How much does renting a private car cost?

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Texan Eagle

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I am in discussion with a group of train enthusiasts who are interested in renting a private car for a day and attach it to an Amtrak train. No specific car desired, no specific routes, just want to know how much it would cost and how to go about doing it?

What would be the cheapest private car available to rent and how much does it cost?

How much would it cost to haul the car at the back of one of Amtrak's regular trains?

Any kind of information about renting a private car is welcome!
 

FrensicPic

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Overland Trail is part of LARail.com and this info might be a starting point. The rates listed there are West Coast but, you might get a good idea.

LA to San Diego, 36 people.......$5,000

http://www.overlandtrail.com/

Your best bet would be to contact a PV owner and discuss.

I've been toying with this idea for a retirement or anniversary party.
 
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the_traveler

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I can't give exact figures, but the cost to just rent a private car ain't cheap! Then you have to add the cost to have it towed on Amtrak. Figure something like:

Per mile = $3-10/mile

You must have a conductor = $???

Storage (at destination like Oakland, LA, NOL, etcetera) = $100-300+ per overnight

Switching = $???

You can see it adds up!
 

Bob Dylan

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It can be Very Pricey! ranging from Expensive to " if you have to ask the price you can't afford it!" depending on how far you are traveling and the number of passengers involved?! Amtrak has a Group Sales Department that should have info on renting one of their cars for your group!

This may be cheaper?

Also you may want to consider checking out the various tourist/dinner trains that operate all over the country! (The Iowa Pullman trips between CHI and other cities for example!)

I know the Hill Country Flyer ( Austin Steam Train) has an ex Southern RR Office Car and an ex Nickel Plate Lounge Car as well as a Caboose that they rent out to Groups for Parties, Meetings etc. on the Weekend trips they make between Cedar Park and Burnet!
 
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gwschenk

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A couple of years ago there was a private car on the Southwest Chief. A fellow in the car said it was costing $35,000 for the trip.
 

FrensicPic

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What a PV owner charges you for a charter will include the Amtrak charges for the move. Obviously, the longer the trip the more expensive. Other charges could be overnight "parking"; if there are a number of PVs on a single move, there may be charges for an additional locomotive. As for the conductor which "the_traveler" mentioned, that is the conductor who is on that train anyway. The car owner or a responsible representative must also be aboard the PV.

http://www.amtrak.com/privately-owned-rail-cars
 
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OlympianHiawatha

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I know owning one of these is like a boat as money is constantly going into it and when it is not being used, you still have to pay storage as you simply cannot tow it home and stash it in the garage. And this is assuming the car has already been restored and is up to Amtrak spec; if you buy a siding dog the restoration costs could eat you alive and then some.
 

FrensicPic

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Back to the OP who is not asking about owning a PV but rather, renting or chartering one. LA Rail has "public" trips...they sell tickets. I've done a round trip LA to San Diego in a PV for just a little more than the cost of a round trip Pacific Surfliner ticket. I've also done an "overnight" to San Diego where the two pullman type cars were parked in San Diego for the night and served as our hotel for about $200. What would an Amtrak ticket cost plus a night in a hotel in downtown San Diego?

I gave an example of a "charter" price (don't know if that is still up-to-date) but, 36 people for $5000 is only $138.89 per person LA to San Diego and return. Pretty reasonable in my opinion. Of course, if you have less than the 36 people (that is the maximum for that car), the per person cost would rise. A private charter, as the OP is asking about probably wouldn't be that bad if you looked at it on a per person basis.

People I talk to about my past trips are surprised at how "reasonable" PV trips can be.
 

ehbowen

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Earlier this year I drew up a comparative pricing handout for historic and contemporary rail fares/air fares as a part of my volunteer work for the Galveston Railroad Museum. As part of the research I asked Mr. Henry what it would cost to charter his two cars (sleeper and dome/lounge) from Houston to New Orleans for a long weekend...leaving Houston Friday noon; using the cars as your hotel in New Orleans Friday/Saturday/Sunday nights, and returning to Houston Monday evening. He replied that they have done that trip often and that at the time he could quote a price of $20,500.00 (plus gratuities) which would include car rental, Amtrak charges, food and beverage, and attendants. That price would be good for a total of up to 8 passengers (4 couples). As always, subject to change without notice.
 

crescent2

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Overland Trail is part of LARail.com and this info might be a starting point. The rates listed there are West Coast but, you might get a good idea.

LA to San Diego, 36 people.......$5,000

http://www.overlandtrail.com/

Your best bet would be to contact a PV owner and discuss.

I've been toying with this idea for a retirement or anniversary party.
Much less expensive than I'd have thought. Thanks for posting; interesting website.

It's going to be hard to fit all of us at your party, though. :p
 

chakk

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Lots of private car owners adverise their trips pulled by regular Amtrak trains and sell tickets to the general public. My youngest son and daughter-in-law were toasted on their first anniversary on the private car "Dover Harbor" on a round-trip between Washington DC and Williamsburg, VA. Google the car name for future trips and prices.

Sent from my iPhone using Amtrak Forum
 

Steve4031

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Sometimes there are positioning moves for private cars. It's possible to buy tickets fir the strips sometimes. Google "private car position moves". Or "private car trips". There are quite a few in California.
 
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Perhaps this http://aaprco.com/ is the best source to find out this information....it is the trade association of private car owner's, and it provides many FAQ's, as well as links to the site's of many of its member's that offer their car's for charter.
 
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