The trip will be June 8 out of Chicago for a ride down to Carbondale and back. Travelers will get the chance to travel in style aboard the Hollywood Beach private railcar. The trip will make stops in Homewood, Kankakee, Champaign, Mattoon and on to Carbondale.
“It’s not so much the destination there — it’s the journey,” said Robert Tabern, president of Midwest Rail Rangers. “The chance to ride in a luxurious railcar that was running in the 1950s is becoming less and less of an opportunity for today’s passengers.”
The trip will leave Union Station at 8:15 a.m. Passengers are guaranteed a seat in Hollywood Beach, a unique sun lounge-sleeper car built in 1956 by Pullman Standard for Seaboard Coast Line’s Silver Meteor service between New York City and Florida.
Tabern said the lounge section features oversize windows that curve into the roof line and the remainder of the car contains five double bedrooms.
The train will arrive in Carbondale at 1:45 p.m. giving a two-hour window to walk around the town before the start of the return journey arriving back in Chicago around 10 p.m.
Tickets for the trip are $298 for the ride and light snacks. Passengers can also upgrade to one of four Pullman bedroom accommodations on the car, which can be occupied the night before or the night after in Chicago. The double-occupancy cost is $250. The car will be parked in Amtrak’s Chicago Yards overnight.
For more information about the trip, or to reserve your tickets, contact Keith White at 708-446-1269 or at [email protected].
A portion of the ticket cost supports the Midwest Rail Rangers, a regular fixture on the South Shore Line providing commentary to passengers between Chicago and South Bend on selected weekends. Details are at www.RailRaingers.org.