American Rail Excursions, Inc.


The “Cherry Blossom Special” – 2017

Chicago – Cincinnati – Washington DC –

Pittsburgh – Chicago – St. Louis

April 4 – 9(10), 2017

Trip# AR-17-D-1

Return to those days when rail travel was paramount. Travel with us in comfort and style as our historic privately owned rail-cars transport you on a wonderful journey from Chicago to Washington D.C. and back. You’ll enjoy the breath-taking springtime views of the Ohio River Valley, Appalachian Mountains, and New River Gorge as they glide by the windows of our nostalgic streamliner. Food, beverage, and first-class service, round out this exciting tour that will ultimately deliver us to our Nation’s Capitol. And what better time to visit Washington DC.  Springtime and The Cherry Blossom trees in bloom and their annual event, commemorating the famous tree’s gift from Japan in 1912, when the original trees were planted by First Lady, Mrs. William Howard Taft.

Washington DC also has much too see. It’s a vibrant city filled with diverse neighborhoods, fabulous museums, world-class cultural events and (of course) political intrigue. Its role as the nations’ capital has given it an international character. Chosen in 1790 for its location midway between the northern and southern states, at the confluence of the Potomac and Anacostia rivers, Washington became the seat of our national government in 1800. For over 200 years, politicians, lobbyists and busloads of tourists from all over the world have converged on this marvelous city of massive buildings and broad avenues. Mingle and enjoy!

All Aboard!


• Attentive first-class service provided by our professional  experienced on-board staff.

• Our trip begins from Chicago, IL and returns to Chicago, IL and St. Louis, MO.

• Ride eastward on Amtrak’s Cardinal route through the scenic farmlands of Indiana & Ohio, “Wild and Wonderful”

West Virginia, Shenandoah Valley and  the New River Gorge, “the Grand Canyon of the East”.  Past the Greenbrier

Resort, Allegheny & Blue Ridge Mts. and into our nations’ capital Washington D.C.

• Travel, dine and sleep in historic, privately-owned rail-cars

• Explore our Nation’s Capital, just footsteps from our rail-cars

• Visit Washington DC at the peak of the Cherry Blossom trees blooming and the festivities honoring these national


• While our rail-cars are parked in Washington DC Union Station, one of Amtrak’s premier stations, enjoy dozens

of restaurants and shops, movie theaters and direct access to the heart of DC

• Ride westward on Amtrak’s Capitol Limited route, the original B & O line through the beautiful Potomac River Valley,

historic Harper’s Ferry, Cumberland Narrows, the Allegheny Mountains and the cornfields of Ohio and Indiana

Please Note: By Special Arrangement, you could combine American Rail Excursions, Inc., The City of Chicago, Rail Trip (Trip #AR-17-C-1) and the Cherry Blossom Special, Rail Trip (Trip #AR-17-D-1) in to one colossal rail adventure at a reduced cost!  For first-hand information, call Carole Sheeler, Reservation Manager, @ 417-818-5969 or carolesheeler@gmail.com.




Afternoon: This afternoon American Rail Excursions, Inc., Cherry Blossom Special passengers should converge on Chicago Union Station, 225 S. Canal St., Chicago, IL 60606.  You will want to make your way to the fountain under the escalator, adjacent to Amtrak’s old ticket counter.  As soon as our departing Amtrak train conveying our Cherry Blossom Special private cars is in the station the American Rail Excursions, Inc. on-board service manager will come to the location and begin the check-in process.

4:45 PM:(approx) An American Rail Excursions Inc. on-board service manager will meet all our Chicago boarding passengers, with their luggage in Chicago Union Station. We will gather under the escalator adjacent to the Amtrak Ticket counter, by the fountain.

Complimentary baggage handling is provided by American Rail Excursions Inc. in Chicago. Please do NOT check any bags with Amtrak!

As soon as our pre-boarding check-in is completed, our on-board service manager will escort our group to our awaiting train.

