Quantcast

Private car

Help Support Amtrak Unlimited Discussion Forum:

M

MnMotherMary

Guest
While returning to Mpls. from Miami on the Silver Meteor on Thursday 3/20/2014 we picked up a private rail car in Florida to bring to D.C. I was curious if someone owns this personally or can it be rented? The name on the car was Chesapeake and Ohio and it was car #3.

Thanks.
 

Devil's Advocate

Sarcastic Misanthrope
Joined
May 24, 2010
Messages
11,704
Location
Texas
Although I have no specific information on that particular car I do know they are often owned by wealthy folks with eccentric vacation habits. Others are owned by companies who use them to wine and dine important guests or potential business parters. Some can be rented through third parties when they are not needed by their owners. Prices range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars per room. If I fell into a lot of money I'd probably consider buying such a car or at least renting one.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

The Davy Crockett

Conductor
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
3,313
Location
ALX
Here is a link to a Trainweb.com's webpage that has a listing of private cars that were at a private railcar convention in 2002. The second car on the list is "Chapel Hill" which was C&O office car #3 from 1937 until sold in 1971.

From the webpage:

Built in 1922 by American Car and Foundry as the private car Hussar for E. F. Hutton and his wife Marjorie Merriweather Post. It was used for both company business as well as personal travel between their winter and summer homes and their principal residence in New York. The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway acquired the car in 1937, renamed it their office car number 3, and updated and modernized the car. It remained in active company service into the early 1970s. The current owner purchased the car from the C & O in 1971 and renamed it Chapel Hill in honor of the town where his alma mater, the University of North Carolina is located. The car is based in Huntington, West Virginia, and owned by DeWitt Chapple, Jr.
Is this the car? (Photo from New England Rail - here is a link)

 

Alice

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
Messages
991
Location
California
This membership organization for people who own private rail cars has a pretty good website. Some people rent all or part of their cars. Sometimes they have real good prices, especially when the owner wants to go somewhere and wants help paying for it, but doesn't want to provide luxury service, so you bring and cook your own food, make your own bed, etc.

When they have meetings or conventions, often several private cars will make the trip on the same Amtrak train. They usually also try to put together a PV-only train for a trip during the meetings. This is a great time for railfan photographers, and also can be another opportunity to ride. This year they have a meeting scheduled in May in Mississippi, and a convention in September in Maine.

Edit since seeing The Davy Crockett post: Here is the AAPRCO charter page for Chapel Hill, including a couple of interior shots.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,051
Location
LAX
Actually, some private railcar excursions can be pretty reasonable and can be available to "regular" people. I've done several through LARail.com here in the Los Angeles area.
 

The Davy Crockett

Conductor
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
3,313
Location
ALX
Actually, some private railcar excursions can be pretty reasonable and can be available to "regular" people. I've done several through LARail.com here in the Los Angeles area.
Agreed!

For example, the Friends of 261 (website link) had a deal (due to some last minute cancellations) several years back to ride aboard several of their private cars from CHI to MSP that was (IIRC) cheaper than a sleeper on the Empire Builder - which was pulling said private cars!
 

Alice

OBS Chief
Joined
Mar 6, 2007
Messages
991
Location
California
Actually, some private railcar excursions can be pretty reasonable and can be available to "regular" people. I've done several through LARail.com here in the Los Angeles area.
Also agreed. I did an overnight LARail.com trip Los Angeles to San Diego round trip. They are now priced at $169 per person and you sleep on board so no motel bill. On top of that, the owner is a nice guy. The car is his hobby.
 

pennyk

Conductor
Staff member
Administator
Moderator
Gathering Team Member
Joined
Jul 5, 2009
Messages
10,513
Location
Orlando, FL
Here is a link to a Trainweb.com's webpage that has a listing of private cars that were at a private railcar convention in 2002. The second car on the list is "Chapel Hill" which was C&O office car #3 from 1937 until sold in 1971.

