To know the grandeur that was American passenger train travel one needs to abandon today’s double-decker tin cans that, with a small roll and coffee, shuttle commuters to work. Or haul travelers to distant cities with a maximum of discomfort and disregard. One must find the beautifully restored cars and engines, staffed by attentive crews and loaded with excellent food, that are returning to the rails.
This book will serve as a short list of where to find yesterday’s magnificent iron giants today. The restoration of wood, metal and fabric have brought back a lost elegance of travel and visitors are flocking to go back, for an hour or two, into a more graceful and luxurious time to ride the rails.
A selection of the West’s most interesting rides aboard restored passenger trains is detailed in these pages. They are the ghosts that roar! Enjoy the trip.
About Don Baumgart
Don Baumgart is a former daily newspaper reporter and was an Associated Press editor. Now a freelance writer living in California, he has written about trains for publications including International Railway Traveler, Trains magazine and Porthole cruise ship magazine, taking readers to such diverse experiences as dining aboard California’s Wine Train and riding the Panama Canal Railway.
Photos by T.D. Pittsford