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Luxury Amtrak Cars in S. Florida to Have Butlers, Five-course Meals

July 2, 2007 By: Travel Agent Central Contributor Travel Agent

Patrons on an Amtrak train to South Florida will be able to order five-course meals, enjoy butler service and sleep in stylish comfort amid elegant vintage furnishings, under a deal announced Wednesday, the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel reports. Amtrak's Silver Meteor train between Washington, D.C., and South Florida will offer deluxe service on restored private rail cars for two months this winter. The nation's publicly owned rail service will partner with GrandLuxe Rail Journeys, which will attach seven of its classic coaches to the Amtrak train. Prices for the two-day, one-night trip on the GrandLuxe Limited begin at $789. There are 40 departures scheduled between Nov. 6 and Jan. 4. The service is part of a fuller schedule of holiday train trips intended to broaden exposure to GrandLuxe's high-end rail excursions, which typically last longer than seven days and cost several thousand dollars. Six other routes will get joint Amtrak/GrandLuxe trains, including Chicago-Los Angeles and Chicago-San Francisco. The Silver Meteor makes several scheduled stops in Broward and Palm Beach counties, but the GrandLuxe Limited passengers will be segregated from the rest of the train. It isn't clear whether passengers on the Limited service will be able to board or depart at interim stops made between Washington, D.C., and Miami. After the shorter holiday excursions, the GrandLuxe cars will return to their longer trips, such as a seven-night Grand Canyon & the Southwest itinerary scheduled for most of January and February. Prices for that journey start at $3,500. In total, GrandLuxe offers 13 itineraries, most in the western United States, aboard a 21-car train. Based in Evergreen, CO, GrandLuxe was formed in 2006 by Tom Rader, who also owns Colorado Railcar, a manufacturer of dome cars for excursions such as those offered by cruise lines in Alaska. Rader started the firm after acquiring the assets of American Orient Express, another operator of luxury rail vacations. (DB)

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