From the webpage:

Built in 1922 by American Car and Foundry as the private car Hussar for E. F. Hutton and his wife Marjorie Merriweather Post. It was used for both company business as well as personal travel between their winter and summer homes and their principal residence in New York. The Chesapeake & Ohio Railway acquired the car in 1937, renamed it their office car number 3, and updated and modernized the car. It remained in active company service into the early 1970s. The current owner purchased the car from the C & O in 1971 and renamed it Chapel Hill in honor of the town where his alma mater, the University of North Carolina is located. The car is based in Huntington, West Virginia, and owned by DeWitt Chapple, Jr.
Is this the car? (Photo from New England Rail - here is a link)

I have seen that car on one of the Silvers within the last year or so.
 

SarahZ

Conductor
Joined
May 8, 2011
Messages
8,088
Location
KAL
I've seen Northern Sky (the red and grey car on the right side of that photo) on the back of the SWC every Thanksgiving, it seems. I have several photos of it in my albums.
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,051
Location
LAX
Actually, some private railcar excursions can be pretty reasonable and can be available to "regular" people. I've done several through LARail.com here in the Los Angeles area.
Agreed!

For example, the Friends of 261 (website link) had a deal (due to some last minute cancellations) several years back to ride aboard several of their private cars from CHI to MSP that was (IIRC) cheaper than a sleeper on the Empire Builder - which was pulling said private cars!
A couple of PV day trips LA to San Diego and back I've done cost about the same a Business Class ticket on the same Pacific Surfliner trains we were behind. The atmosphere and amenities were much better!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,051
Location
LAX
Actually, some private railcar excursions can be pretty reasonable and can be available to "regular" people. I've done several through LARail.com here in the Los Angeles area.
Also agreed. I did an overnight LARail.com trip Los Angeles to San Diego round trip. They are now priced at $169 per person and you sleep on board so no motel bill. On top of that, the owner is a nice guy. The car is his hobby.
I also have done the LA to San Diego overnight...loved it! All the PV owners I've encountered are pretty friendly and nice.
 

WhoozOn1st

Conductor
Honored Member
Joined
Mar 21, 2007
Messages
4,281
Location
Southern California
I did an overnight LARail.com trip Los Angeles to San Diego round trip. They are now priced at $169 per person and you sleep on board so no motel bill.
Sounds like fun, and at a reasonable price. I should try it sometime. Any refreshments included?

And what car was that? I've seen several sitting around at L.A. Union Station.
 

FrensicPic

Conductor
Joined
Jan 15, 2012
Messages
3,051
Location
LAX
I did an overnight LARail.com trip Los Angeles to San Diego round trip. They are now priced at $169 per person and you sleep on board so no motel bill.
Sounds like fun, and at a reasonable price. I should try it sometime. Any refreshments included?

And what car was that? I've seen several sitting around at L.A. Union Station.
Actually, it was two cars...the Pacific Sands and the Salisbury Beach. There were refreshments and snacks available during the travel portions. Once in San Diego, you were on your own for meals, etc. The cars are "parked" right at the Santa Fe depot so a lot is close by. We got one-day passes each day for the trolley which is right there also.
 
M

MnMotherMary

Guest
Wow! Thanks for all the great information. We had a great trip recently and knew what to do & expect from our trip from all the great information on here. I love this website! I will definitely investigate taking a trip on these cars. This years was sold out already, I will try for next year.

At first glance it looks like the same car, but, when looking closer the name and the rivets are in different places. The car I seen the rivets went thru the "P" and this one it is thru the "L". Could it be the same car and it was repainted differently or could there be another car? Mostly just curious. Thanks.
 

AmtrakBlue

Conductor
Gathering Team Member
Joined
May 6, 2011
Messages
11,873
Location
Delaware
Wow! Thanks for all the great information. We had a great trip recently and knew what to do & expect from our trip from all the great information on here. I love this website! I will definitely investigate taking a trip on these cars. This years was sold out already, I will try for next year.

At first glance it looks like the same car, but, when looking closer the name and the rivets are in different places. The car I seen the rivets went thru the "P" and this one it is thru the "L". Could it be the same car and it was repainted differently or could there be another car? Mostly just curious. Thanks.
Feel free to join the forum as a regular member. No cost to join. We're a big, happy, sometimes dysfunctional, family. :)
 

The Davy Crockett

Conductor
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
3,313
Location
ALX
Wow! Thanks for all the great information. We had a great trip recently and knew what to do & expect from our trip from all the great information on here. I love this website! I will definitely investigate taking a trip on these cars. This years was sold out already, I will try for next year.