5:00 PM:(approx) Board our Cherry Blossom Special. Our on-board staff welcomes all our Washington DC bound travelers. Your luggage has already been placed in your room. After a review of your accommodations, amenities, and safety instructions, we invite all to our lounge to get acquainted, enjoy complimentary premium beverages and snacks. An included dinner will be served just after our departure from Chicago.

5:45 PM: Depart: Chicago Amtrak’s # 50, the Cardinal (our “Cherry Blossom Special“).  As our conductor calls “All Aboard,” our train gradually glides out of the confines of Chicago Union Station. The distinct Downtown Chicago skyline gradually disappears behind us. With the city giving way to the suburbs, and the more rural surroundings now in view through the windows. The buzz of exhilaration is in the air as our passengers get acquainted. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues.

While all passengers have been getting settled and enjoying complimentary premium beverages and snacks in the lounge, our first-class on-board chef has been busy preparing a scrumptious dinner for all to enjoy.

6:00 PM (Approx.): Freshly prepared dinner served on-board en-route.

Evening: Continue to enjoy the complimentary premium beverage and snack service until 11PM local time.

Late Evening: While all are enjoying conversation, camaraderie and the next sights, rooms have been readied in anticipation of weary travelers. The gentle sway and rhythm of the rails are a night time lullaby coaxing you to retire. Enjoy the night. Sweet Rail Dreams!

Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight en-route.

wednesDAY APRIL 5, 2017

(DAY 2)

7:00 AM: Wake up coffee available in Royal Street lower lounge and at the buffet in Pacific Union.

7:30-9:00 AM: Breakfast served on-board en-route.

Morning: As you rise this morning, the sun is trying to peek around the drawn shade. The tantalizing aroma of freshly brewed coffee awakens your senses. A refreshing shower is all you need to get your motor running. Our on-board chef has prepared a delicious breakfast buffet for your enjoyment this morning. Enjoy! The scenic Ohio River and Kentucky farmlands grace our windows this morning.

Noon: Luncheon: Served on-board en-route. You’ve been so entranced by the beautiful natural scenery, wild springs, white water rivers and waterfalls of West Virginia, that you forgot it is lunch time. Well, we won’t interrupt, you’ll continue to see all the sites as can only be seen by train. Relax, enjoy an enticing luncheon prepared by our on-board chef, just for you!

Afternoon: Complementary premium beverages and snacks service continues. The New River Gorge, The Allegheny Mountains, famed Greenbriar Resort, and Shenandoah Valley are just some of the scenic vistas you’ll be able to see. As our Cherry Blossom Special comes to a halt in one of many remote small towns, you’ll feel you have turned back time. Our arriving train is heralded by the trumpeting horn’s of our diesels, and it seems the town has turned out to welcome our arrival!

Late Afternoon: Passing through Charlottesville, VA, we are once again reminded about this rich city (Monticello), home of Thomas Jefferson, is just another significant piece of our eastward rail adventure.

5:00 PM Approximately: Dinner served on-board en-route. The sun has set over the mountains, and the silhouettes of the Shenandoah Mountains have all but faded into the night. The culinary talents of our onboard chef have once again been called upon to satisfy the appetites of our passengers. Enjoy a glass of wine and friendly conversation over dinner.

5:55 PM: Arrive Washington DC *NOTE: (due to historical freight railroad interference, a later time arrival is more likely.) Passengers are encouraged to de-train for some evening exploration of Washington DC on their own. Our rail-cars will be dropped from this evening’s arriving Amtrak #50, The Cardinal, our “Cherry Blossom Special“, and then placed on our special track where we will remain parked until just prior to our departure from Washington DC.  Contact our on-board service manager for the exact location.

Evening: Complimentary premium beverage and snacks service continues after our arrival into Washington DC And when you feel “it’s time”, retire to your room once again, where our first-class on-board staff has it transformed from a comfortable day room, to its restful nighttime configuration. Goodnight!

Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight while parked in Washington DC.

ThursDAY APRIL 6, 2017

(DAY 3)

7:00 AM: Wake up coffee available in Royal Street lower lounge and at the buffet in Pacific Union.

7:30-9:30 AM Breakfast served on-board while parked in Union Station, Washington D.C.

After enjoying breakfast on-board, may we suggest you take this opportunity to alight from our railcars and explore Nation’s Capitol at your own pace.  A favorite is the included step-on, step-off trolley tour, with it’s tour departures located just outside the main entrance to the station.

Afternoon: With nearly three full days to spend in Washington, you should be able to take in a good number of the sights. Lunch will be on your own today while touring.

Late Afternoon: As our passengers return to our rail-cars after a pleasant day exploring Washington DC our staff is ready to quench your thirst with the complimentary beverage of your choice and tantalizing snacks should temporarily quell your appetite. Freshen up; Enjoy a hot invigorating shower to re-energize before this evening’s quest.

Evening: Enjoy dinner on your own this evening at one of the fine dining restaurants located right in the station or step away to any of the close by great ethnic restaurants. The choice is yours. Bon appétit!  After your return stop by the lounge to exchange stories with your fellow travelers and quench your thirst with complimentary beverages until 11PM local time for that night cap with fellow travelers.

Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight parked in Washington DC

friDAY APRIL 7, 2017

(DAY 4)

7:00 AM: Wake up coffee available in Royal Street lower lounge and at the buffet in Pacific Union.

7:30-9:30 AM Breakfast served on-board while parked in Union Station, Washington D.C.

All Day: Enjoy the Smithsonian, The Capitol Building, Washington Monument, or the Lincoln Memorial. There is so much to see! The choice is yours. Lunch and dinner will be on your own today as you tour Washington DC.

Late Afternoon: Complimentary premium beverage and snack service once again continues throughout the afternoon & evening in our lounge until 11 PM local time.

Late Evening: Enjoy a nightcap in the lounge, topping off a busy day in Washington DC Your rooms have once again been readied for sweet slumber tonight.

Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight parked in Washington DC.

saturDAY APRIL 8, 2017

(DAY 5)

7:00 AM: Wake up coffee available in Royal Street lower lounge and at the buffet in Pacific Union.

7:30-9:30 AM Breakfast served on-board while parked in Union Station, Washington D.C.

Morning: Enjoy most of this last day in Washington DC. This afternoon lunch will be on your own!

And of course, the whole purpose of this tour, to witness the spectacle that has thousands of city residents, visitors from across the nation and for that matter around the world… A Washington DC traditional rite of spring celebrating the blooming Cherry Blossom Trees throughout the city.  And don’t forget the famous Cherry Blossom Parade down Constitution Avenue from 7th to 17th streets, just blocks away from Union Station.

We invite you to take a self guided stroll around Washington DC and enjoy one of this city’s fondest gifts…the Cherry Blossom trees in fall bloom! For those passengers wishing for a more spectacular view of both Washington DC and the Cherry Blossom trees may we suggest you enjoy the views from the DC tidal basin. The images are awe inspiring!

3:15 PM: Re-board our private rail-cars, which have now been made part of today’s departing Amtrak train #29 The Capitol Limited. Please check the Amtrak TV monitors in the station for the correct track location. Our Cherry Blossom Special rail-cars will be on the rear of the Capitol Limited today.

4:05 PM: As the final “All Aboard!” is called, we gently glide out of the station, and in a wink of the eye, Washington DC is just but a fond memory. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service is already underway and shortly dinner will be served. For now, sit back, enjoy the view as we follow the Potomac River Valley to Harper’s Ferry.

5:00 PM: Dinner this evening served on-board en-route. Our on-board chef has worked hard this afternoon preparing for our final dinner together this evening. It’s promised to be a real “feast”!

Evening: We’ll continue to work our way westward following the historic Baltimore and Ohio Railroad line paralleling the Potomac River Valley and it’s many tunnels as we travel through the Allegheny Mountains to Pittsburgh, PA and beyond. Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues 11PM.

Night: Sleep in safety and comfort aboard our rail-cars tonight en-route to Chicago.

sunday APRIL 9, 2017

(DAY 6)

6:30 AM: Wake up coffee available in Royal Street lower lounge and at the buffet in Pacific Union.

