Virginia Museum of Transportation raises thousands with luxury railcar service

Luxury railcar attached to regularly scheduled Amtrak trains

By Alison Wickline - Reporter

ROANOKE, Va. - Amtrak's entrance into Roanoke has been a hot topic for a month now. But just this weekend, it was another service on the rail line that brought more than 100 people on board.

A luxury railcar is open for passengers in an effort to raise money for the Virginia Museum of Transportation. This weekend, the Virginia Museum of Transportation began offering first class rail service, with private luxury rail cars attached to the rear of the regularly scheduled Amtrak trains running back and forth from Washington, D.C.

"Amtrak offers a very fine service but we're offering premium luxury service, catered meals, full staff attending to your every need," said Jim Stump, chairman of the Forward 611 Committee.

Tickets cost $225 each way and include all meals and drinks. Part of the proceeds from the luxury railcar ride will help the museum keep the Norfolk and Western 611 in good working condition.

"These are deliberately designed to revenue generating events for the museum, that support the museum, its operations, and of course a portion of this does go to help maintenance and the continuing operation of 611," Stump said. 

The museum ran six trips this weekend and raised $5,000. And the museum is already planning for another full weekend of trips in the spring. While the price for a luxury rail ride in the historic moonlight dome is a little higher, riders said it's worth it. 

"Just the experience -- I've never been on a private railcar. The support of the museum and the whole experience," said Bill Sauerteig. 

For information about the Virginia Museum of Transportation, click here.

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