For those seeking a different pace of travel with luxury and amenities at hand, Pullman Rail Journeys may literally be your “ticket”. Started in 2012, the company has restored Pullman cars that are hooked up to a given Amtrak train for routes that include the iconic Chicago to New Orleans trip. The Amtrak train for that route is appropriately named The City of New Orleans. The famous song “City of New Orleans” is a nod to the original train that ran between the two cities on the Illinois Central Railroad.
Recently profiled on the television show CBS Sunday Morning, the legacy of Pullman Rail Journeys reaches back to its namesake, George Mortimer Pullman (1831-1897), who revolutionized train travel in the 19th century with sleeping cars manufactured south of downtown Chicago. The 21st century cars offered to travellers include first-class service along with wireless Internet and showers. Musicians also provide live music on-board.
Overnight accommodations for the trip include roomettes and master bedrooms. Call buttons for porters, waiters and conductors are placed in each room. All meals and drinks are included in the ticket price with the lounge and dining cars designed to encourage social interaction.
There have been a number of arguments made in the last decade that a renaissance in North American rail travel is happening and should happen. In addition to the idea that train travel leaves a smaller ecological footprint than that of air or automobile, there is the notion that the journey itself still matters and how you get to your destination is every bit important as the end of track itself. Here is a clip from CBS Sunday Morning profiling the Chicago to New Orleans trip (NOTE: if the video below is not available in your country, visit the Pullman link at the end of this article):
Further information on Pullman Rail Journeys, visit Travel Pullman.
(Copyright – Chad Beharriell)