You Can Recreate a 1940s Hudson River Trip on These Historic Train Cars

The Golden Age of Travel is returning in a big way

Hudson River Rail

Courtesy of United Railroad Historical Society of NJ

Craving a taste of the golden age of travel? Train lovers and history buffs are about to get the opportunity to take the trip of their dreams when two restored railroad cars from one of the country's most historic trains make a comeback next month.

The United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey recently announced that it would be reintroducing two refurbished vintage train cars from 1948 this February, giving railway enthusiasts a chance to travel back in time. The historic cars were once part of the 20th Century Limited, a luxury passenger train from 1902 to 1967. The 20th Century Limited regularly traveled between New York City's Grand Central Station and Chicago and counted celebrities like Marilyn Monroe and Walt Disney as passengers.

Now, the company, celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, will offer travelers the opportunity to get a taste of the train that was once known as "the favorite train of famous people" through their Hudson River Rail Excursions. The historic cars will return to New York City on Feb. 10, departing Pennsylvania Station's Moynihan Train Hall and traveling to Albany's Rensselaer Station before looping back.

The trains will depart five times between Feb. 10 and Feb. 14, leaving New York City at 11:20 a.m. and arriving in Albany at 1:50 p.m. The returning train will depart Albany at 4:30 p.m. and return to New York at 7:05 p.m. Tickets are now on sale.

Travelers can choose from one of two historic cars in the fleet: the Hickory Creek, a former observation car known as the train's most exclusive spot to see and be seen, and Tavern Lounge No. 43, the equivalent of a lounge car, where passengers could socialize away from their ticketed seats. Tickets are $399 and $299 per person, respectively, include appetizers, a full meal, and beer and wine.

For those looking to get the most authentic experience, the company will also offer a unique five-day trip from New York to Chicago aboard a recreation of the original 20th Century Limited this September. That all-inclusive overnight experience will cost $2,500 per passenger and run between Sept. 17 and Sept. 21. Tickets are expected to go on sale soon.

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  1. Hudson River Rail Excursions. "2023 Schedule is Here!" Accessed January 23, 2023.

  2. Business Insider. "See inside the last-remaining 20th Century Limited train cars with panoramic windows, white-tablecloth dining, bedrooms, and a full kitchen." November 12, 2022.

  3. Hudson River Rail. "2023 Schedule." Accessed January 23, 2023.