7:00-8:30 AM Breakfast served on-board en-route.  Chicago passengers, If you have risen early, you will have one last chance to view the beautiful natural scenery passing by our Cherry Blossom Special’s windows. The countryside is certainly different, as farms and cornfields dot the landscape. Soon the farm fields turn to suburban sprawl and in the distance, the towering skyscrapers of downtown Chicago.

As our train thunders and clanks in to the cavernous Chicago Union Station our rail odyssey is now coming to a close. The woosshhh! of the air brakes signal the end of the line for our Chicago passengers, at least for this trip. As our staff assists all with their luggage and the good-byes are given by new found friends, we at American Rail Excursions, Inc. thank you for traveling with us.

8:45 AM: Arrive: Chicago Union Station.

Morning: Passengers continuing on to St. Louis with us are encouraged to step off our Cherry Blossom Special while our train is in the station and once again enjoy the “City That Works” Chicago on your own.

Within an hour or so of our arrival our train will be moved to the Amtrak’s coach yard.

Afternoon and Early Evening: Enjoy spring fun at Navy Pier. There is no better way to enjoy a bright sunny Sunday afternoon in Chicago than the Pier. While touring enjoy lunch and dinner on your own.

Early Evening: After a fun filled day in Chicago return to the friendly confines of our Cherry Blossom Special private rail-cars. We’ll now be located at Amtrak’s coach yard.

Evening: Once back on board, our service staff probably knows just what will “hit the spot” for you. Enjoy that complementary nightcap in the lounge as Chicago big city lights illuminate the night.  Complimentary premium beverage and snack service continues 11PM.

Your accommodations have once again been magically transformed by our staff in anticipation of your need for rest!  Enjoy this last night aboard our rail-cars while in Chicago.

Night: Occupy rail-cars overnight while parked in Chicago.

monDAY APRIL 10, 2017

(DAY 7)

7:00 AM: Wake up coffee available in Royal Street lower lounge and at the buffet in Pacific Union.

7:30 – 9:00 AM: Breakfast served on-board.

9:25: Depart: Chicago IL.  Our St. Louis passengers will be returning home on today’s departing Amtrak #303.

Morning: We will enjoy the newest “high speed” line in Illinois as we travel at speeds up to 110 MPH.

11:39: Depart: Bloomington, IL.  You may depart the trip here.

12:00 Noon: A light luncheon will be served on-board en-route.

12:50: Depart: Springfield, IL.  You may depart the trip here.

3:00 PM: Arrive: St. Louis  As the Gateway Arch comes in to view, we will be arriving at our final destination, St. Louis, MO.  Upon arrival, our first-class on-board staff bids everyone a fond farewell and thanks for wonderful journey!  Our trip and all services conclude.  Thank you for traveling with us.


What’s Included:

• Attentive first-class service provided by our American Rail Excursion, Inc. staff.
• Round-trip rail and accommodations charges aboard our private rail-cars for this trip based upon

your reservations.
• Complimentary baggage transfer at Chicago Union Station to our private rail-cars.
• Up to seven days and six nights lodging and transportation accommodations aboard our private rail cars

based on your itinerary.
• Up to six breakfasts, two lunches and three dinners all served on-board while en-route or while parked,

based upon your itinerary.
• All meals prepared fresh by our on-board chef
• Complimentary premium beverage and snack service throughout our entire trip.
• Included two day ‘step-on, step-off’ bus pass in Washington D.C.


Why you should participate in this Unique Excursion

This is the comfortable, hassle-free way to see Washington DC in all its splendor. We will be attached to Amtrak trains, but only our passengers will have use of our private cars. Your room on the train is your hotel. No checking into and out of hotels. No unexpected hotel charges. No baggage hassles. Just excellent service by a friendly crew. We make it simple and pleasant for you. You’ll enjoy up to 1,685 miles of very scenic rail travel including the New River Gorge, the Grand Canyon of the East.

About Your Accommodations:


Roomettes have space for one traveler. Roomettes feature a small couch, in-wall fold-down sink, garment closet, large overhead luggage rack and a huge lighted wall mirror with an electrical outlet. By night, each room has one lower bed. For your added travel comfort, each room has an adjustable climate control, fan and reading/night lights. Roomettes 1-6 additionally have an in-room toilet. A general toilet is located down the hall for your use in Pacific Union. Your linens, towels, bath towels, soap and shampoo are also provided. A shower and changing room is located at the end of the car.

