America was riding high after the end of World War II, and the “streamliner era” was in full swing. The New York Central Railroad unveiled a brand new modernized train set for its famed “20th Century Limited.” It featured all the amenities that any first-class traveler of the day could ask for and was the train was considered the pinnacle of rail transportation at the time. Everyday, its all-private room consist skated along the shore of the Hudson River, beginning with its streamlined E8 diesels and ending with its crown-jewel “lookout lounge” observation car: the Hickory Creek
. The car’s raised floor and over-sized windows made for a ride that was unparalleled by any train in the eastern United States. It was only natural that this train earned the name “The most famous train in the world!” The United Railroad Historical Society is offering a select amount of tickets to relive the 20th Century Limited experience in the 21st Century. Today, the Hickory Creek
is fully restored and updated to modern Amtrak standards, but still retains the glory is its 1948 appearance inside and out.
On the hind end of Amtrak’s “Empire Service,” Hudson Limited riders will be able to experience the same luxurious accommodations and beautiful view of the Hudson River that riders did in the 40s and 50s. The Hickory Creek was designed especially the view along the NYC’s “Water Level Route” and this is a fortunate opportunity to ride the car on it’s home rails.
Between New York City and Albany, passengers will be served drinks, lunch, and hot hors d’oeuvres at their seat while they watch the breathtaking views of the Hudson River go by at up to 110 miles per hour. Food, as well as beer and wine, will be served to passengers by the URHS volunteer wait staff. All proceeds from tickets go to benefit the preservation of the Hickory Creek
as well as the URHS’s historic railroad collection. For $225
, you will not only have the chance to relive history, but you can help save it as well.
PLEASE NOTE: Dress code for these trips will be Business Casual, with a sport jacket preferred for gentlemen. All fares include round trip travel, all food and drink served on board.
Price per ticket: $225
|New York City – Albany
||<-- Train Number -->
||Croton Harmon, NY
NYC Railroad – Hickory Creek
Builder: Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing Co.
Type: 5 Bedroom, Lookout Observation Lounge
Built: August 1948
Original Owner: Pullman Company, Chicago, Illinois
Storage Location: West Boonton Yard, New Jersey
History: This car and was christened on September 15, 1948 in Grand Central Terminal, New York City. General Dwight David Eisenhower officiated the celebration of the New York Central Railroad’s rebuilt ’20th Century Limited’ train entering service between New York City and Chicago, Illinois. During it’s 20 years of service, the Hickory Creek graced the rear end of the “most famous train in the world” and was used in advertisements, promotions, and Hollywood’s finest movies to reflect a standard of excellence in premier rail travel. In 1968, it was retired and sold to Ringling Brothers, Barnum & Bailey Circus. United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey obtained the car in 1991 and contracted Star Trak to rebuild the car to Amtrak standards. Its inaugural trip was run on June 26, 2005 between New York City and Niagara Falls, NY. It is currently available for charter through Luxury Rail Vacations, Inc.
Red Carpet Treatment
In 1902, The New York Central Railroad used plush crimson carpet which was rolled out to welcome passengers to the train in New York for departures only and was specially designed for the 20th Century Limited to direct people as they boarded their train. The 20th Century Limited is believed to be the origin of the phrase “Red Carpet Treatment”. Getting the Red Carpet Treatment” passed into the language from this memorable practice. At left is one of two known remaining sections of that original carpet.
More about The 20th Century Limited http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/225401/print
United Railroad Historical Society of NJ Inc., 104 Morris Avenue, Boonton, NJ 07005-1314 1-862-345-6642 Web page last updated May 11, 2014. ©1987-2014. All rights reserved.