In various countries around the world, tourists can book luxury train excursions. Those typically run only several times per year, use heritage carriages, are far more expensive than regular trains, are booked as full packages including luxury meals and excursions, and may take up to two weeks. Some examples:

For such journeys, the travel experience and excursion itself is the aim, not entirely unlike an ocean cruise.

Are there any such luxury train excursions in the United States?

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    This is not an answer to your question as asked, but in the US you can attach private rail cars to public trains if you have the means. See Private Rail cars as the first example of what I found with Google. So go wild, create your own dream trip (from around $5k per day, but not sure what that works out to on an per person basis)
    – Peter M
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 17:06
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    @MichaelHampton No, Amtrak is nothing like this at all. Amtrak long-distance services are normal scheduled trains, most of them running daily, with the option of booking comfortable accommodation and included meals, but there is nothing exclusive about it.
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 20:39
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    Gerrit, I believe @MichaelHampton was being sarcastic
    – STT LCU
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 10:11
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    OK, Amtrak is not particularly exclusive, but most of its routes are more tourist attractions than means of transport. Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 19:28
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    Not sure that really qualifies as it’s only a few hours, but the Napa Valley Wine Train may be the closest in spirit.
    – jcaron
    Commented Feb 13, 2020 at 1:53

3 Answers 3


There are no luxury train services in the United States.

The two long-distance services, Amtrak and the Alaska Railroad, do offer premium services on their regular routes with greater comfort and privacy and a higher level of service than coach. You can even buy multiple bedrooms on Amtrak and have them merged ensuite for more space, or buy out a whole car, as sports teams or other groups sometimes do. I would recommend taking a sleeper car trip if one ever has the opportunity, and the service is very friendly; just understand that even by American standards, nothing about the experience would be mistaken for "luxury."

The way luxury rail travel is done in the U.S. is on private rail cars, which are attached to one of the aforementioned operators' trains. This is more comparable to chartering a yacht than it is to booking an ultra-premium airline seat, but is common enough that Amtrak provides guidelines for privately-owned railcars, and there is an American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners. AAPRCO provides a list of travel opportunities for members of the public (often for promotions or repositioning), but for the luxury experience you'll likely need to go through their directory of cars available for charter and contact the owner directly to negotiate a booking.

There are any number of operators, like Los Angeles-based L.A. Rail, that do rent out cars to the public. Seattle-based Puget Sound Private Car is another, and Pittsburgh-based Berlin Sleeping Car another. I have never used any of these companies and do not endorse them, but I cannot find any centralized portal to them, and there are likely to be many more in different parts of the country. Berlin suggests a range of $2500-7000 per day; like a yacht charter, the circumstances and services of each trip are unique and will be priced accordingly.

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    Indeed, there's a humorous bit in the TV show Sex and the City where the ladies plan a luxury Amtrak trip with lots of excitement and the dream of luxury train travel - and then you see the incredibly disappointing Amtrak carriages! Heh.
    – Fattie
    Commented Feb 12, 2020 at 13:35

This Grand Canyon train tour is the only luxury one with which I am familiar.

Texas and Colorado also have a couple that sound interesting.

There are others in Texas. They are more nostalgic than luxury.

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    Those look more like heritage tourist railways than luxury cruises.
    – gerrit
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:26
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    The first one has a charter service that is more luxurious. The rest, I do not know much about besides seeing them at the station. They are primarily for transportation to your reserved hotel accommodations. Not for live aboard bookings.
    – Dean F.
    Commented Feb 11, 2020 at 18:34

While not exactly a train cruise, if you acquire your own personal rail car, you can get Amtrak to transport you.

Amtrak provides the ability for rail/train car owners to have their privately-owned rail/train cars attached to our trains between specified locations to see North America in an extraordinary way. We also provide many services, including 480v standby power, water, ice, septic, car wash, parking, and switching.

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