Union Station: Forget private planes. Private rail is the way to go

This is the seventh in a series of posts on the history of Union Station that we are running this month. The station celebrates its 75th anniversary on May 3.

Tucked in a low-profile corner of the Union Station complex are a half dozen or so glittery antique rail cars — several of which bear the iconic name, Pullman. This is the private parking lot for corporations and travelers who love the elegance of private rail car travel and have the money and time to spend on it. It’s one of only a handful of full-service private rail car facilities in the United States.

Among antique cars sometimes in residence is one owned by billionaire Jean Paul DeJoria, founder of Patron Tequila and co-founder of Paul Mitchell hair products. His luxury Patron Tequila Express car (see images above) has been carefully restored for his family’s private sojourns and as a rolling ambassador for Patron’s marketing and charitable efforts.

The 85-foot-long car, built in 1927, contains an observation parlor, dining room, bedrooms, marble bath with stained glass windows and a full kitchen capable of producing multi-course meals. The décor is eclectic, as the photos show, including gorgeous hand-carved wood panels from Kashmir.

To travel from one spot to another, the Patron car, like other private cars, books passage with Amtrak and is attached to the rail carrier’s regularly scheduled trains. The cars must be Amtrak-certified and there is a fee for this, as well as for parking. But if you own a private rail car, you may not worry much about the costs of travel and lodging. And you can save money on hotels.

Here’s more information … in case you’re planning a trip in your private rail car.


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