CHICAGO – Passengers traveling on four Amtrak Cardinal trains will have an even better opportunity to view the route’s dazzling fall foliage when the unique Amtrak Great Dome railcar makes special appearances on the route during two round-trips between Chicago and Washington in October and November.
The car will operate on Train 50 traveling from Chicago to Washington on October 30 and November 6. It will make the return trip on Train 51 from Washington to Chicago on November 5 and November 12. The refurbished vintage car dates back to 1955 and has a dome section that runs its full length, a rare feature even when dome cars were more numerous on the nation’s railroads. Great Dome car “Ocean View” is the only Amtrak railcar of its type.
“The opportunity to ride Cardinal and view the amazing fall foliage through the New River Gorge from the panoramic windows of the Great Dome car is one our passengers will never forget,” said Brian Rosenwald, chief of product development for Amtrak. “We’re thrilled to offer this very special service.”
Named for the state bird of all six states through which it travels south of Washington (Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio, Indiana and Illinois), the Cardinal is one of the most scenic Amtrak routes. Traveling through the through the gorge, plus the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Shenandoah Valley, the route offers some of the best views of foliage in Eastern U.S.
The Amtrak Cardinal offers service three days a week in each direction with comfortable reserved coach seats and Viewliner sleeping cars with bi-level windows in each compartment. All passengers traveling on the days when the Great Dome is in service are welcome to visit it, and additional coach capacity has been added on these dates. Seats in the Great Dome car are not reserved and are available on a first-come, first served basis.