This Vintage Train Will Take You on a 1940s-inspired Ride Along the Hudson River — and It Departs From NYC

Hudson River Rail Excursions will bring back its train rides from NYC to Albany this summer aboard 1940s rail cars. Last year, tickets sold out in two minutes — here's how to snag yours.

A 1940s passenger train goes along the Hudson River in NY State in modern day times
Photo: John McCloskey Jr.

Hudson River Rail Excursions' rides from New York City to Albany, in glamorous 1940s vintage rail cars, return in June. But if you want to experience this train trip along the Hudson River, you'll have to act fast since last year's inaugural tickets sold out in less than two minutes.

Hudson River Rail Excursions will bring back rides in the Hickory Creek sleeper-lounge car aboard New York Central's 20th Century Limited train, which was called "The Most Famous Train in the World." Train travelers can book a seat in the Hickory Creek car for a round-trip journey from NYC to Albany over 21 dates in June. Passengers will travel the same route as riders in the 1940s and 1950s, on a round-trip day excursion between New York City's Moynihan Train Hall and Albany-Rensselaer Station.

A group of people dressed in 1940s attire, ready to board the 1940s passenger train in NY/NJ
Mark Forman

The higher class of service (tickets from $349) will be in the Hickory Creek car, with a full-service meal made by the onboard chef, along with beer, wine, and snacks served throughout the journey. The other option is riding in the Tavern-Lounge No. 43 car (tickets from $149), which was once used as a break area for passengers to socialize in lounge chairs and booths. Passengers in the Tavern-Lounge car will enjoy catered sandwiches with sides, as well as drinks served at their seats. All passengers are invited to bring their own beer and wine aboard the train and will have access to Amtrak's Metropolitan Lounge's first-class amenities ahead of the trip.

The day trip will leave Manhattan at 11:20 a.m. and arrive in Albany at 1:50 p.m. After the stopover, passengers will reboard at 4:30 p.m., returning to the city at 7:05 p.m.

The new experience on Hudson River Rail Excursions comes from the United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey, a nonprofit which preserves local railroad equipment, including locomotives and railroad cars, and acquired both cars in 1991.

The nostalgic train trips started last year with just four scheduled departures in October, and tickets sold out within two minutes. Eight more trips were added last year — all of which also sold out.

A dining car menu and setting for 20th Century Limited train
Courtesy of United Railroad Histroical Society of NJ

"The demand for these trips last year was far and beyond what we could have hoped for," URHS president Kevin Phalon said in a statement released to Travel + Leisure. "It was humbling to find that so many are so passionate about history and about our old railroad cars. We are looking forward to another sell-out year."

Tickets go on sale on Friday, April 22 at 10 a.m. for 2022 departures. Departures this year include trips every Friday through Sunday in June, as well as departures on three fall weekends: Sept. 30 to Oct. 2, Oct. 7 to 9, and Oct. 28 to 30. You can buy tickets here.

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