Some taking special train trip to D.C.

January 15, 2009 3:01:02 PM PST
Thousands of people from the Chicago area will be making the trip to Washington next week for the historic inauguration of President-elect Barack Obama. There's a reason a 1950 California Zephyr is parked near Union Station. Forty-one people will be heading to the inauguration in a style reminiscent of the golden age of streamline rail.

"The unique thing on this trip, the train not only becomes your transportation, it becomes your restaurant, your nightclub, and of course your hotel. And what closer hotel could you have than the Washington, DC, Union Station, 3 1/2 blocks from the Capitol, right where everything is going on?" said Roger Verbeeren, CEO American Rail Excursions.

Sleeper cars, a dining car and a lounge car will be attached to the rear of Amtrak's Capitol Limited. The scenic route passes through the Midwest, Pennsylvania's Allegheny Mountains and along the Potomac River to destination D.C. Upon arrival, the sleeper cars are parked at the train station, and that's home base for the next several days.

So who's taking this trip? Debra and Alvin Harvey.

¶"It's more exciting than I could even imagine! In my family we have a history of nervous stomachs when we get excited and my stomach's been out of whack since Monday," said Debra Ann Harvey, Inauguration Express traveler.

Alvin, a retired firefighter, saw the ad for the trip in the paper.

"I said, we ought to just try, so I called Roger and he said he had a few left, so I said, Roger, book us up," said Alvin.

For Debra, whose father was a Pullman porter, this trip will be nostalgic and historic.

"I couldn't even imagine this," she said. "I never even dreamt that a black person would be the president of the United States."

Roz will be onboard, taking her first overnight rail trip and is delighted to be sharing the experience with you! You can check out her blog on as she travels on the Inauguration Express to D.C.