Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What does it cost to charter a car for a rail trip?  Is catering extra?
A. $5,000 per day per car.  That includes the railcars, linens, a mechanic, and a manager.   That excludes liquor, catering, catering staff and Amtrak charges.  There is a per-car savings if two or three railcars are chartered together.

Q. Where can these rail cars go?
A. Our railcars are connected to the rear of scheduled Amtrak passenger trains.  Thus, the itinerary you select will be one from the Amtrak schedule.  While our railcars are based at Union Station in Los Angeles, we can arrange for your trip to originate at many Amtrak stations throughout California and the U.S.  This would usually necessitate “dead-heading” the railcars to or from a location. The dead-head charge is less than the per-day rate.

Q.  How many people do these cars accommodate?
A. The California dome/sleeper car sleeps 16, day use 22; the Kansas open-platform car sleeps six, day use 12; the Utah parlor café-lounge car accommodates up to 30 people. Total day use for the three cars is 64; sleeping capacity is 22.

Q. How do I set up a charter trip?
A. Call us at 720-635-2002 or e-mail President and General Manager Jim Bain at jbain@aretrain.com.  We offer a complete, custom-tailored charter service from the itinerary planning phase, to making arrangements with Amtrak to onboard catering and other services.

Q. How much in advance do I need to make arrangements to charter a trip?
A. We need 30 days to make arrangement with Amtrak. 

Q. What does it cost to rent a car for a special event in the station?
A. The cars are not available for in-station (stationary) events – only for events where the car(s) are connected to an Amtrak train.  Popular daytrips from LA are to San Diego or Santa Barbara.

Q. Can I charter or rent just one car?
A. You may rent The Kansas without another car.  If you charter or rent either the California (no kitchen) or the Utah (no bathroom), you must also have one or both of the other cars, too.