A Bucket-List Train Ride… if we want it

Folks, we have a rare opportunity to ride one of America’s historic railcars – if we want to take advantage of it. 

New York Central business car #3 was built in 1928 as a traveling office and hotel for railroad executives. The beautifully furnished car frequently played host to railroad customers and politicians, but also appealed to celebrities and presidential campaigners.

Now in private hands, the car has been fully restored inside and out, updated with 21st century conveniences, and mechanically meets Amtrak’s 110 mph criteria.

Last year, John Sacerdote had a chance to ride the car from New York’s Penn Station to Albany. Here are his thoughts.

My first thought – riding NYC 3 is a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I’m glad I had a chance to do it. As much as I enjoyed the trip, it occurred to me “…we all need to do this, as many Amherst members, friends, and relatives as possible should have an opportunity to ride NYC 3.”

And we can. The car is available to the Amherst Railway Society for charter. We just have to plan, organize, and manage the trips. If we can do that, we are all in for a real treat.

Because everything about the car is special, it makes you feel special. Really. The Amtrak conductors usher you right to the car in Penn Station, the interior is beautiful, and we can arrange for onboard food service if we want it. The scenery along the Hudson River was gorgeous and the six-axle heavyweight rode like a dream at 96 mph.

Arriving in Albany, we attracted a crowd on the platform. People wanted to get a closer look at the car, and probably equally important, who was on it.

So, that’s our challenge – a bucket-list rain ride can be ours, if we want to take advantage of it.