk, Soft Drinks
• Beer, Wine or Mixed Drinks

Sample Hors D’Oeuvres Menu

• Assorted Imported and Domestic Cheese Trays with Crackers
• Assorted Fresh Vegetables Crudities and Dipping Sauce
• Assorted Canapés
• Jumbo Gulf Shrimp w/ cocktail sauce
• Barbecue Meatballs

• Assorted Sweet Tray

Sample Snack Menu

• Dry Roasted Peanuts
• Pretzels
• Goldfish
• Potato Chips
• Various Snack Mixes

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
• Fresh Brewed Coffee ( Regular or Decaffeinated)

What’s Included:

• Complimentary luggage transfer in St. Louis & Chicago
• Comfortable double bedroom, suite or roomette accommodations aboard our private rail-cars that are part of
“The Resort Northern Arrow” all private train.
• Attentive First-Class Service provided by our American Rail Excursions, Inc. staff throughout the trip.
Up to 9 nights and 8 days of accommodations aboard our nostalgic private rail-cars, based on your itinerary.
• Complimentary Premium beverage and snack service throughout the trip.
• Included complementary meal service aboard our “Resort Northern Arrow private rail-cars based on your itinerary
   with up to seven breakfasts, one lunch, two dinners and two/afternoons/evenings of hors d’ oeuvres.

Optional: Petoskey, MI motor coach side tour to Bayview, MI and transportation to Dinner in Harbor Springs plus transportation to Mackinac Island. (includes motor coach & ferry boat transportation only)

Double Bedroom (accommodates 1-2 adults): Every double bedroom has a large window and is furnished with adjustable climate controls, individual reading lights, fold-down table, garment rack, door mirror and either a large couch or a small couch and a lounge chair for day travel. Best of all, your onboard service attendant transforms your room into two beds (1 upper and 1 lower), turns down your bed, arranges for a wake-up call and brings your morning coffee or juice right to your room. Your linens, towels and soap are also provided. A shower and changing room is located in each car at the end of the hall.

Roomettes: (1 person)
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