At first glance it looks like the same car, but, when looking closer the name and the rivets are in different places. The car I seen the rivets went thru the "P" and this one it is thru the "L". Could it be the same car and it was repainted differently or could there be another car? Mostly just curious. Thanks.
Feel free to join the forum as a regular member. No cost to join. We're a big, happy, sometimes dysfunctional, family. :)
Well excuse me Betty, but...

Dysfunction? :eek:

Here at AU? :unsure:

I beg your pardon, but foaming from the mouth was perfectly normal in MY family growing up. :giggle:

##################################​

Ms. 3M,

The pictures are at least 7 years old, so it is entirely possible the car was repainted, as 'private varnish' are basically money pits in the effort to keep them running and not turning into rusted out heaps.

Was the car you saw called Chapel Hill?
 
Last edited by a moderator:

The Davy Crockett

Conductor
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
3,313
Location
ALX
Yes it was called Chapel Hill.
It is the same car.

From this article at USA Today:

Chapel Hill RailCar

One of the most luxurious 1920s cars available for private tours, Chapel Hill was built for Post Cereal heiress Marjorie Merrieweather Post and her husband E.F. Hutton. Known for her social events, Post used the car for entertainment, business and travel between the couple's homes. Originally named Hussar, the car was renamed by its third owner DeWitt Chappele, Jr., who bought it from the Chesapeake & Ohio company.

An Amtrak certified car, Chapel Hill travels throughout the United States on any Amtrak route. Tours from New York to San Francisco are available for six people, or you can alter your route to Southern California. Chapel Hill offers complete comfort for the approximate 2,400-mile journey. Bedrooms are equipped with Egyptian cotton sheets, as well as personal silver washing basins and toilets. The lounge is located in the original observation room and modern amenities have been carefully added including a GPS system, Sirius radio, flat screen television and DVD player.

Chapel Hill RailCar

513-267-0947

chapelhillrail.com [Note: this website does not seem to work}
 
Last edited by a moderator:

chakk

Conductor
Joined
May 26, 2011
Messages
2,555
Folks in the Washington, D.C. area enjoy rides on the 1920's-era "Dover Harbor" (www.doverharbor.com) for day trips to Williamsburg VA or New York City, or longer trips to Savannah, GA or across the country to the annual gatherings of members of AAPRCO (American Association of Private Rail Car Owners)
 

The Davy Crockett

Conductor
Joined
Jan 3, 2011
Messages
3,313
Location
ALX
Folks in the Washington, D.C. area enjoy rides on the 1920's-era "Dover Harbor" (www.doverharbor.com) for day trips to Williamsburg VA or New York City, or longer trips to Savannah, GA or across the country to the annual gatherings of members of AAPRCO (American Association of Private Rail Car Owners)
I've not had the pleasure, but I'll have to change that. Prices for chartering the DH are just a bit out of my price range, but the 'public trips' don't look too crazy expensive. Thanks for the info. :hi:
 

NorthShore

Conductor
Joined
Sep 3, 2013
Messages
1,013
Location
Chicago
Ozark Mountain Railcar usually has any number of private cars in varied states of readiness to roll or disrepair listed on their site for sale. Sometimes I enjoy browsing through them, looking at the pictures, and daring to dream.

Anyone want to go in for half? 1/4? 10%?
 

Bob Dylan

Conductor
Joined
May 31, 2009
Messages
20,687
Location
Austin Texas
Tonights (Thur 4/10) Texas Eagle #21 had 2 Engines (needs them every day!)and 3 PVs on the tail!

ASouthern RR Business Car #1 in the Original Green and Gold, a Passenger Service Car (kitchen/Crew Car) in Cream Colors and a Blue Dome Car #3 with a Southern Drum Head on the Platform!

The Conductor told me it was enroute to San Antonio for Fiesta which is San Antonio's Big Spring Event!
 
Top