Costs: Roomette, Single Occupancy:

1 person, 1 roomette,  one lower bed at night

Chicago boarding and return:  $2,699.00 per person single occupancy in a Roomette.
Chicago boarding, St Louis return:  $2,799.00 per person single occupancy in a Roomette.


Double Bedrooms:

Double bedrooms have space for two passengers. Each double bedroom features either one large couch or a small couch and lounge chair for comfortable private day travel. Every double bedroom has a large window. By night, each double room has two beds (1-upper and 1-lower). Every room is furnished with adjustable climate control, fan, reading lights, fold-down table, garment closet and full-length door mirror. The annex (your private bathroom) has a fold-down sink; large lighted wall mirror, toilet and a 110-volt convenience outlet. Your linens, towels and soap are also provided. Best of all, your attendant will turn down your bed, arrange for a wake-up call and bring your morning tea, coffee, or juice right to your room. All sleeping cars are equipped with a shower.

Costs: Double Bedroom, Double Occupancy:

2 people, 1 room, one upper and one lower bed at night

Chicago boarding and return:  $2,499.00 per person double occupancy, double bedroom.
Chicago boarding, St. Louis returning,  $2,599.00 per person double occupancy, double bedroom.

Double Bedroom, Single Occupancy:

Chicago boarding and return:  $3,999.00 per person single occupancy, double bedroom.
Chicago boarding, St Louis return:  $4,099.00 per person single occupancy, double bedroom.


En-suited Two Double Bedrooms (Suite)

Two Double bedrooms: bedrooms have space for up to two passengers utilizing lower beds only. Each double bedroom features either one large couch or a small couch and lounge chair for comfortable private day travel. Every double bedroom has a large window. By night, each double room has one bed (1-lower). Every room is furnished with adjustable climate control, fan, reading lights, fold-down table, garment closet and full-length door mirror. The annex (your private bathroom) has a fold-down sink; large lighted wall mirror, toilet and a 110-volt convenience outlet. Your linens, towels and soap are also provided. Best of all, your attendant will turn down your bed, arrange for a wake-up call and bring your morning tea, coffee, or juice right to your room.

Costs: En-suited two Double Bedrooms, Single or Double Occupancy:

1-2 people, 2 rooms en-suited, one lower bed at night in each bedroom

Chicago boarding and return, or St Louis return:  $7,998.00 per person,
single or double occupancy, en-suited bedroom.


Food and Beverage Service:

American Rail Excursions Inc. nostalgic rail tour includes (as per your itinerary) nostalgic rail dinning featuring traditional American cuisine, freshly prepared by our on-board chef. The combination of fine food, crisp white linens, first-class on-board service and awe inspiring scenery set the stage for a most memorable trip. Menus are ever-changing, reflecting the influences of the towns and cities we visit. Bon appétit!

The following is a sample of cuisine, freshly prepared aboard our rail cars.

Our sample menus include:

Sample Breakfast Menu

• Denver Scrambled with Cheese
• Old Fashioned Railroad French Toast
• Potatoes O’Brian
• Tender Sausage links
• Crisp Bacon
• Assorted Fresh Fruit
• Assorted Cold Cereal
• Assorted Breakfast Pastries
• Bagels with Cream Cheese
• English Muffins
• Toast & Jelly
• Assorted Chilled Juice,
• Freshly Brewed Coffee, (Regular or decaffeinated)
• Assorted Teas
• Milk, Hot Chocolate
• Complimentary Eye-opener from our bar

Sample Lunch Menu

• Tossed Caesar salad Served with homemade Croutons and freshly grated Parmesian Cheese
• Baked spaghetti or lasagna
• Artisian Garlic bread
• Spumoni ice cream
• Freshly Brewed Coffee (Regular or Decaffeinated)
• Assorted Teas
• Soft Drinks
• Milk
• Domestic and Imported Beers, or Wine
• Your Favorite Mixed Drink from the Bar

