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29 S

Rail Adventure

ON THE TRACK OF HISTORY In addition to Amtrak trains, some of Great Rail Journeys' packages

include travel on some of

America's more than 100 heritage rail lines. Powered by historic steam and diesel 'Little Engines That Could', many in the past served gold and silver mines and timber companies. Two of the most popular are Colorado's Durango

& Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad, serving an historic mining town

high in the

Rocky Mountains, and its Pikes Peak Cog Railroad clambering up 14,000 feet to the iconic mountain's summit. Other choices include Arizona's Grand


Railroad, Washington State's Mount Rainier Scenic, West Virginia's

Cass and New Mexico's Cumbres & Toltec Scenic. North

Carolina's Tweetsie is particularly popular with children because of all the activities along the way and the same state's Great Smoky Mountains Railroad gets a thumbs-up from film buffs: The Fugitive, starring Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones, was partly filmed here in the early 1990s. But the star for wine and food lovers is the Napa Valley Wine Train, which travels 25 miles through California's scenic wine country. Also offering excursions on some of these rail lines as well as on Amtrak is USA-based Vacations By Rail ( who report that the most popular train routes incorporated into its vacation packages include the previously mentioned California Zephyr and Coast Starlight as well as the Empire Builder,

travelling between Chicago and

Seattle via the northern prairies and Glacier National Park, and the Southwest Chief,


Chicago and Los Angeles through colourful Albuquerque, New Mexico.

SLEEP TIGHT Gaining quite a lot of attention is Chicago-based Pullman Rail Journeys ( which, in 2012, introduced weekly rail service from Chicago to New Orleans on elegant, restored late 19th century/early 20th century Pullman sleeping cars. In the autumn of 2014 the company was due to launch a series of rail holidays from Chicago to New York City including city


Continent-spanning Amtrak links major cities, small towns and scenic wonderlands in 46 of the 50 states as well as serving Washington, DC"

some sightseeing and admission to a Broadway show or the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Also on offer

is a December package to

West Virginia's majestic Greenbrier Resort, and by 2015 Pullman Rail Journeys expects to provide weekly overnight Chicago/New York service., America's

Pullman Rail Journeys is part of the Premier Rail Collection (www. largest operator of

specially-themed and holiday rail events. Options include the Texas State Railroad, Massachusetts' Cape Cod Central Railroad, the Mount Hood Railroad through Oregon's scenic Columbia River Gorge, and the Saratoga & North Creek Railway, which travels through New York State's Adirondack mountains and along 52 miles of its scenic Hudson River.

AMERICA FROM THE SLOW LANE "The railroads helped build the USA as we see

it today and crossing this amazing country by train is just fantastic. You get to see the way Americans live by making the journey through their communities in the countryside, the cities and mountains. Taking the train is one of the slower ways to cross America, but this creates the time and space to see this diverse country and experience its vastness.” Alex Roberts, Marketing Director, Great Rail Journeys

Facing page: the Durango & Silverton Railroad This page, clockwise from top left: a Pullman Rail Journeys' dining car, Napa Valley Wine Train and the California Zephyr






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