GirlHacker's Random Log

almost daily since 1999


Despite the lamentable woes of Amtrak, there is still a romance to cruising the country by rail, the lulling clickety clack, the Doppler-affected clangs of crossings, and, most importantly for me, the absence of car or plane motion nausea. As most of us think about train trips we picture a comfy chair and perhaps a snug little sleeping compartment. But there’s another option for the well-heeled. You can charter a private railroad car. The American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners has listings of cars available for you to rent for parties, unique business trips, honeymoons, whatever your fancy. These cars are attached to Amtrak trains traveling the usual scheduled routes, so you won’t be going anywhere you can’t get to with usual passenger rail. But imagine the luxury of having your own private section of a train! And perhaps then the family pet can come along?

Take a peek at this luxurious car that comes with an executive chef. And there are plenty more to choose from… the Scottish Thistle, Francis L. Suter, Dover Harbor, Northern Sky. The Caritas has Art Deco styling. Read about the inspector-with-an-attitude that kept the Virginia City car off the rails for over a year! The last Presidential rail car is on display in a Miami museum. If you want to buy your very own railroad car, be aware that you may have to pay property tax on it. California’s Private Railroad Car Tax is the only property tax that is collected by the state itself (CA residents pay property taxes to the county).