Sample Dinner Menu

• Mesclun salad, served with crazins, bosch pears, gorgonzola crumbles and topped with a

Raspberry Vinaigrette dressing
• Chicken Marseilles sautéed in a Marseilla wine sauce
• Wild Rice Pilaf
• Medley of Seasonal Vegetables
• Assorted Dinner Rolls and Butter
• Chocolate Torte Cake
• Fresh Brewed Coffee, Regular and Decaffeinated
• Assorted Teas
• Soft Drinks
• Milk
• Domestic and Imported Beers, or Wine
• Your Favorite Mixed Drink from the Bar

Our on-board chef prepares all meals fresh.

Premium Beverage Service Includes:

• Miller Lite and Heineken beers
• Chardonnay, Merlot, and White Zinfandel wines
• Mixed drinks derived from scotch, bourbon, gin, vodka, rum and mixers. (No blender or frozen drinks)
• Soft Drinks including Coke, Diet Coke, Sprite and Ginger Ale
• Bottled still waters
• Fresh Brewed Coffee ( Regular or Decaffeinated)

Dry Snacks include:

• Planter’s dry roasted peanuts
• Goldfish
• Chex mix
• Pub Mix


May we make your reservation today?

a 50% deposit per person is due at time of booking.

Full open balance due by 3/17/17

Please contact us about availability after 3/3/17

No refund unless trip is canceled.

Tickets are transferable to another person with prior approval.

Please reserve your space by 3/3/17

“Cherry Blossom Special“

Chicago – Washington DC – Chicago – St. Louis

APRIL 4 – 9(10), 2017

Trip #AR-17-D-1

Click here for printable reservation form

Thank You!

American Rail Excursions, Inc.

Carole Sheeler, Reservation Manager

4851 E. Farm Road 194

Rogersville, MO 65742

Phone: 417-818-5969

E-mail: carolesheeler@gmail.com


Roger J. Verbeeren Jr., home office

Phone 618-451-0100

Email: roger@americanrail.com

Important Information – Please Read

American Rail Excursions, Inc. welcomes everyone who wishes to travel with us on our public trips. However, because this is vintage railway equipment produced in the 1940’s and 1950’s, there are no special facilities available for those passengers that might have a disability.  We welcome those passengers that are disabled, but please consider the suitability of these trips carefully. We encourage you to call us at 618-451-0100 or e-mail us at roger@americanrail.com for additional information for your specific situation.


Enrollment in and payment for a tour shall constitute agreement and acceptance by the passenger of the terms and conditions set forth herein.  In the responsibility of their own negligence, neither American Rail Excursions, Inc., Royal Street Railcar, LLC, IFE Leasing, Inc., Pacific Union Sleeping Car Co. L.L.C., Keith’s Railway, LLC or railcruise.biz  nor their agents shall be responsible for cancellations, delays, diversions, or substitution of  equipment or any act of omission whatever by Amtrak, transportation companies, of any other persons providing any of these services necessitated by same.  Nor shall they be liable for any loss or damage to baggage or property, or for injury, illness, or death, or for any damages or claims whatsoever arising from the loss or the negligence of any person not their direct employee or under their exclusive control. Transportation companies, Amtrak, etc. are not to be held responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board train or conveyances.  The passenger contracts in use by Amtrak or transportation companies and passengers or purchasers of this tour, assumes no responsibility in this connection.  Payments are not refundable unless the trip is canceled.  We reserve the right to cancel a trip prior to departure, in which case your entire payment to us will be refunded without further obligation on our part.  Smoking is not permitted on these cars (except on the ground at the longer station stops).  As is the case of all travel, regardless of destination, we cannot guarantee clear weather at all times. Clouds, rain or other weather conditions beyond our control may obscure scenic highlights.  We have no control over the various transportation companies providing services for the excursions, and thus it must be understood that changes in the equipment, dates, routes, or other accommodations, though unlikely, can occur.

Travel insurance is Highly Recommended for any extended trip to protect your interest.

Copyright © 2017 All Rights Reserved

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