The Rail Ventures luxury rail car, the Yerba Buena is available for private charter almost anywhere in North America. We travel on existing Amtrak routes, or VIA Rail routes in to Canada. Our rail car can be  added to scheduled Amtrak or VIA Rail passenger services, depending on the itinerary that you select. Even as we become part of a regular passenger train your chartered rail car offers complete privacy in luxurious surroundings. The excellent viewing from our platform car provides an unsurpassed panorama of the diversity and landscapes of North America.

Amtrak and VIA Rail Canada travel to most major cities and many famous national park and resort areas in North America. The following are some of the popular sample destinations available.

Amtrak and VIA RAIL Destinations: Atlanta, Boston*, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, El Paso, Glacier National Park, Montana**, Glenwood Springs (Aspen), Halifax, Houston, Jacksonville, Jasper National Park (Banff and Lake Louise), Los Angeles, Miami, Milwaukee, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Montreal, New Orleans, New York*, Oakland (San Francisco), Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Portland, Sacramento, St. Louis, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Spokane, Tampa, Vancouver, Washington DC.

* Boston and New York are accessible by the Yerba Buena only, as bi-level cars are unable to travel the tunnels and bridges in the Baltimore-New York-Boston corridor. The Yerba Buena is a luxury observation and lounge car, with four deluxe sleeping compartments, shower and bathrooms, galley and private dining parlor.

** Glacier National Park is accessible traveling to White Fish, Montana, and park the train car between June through mid-September. You will be able to travel with a car  to the world famous Glacier National Park and at night enjoy the luxury of your private train car amenities.

Sample Itineraries & Destinations

The “Capitol” & the “Cardinal” 
Chicago to Washington, DC. Round trip, 5 days, 4 nights.

This round trip itinerary has been designed to provide you with a classic rail experience, traveling from Chicago to Washington and return over two historic rail lines, the Baltimore and Ohio and the Chesapeake and Ohio, thus avoiding any backtracking and providing a new rail experience each travel day.

Day 1: 6:30 PM. Board your private rail car at Chicago’s Union Station for an evening departure to Washington. The evening commences with a cocktail welcome reception, served by your personal chef and steward. Dinner will be served under the stars in the vista dome. Overnight onboard the train.

Day 2: After a delicious breakfast served onboard, relax in the dome for a day of spectacular sightseeing as the train travels through the mountains of West Virginia, stopping at White Sulphur Springs, home of the “Greenbriar”. A leisurely lunch, featuring the finest regional cuisine, is prepared from the freshest ingredients by your private chef and served as the countryside unfolds en route to Washington. Shortly after dinner service, arrive at Washington Union Station, your home for the next two nights. 

Day 3: Spend the day exploring the nation’s capitol. Visit the White House, the Capitol and allow time to experience the Smithsonian, a Washington “must do”. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are available onboard if you choose, or you may wish to explore Washington’s famous restaurants on your own.

Day 4, Sunday: The morning and early afternoon are free to further explore this fascinating city.

In mid-afternoon re-board your private rail car and depart for Chicago. Enjoy another exquisite dinner in the vista dome as the rail line winds through the forests and mountains of Virginia.

Day 5, Monday: A morning arrival at Chicago Union Station ends your deluxe rail adventure.

The California Zephyr
Chicago to San Francisco. 3 days, 2 nights.*

The California Zephyr travels America’s earliest transcontinental rail route, the most scenic rail adventure in the country. Following the trail of pioneers and gold prospectors, this historic route passes through Denver and climbs and descends through the spectacular Rocky Mountains in daylight, stopping at historic Glenwood Springs, gateway to Aspen. The following day, the rail line passes through Reno, then climbs the Sierra Nevadas over the historic 7000 foot Donner Pass into California. This amazing transcontinental journey terminates at Emeryville, across the bay from San Francisco. 

Day 1: Board your exclusive rail car at Chicago Union Station in early afternoon. You will be greeted by your private steward and chef who have prepared a welcome reception. Your rail car will travel on Amtrak Train # 5, the California Zephyr. In early evening, cross over the Mississippi River, and enjoy a gourmet dinner under the stars in the vista dome as you pass through the heart of the mid-west.

Day 2: After a morning arrival in Denver*, the California Zephyr begins the climb into the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains. From the vantage of the vista dome, view the stunning landscapes of the Colorado Rockies. Throughout the day, the finest regional cuisine will be served at breakfast, lunch and dinner, prepared onboard by your chef. 

Day 3: This morning, the rail line climbs into the rugged Sierra Nevada, after passing through Reno. The train traverses Donner Pass through the heart of the Sierra, before descending into the fertile Sacramento Valley. Another sumptuous breakfast and delicious lunch are served onboard. Arrival in Emeryville (San Francisco*) is scheduled for a late afternoon to end your transcontinental adventure.

* Limousine transfers to downtown San Francisco and hotel reservations can be arranged by Rail Ventures to complement your rail adventure.

* You may also add a day stopover in Denver en route to San Francisco. The historic 1880’s Denver Station is located in the revitalized LoDo section of the city, near Coors Field, with literally hundreds of shops and restaurants within easy walking distance.

*Round-trip, six days, Chicago/San Francisco may also be chartered, with up to three days in San Francisco. This would require hotel accommodations in San Francisco, as Amtrak does not allow stationary car occupancy in the Bay Area.

The City of New Orleans – An American Rail Journey
Chicago to New Orleans. Round trip, 5 days, 4 nights.

The City of New Orleans is not only a famous city, known as the birthplace of Jazz, it is also a fabled train service memorialized in American folk music. A private rail car experience with Rail Ventures will take you back in time to the era of the “Golden Age of Railroading”. The City of New Orleans provides the excitement of Dixieland Jazz.

Day 1: In early evening, board your Rail Ventures’ exclusive rail car at Chicago Union Station and familiarize yourself with the car features and amenities available. Enjoy a welcome reception served by your private steward in the elegant surroundings of a Rail Ventures’ private car. An exquisite dining experience, prepared by your chef, awaits you in the dome as you depart Chicago, with the skyline in the distance as you roll into the countryside. Your rail car travels on Amtrak Train # 59, the famous “City of New Orleans”.

Day 2: The rail journey to New Orleans takes you through Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi and Louisiana. Breakfast and lunch are prepared by your chef, presenting the finest in regional cuisine. Arrive in New Orleans in late afternoon to begin your stay in this exciting city.

New Orleans offers unlimited attractions and nightlife. Riverboat cruises, Dixieland Jazz clubs, the French Quarter and fine southern dining, spiced with the flavors of New Orleans all offer the experience of a lifetime.

Day 3: Enjoying New Orleans.

Day 4: Your New Orleans adventure continues.

Day 5: Depart in the early afternoon from New Orleans on Amtrak’s Train # 58 for the return trip to Chicago. Afternoon refreshments are served in the dome where you have an unobstructed view of the city and countryside. This evening enjoy another chef prepared elegant dinner.

Day 6: An early morning arrival in Chicago ends your “City of New Orleans” experience.

The Southwest Chief
Chicago to Los Angeles. Round trip, 7days, 6 nights.

In the 1940’s and 50’s this was the route of the celebrities, to the City of Angels and Hollywood. With Rail Ventures, take a trip back in time and enjoy the “Romance of the Rails” on this transcontinental journey.

Day 1: Board your Rail Ventures’ luxury rail car for a mid afternoon departure from Chicago Union Station. Cocktails and hor d’oeuvres in the vista dome await you, served by your private steward, as Amtrak Train 
# 3, The Southwest Chief, rolls out of Chicago into the countryside. This evening, dine under the stars in the dome dining area and indulge yourself in a gourmet dinner prepared by your private chef.

Day 2: Awake this morning to breakfast in Colorado, and enjoy lunch in New Mexico. Your chef will prepare zesty, regional offerings from the freshest of ingredients. In mid-afternoon, pass through Lamy, the gateway to Santa Fe. A classic “happy hour” awaits you this afternoon and dinner in the dome is accompanied by the stunning landscapes of New Mexico.

