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Here's your chance to ride historic train cars out of New York's Penn Station along the Hudson River

April 09, 2022
7 min read
Train travels by the riverside
Here's your chance to ride historic train cars out of New York's Penn Station along the Hudson River
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Calling all train and history buffs: Now's your chance to take a journey along the Hudson River aboard one of two restored railroad cars dating back to 1948, and once part of the "Most Famous Train in the World."

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Starting in June, travelers can board the Hickory Creek or Tavern-Lounge No. 43, both departing from Pennsylvania Station’s Moynihan Train Hall en route to the Albany-Rensselaer station, as part of Hudson River Rail Excursions' summer schedule.

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"The excursion traverses the original New York Central main line between Manhattan and Albany, upon which the Hickory Creek and Tavern-Lounge No. 43 traveled in the 1940s and 50s," according to a press release issued by the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey, which operates the trains.

The Hickory Creek car stems from the 20th Century Limited, which made its debut nearly 75 years ago at Grand Central Terminal and carried passengers such as then-Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower and celebrities including Marilyn Monroe and Walt Disney.

(Photo by Mark Forman/The United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey)

"The new train, with its mid-century modern aesthetic and luxury appointments, catered to the highest of society," according to the historical society. "Entrepreneurs, business people and celebrities knew there was no other way to travel from New York City to Chicago."

Today, Hickory Creek is the only remaining restored passenger car from the 20th Century Limited collection.

Tickets to ride this upscale train cost $349 plus approximately $20 in taxes and fees, which includes a four-course meal, beer and wine, along with dedicated staff.

Related: Moynihan Train Hall brings modernity to NYC’s Penn Station with skylights galore

Or you can get more bang for your buck and travel the route via the Tavern-Lounge No. 43 car. For $143, riders can expect buffet-style sandwiches, sides and bring-your-own alcohol.

"Built in 1947 by the Budd Company, the No. 43 was one of 13 tavern-lounge cars that New York Central used on its daytime long distance passenger runs," according to the release. "With comfortable lounge chairs and cozy tavern booths, it offered passengers a reprieve from their coach seats, where they could drink, eat and socialize with other passengers."

Tickets will be available to purchase online starting at 10 a.m. ET on April 22, and are available for weekend travel Friday-Sunday on select dates in June, September and October. There's no assigned seating.

Reservations for group travel, including full-car rentals and events, are also available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Both trains depart Penn Station at 11:20 a.m. and arrive at Albany-Rensselaer at 1:50 p.m. for a brief layover, before departing at 4:30 p.m. and returning back to New York for a 7:05 p.m. arrival.

"You will step back in time as you step aboard one of our two historic cars. On the journey between New York and Albany, lunch and drinks will be served while you enjoy the one-of-a-kind view of the passing Hudson River," according to the historic society. "After an intermission at Albany-Rensselaer, our train will skate along the Hudson with the setting sun. Our historic rail cars, traveling on the tail end of Amtrak’s Empire Service, will traverse the very tracks that the 20th Century Limited did from 1902 to 1967."

Note that in addition to the train travel itself, tickets also include access to Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge, which opened in January as a full-service bar offering alcoholic beverages, La Colombe coffee and food.

Read more: NYC’s hottest new bar? Amtrak’s Metropolitan Lounge

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
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3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
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    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

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  • Annual Fee

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    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

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Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

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  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases