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In 1948, 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. Every day, 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 Hickory Creek’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 purchased this car and had it restored so that passengers can enjoy the classic 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.

Builder: Pullman Standard Car Manufacturing. Co.
Model: 5 Bedroom, Lookout Observation Lounge
Built: August 1948
Storage Location: West Boonton Yard, Boonton, NJ

Originally owned by the Pullman Company, this car and was christened on September 15, 1948, in Grand Central Terminal, New York City. General Dwight D. Eisenhower officiated the celebration of the New York Central Railroad's rebuilt 20th Century Limited train entering service between New York and Chicago.

On-board the Train

A classic table setting reminiscent of the 1 class service aboard the original 20th Century Limited!Three members of the URHS volunteer team serving in the spirit off the 20th Century Limited: Chef Robert, Kevin, and MarkOn a typical charter between endpoint cities, passengers will be served drinks at their seat while they watch the breathtaking views go by at up to 110 miles per hour.

During the outbound trip, passengers will sit down to a freshly cooked meal made on board the train. On the return trip, guests will enjoy drinks and hot hors-d'oeuvres served to them at their seat. Food, as well as beer and wine, are all included in the price of the ticket.

Red Carpet Treatment

20th Century Limited Carpet Section

20th Century Limited Carpet Section

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.


During its 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. URHS of NJ obtained the car in 1991 and contracted Star Trak. to rebuild the car to Amtrak standards. Restoration detail. Its inaugural trip was run on June 26, 2005, between New York City and Niagara Falls. 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. Owned by the URHS of New Jersey.

More about The 20th Century Limited http://www.newyorksocialdiary.com/node/225401/print

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