Day 3: Arrive this morning in Los Angeles at Union Station to complete the westbound leg of your rail journey.

Day 3 & 4: Your rail car will be positioned at Union Passenger Terminal in Los Angeles during your two-night, three-day stopover. There are many attractions to enjoy. Visit Hollywood, the Universal Studio Tour, a trip to Disneyland and the coastal communities of Marina Del Rey, Santa Monica or Manhattan Beach. All meals are included onboard your rail car if desired, or you may wish to explore the famous Los Angeles dining scene on your own. Your dedicated chef and steward are there to attend to your every need.

Day 5: This evening, you are back onboard for an evening departure from Los Angeles on Amtrak Train # 4 to begin the journey back to Chicago.

Day 6: On the return journey, you have the opportunity to view much of the countryside that you passed through at night on the westbound portion of the trip.

Day 7: For your last day onboard, another specialty breakfast and gourmet luncheon will be prepared by your chef, highlighting an unforgettable rail experience. Arrive at Chicago Union Station in late afternoon to end your Southwest Chief experience.

The Adirondack.
New York to Montreal. Round trip, 3 nights, 4 days.

A round-trip rail journey from New York to Montreal, with a two-night stopover, allows you to experience one of the most fascinating cities in North America. Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world, with all the old world charms, including historic buildings over 350 years old from the days of the French occupation of North America. The finest of restaurants, a European style casino, fantastic entertainment and the flavor of Europe make Montreal a sparkling destination. Your private rail car travels on Amtrak’s Adirondack service. This rail adventure is especially enjoyable in late autumn, when you can enjoy the spectacular colors of fall foliage.

Day 1: Board Rail Ventures’ “Yerba Buena” this morning at Pennsylvania Station in New York. A classic observation lounge and sleeping car, with an outside viewing platform, the Yerba Buena boasts two large drawing rooms, two compartments, a shower and bathroom, plus a private galley and dining parlor. After settling in to the comforts of your rail car, enjoy a specialty breakfast prepared by your own chef as Amtrak Train # 69, the Adirondack, departs New York. From New York, the rail line follows the Hudson River to Albany, passing historic West Point.

En route to Montreal, the Adirondack passes through upstate New York. Arrive in Montreal’s Central Station this evening at 7:30 PM to begin your two night stay to experience French Canada. Central Station is located in the heart of downtown Montreal.

Day 2 & 3: Montreal boasts many superb attractions, restaurants and historic buildings, all within walking distance of Central Station. Visit Old Montreal and Old Port, the birthplace of Montreal in 1642. In Montreal, fine food is one of life’s delights, with more than 4000 restaurants serving up the national cuisine of some 80 countries.

Day 4: After a leisurely breakfast served onboard, the southbound Adirondack, Amtrak Train # 68, departs for the return journey to New York. Arrive in New York in early evening to end your Adirondack experience.

The Empire Builder
Chicago to Seattle, 3 days, 2 nights.

The “Empire Builder” was made famous by the Great Northern Railroad, traveling through America’s heartland to Glacier National Park, through Northern Idaho and Washington to Seattle and the Pacific Ocean. Rail Ventures can re-create this historic rail journey in the luxury of your exclusive rail car.

Your private rail car travels on Amtrak Train # 7.

Day 1: In early afternoon, board your rail car at Chicago Union Station. Your chef has prepared a welcome reception, featuring cocktails and hor d’oeuvres. Enjoy the views of Chicago from the dome car as the train rolls into the countryside. An elegant dinner highlights the evening.

Day 2: In the morning, awake in North Dakota. Fields and farms fill the landscape as the trek across the American Prairies begins. Breakfast and lunch, served with regional flare and prepared from the freshest of ingredients are served at your leisure. Enjoy an elegant dinner in Montana in the comfort of the dome car as you pass through the Rocky Mountains and Glacier National Park.

Day 3: Another scrumptious breakfast is served as the train passes through the Cascade Mountains, arriving in Seattle in late morning to end your transcontinental rail journey on the “Empire Builder”.


Setting the Standard for Discerning Rail Travel
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