Midcentury Train Travel Is Making a Comeback Thanks to These 1940s-inspired Trips Along the Hudson River

Tickets to book start Jan. 20.

Aerial view of the Hudson River Rail vintage train traveling through New Jersey

Adam Elmquist/Courtesy of United Railroad Historical Society of NJ

The dream of stepping back into time to the days of 1940s train travel is becoming a reality thanks to Hudson River Rail.

The company, which is celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, is offering rides on restored railroad cars from 1948. The first departure, which travels between New York City to Albany, will begin on Feb. 10 according to the company’s recently announced 2023 schedule.

“Our train runs on the very same tracks on which the train ran in the 1940s,” Kevin Phalon, Executive Director of the United Railroad Historical Society of NJ, Hudson River Rail Excursions told Travel + Leisure. “Folks in 1948 looked out the very same windows at the very same view that we see 75 years later. It really is as close to time travel as you can get.”

Tickets will become available on Jan. 20th.

A group dressed in vintage clothes on board the Hudson River Rail vintage train

Mark Forman/Courtesy of United Railroad Historical Society of NJ

The historic cars were once part of the 20th Century Limited, an express passenger train company that was in operation during the years of 1902 to 1967. Travelers departing Pennsylvania Station’s Moynihan Train Hall will board one of the two historic cars in the fleet: the Hickory Creek and Tavern Lounge No. 43. Included in the ticket will be lunch, drinks and, of course, stunning views thanks to the panoramic windows.

“The bulk of our passengers are millennial folks looking for a unique experience but don't necessarily know the backstory of the 20th Century Limited,” Phalon said. “However, we also have many train buffs for whom this trip is a bucket list item. It is always special to see older folks share their stories with younger people, who they would likely never cross paths with if not for our train.”

The train company is also hosting a Valentine’s Day Special from February 10-14th. This exclusive trip will feature a tasting menu, wine pairings, which range from $299 to $399 for first class service on the Tavern Lounge No. 43 and Hickory Creek, respectively.

Train lovers can purchase tickets for an overnight journey from New York to Chicago in celebration of the 75th anniversary of the Hickory Creek car which will run $2,500 per person between September 17-21.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles