Archive for the ‘travel by train’ Category

Golden Spike Tower, North Platte, Nebraska Train Attraction, Hosts Train Photo Contest

May 11, 2013

Train-loving photographers could have their work on display at one of the most popular train-oriented attractions in the world.

The Golden Spike Tower & Visitor Center, overlooking Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska, has announced its first-ever photography contest—and the rules are pretty simple.

“The only requirement is that the photo include a train—any kind of train, any part of a train,” said JoAnne Hoatson, executive director of the Golden Spike Tower & Visitor Center. “The photo can also include people, animals, scenery and so forth—there just needs to be a train somewhere in the photograph.”

The winning photo, selected by a panel of judges, will be enlarged to an 18″ x 36″ print, framed and placed on display in the main entry area of the Golden Spike Tower for one year. The photographer’s name and hometown will be prominently noted as well. The winning photograph will be announced in September.

Entries will be accepted through July 31, 2013. Online entry and contest details are available at Cost is $25 per entry. Photos can be black & white or color.

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The Golden Spike Tower & Visitor Center provides a panoramic, eight-story high view of Union Pacific’s Bailey Yard in North Platte, Nebraska, which claims to be the world’s largest rail yard. For information, visit


Vacations By Rail Introduces New Train Vacations in Alaska

May 11, 2013
A train trip through Alaska's Denali National Park  © 2013 Karen Rubin/

A train trip through Alaska’s Denali National Park © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Chicago-based specialty travel company Vacations By Rail has added five new Alaska train vacations to its product line: Alaska Rails and Trails, Alaska Wilderness Tour, Deluxe Alaska Sampler, Alaska By Daylight, and Glacier Cruise & Interior Alaska.

Vacations range from 6 to 10 days and include visits to the state’s popular cities and sights including Seward, Talkeetna, Kenai Fjords National Park, Spencer Glacier, Prince William Sound, Fairbanks, and Denali National Park. Best of all, each package includes travel aboard one or more of the Alaska Railroad’s iconic trains including the Glacier Discovery Train, Denali Star Train, and Coastal Classic Train, traveling scenic routes throughout the state.

Train vacations depart daily from May/June to August/September 2013 and start at $1,299 land-only, per person based on double occupancy.

Visit Vacations By Rail’s web site at for detailed itineraries, departure dates and pricing for new Alaska rail vacations as well as the company’s complete collection of train vacations to destinations around the globe. To book an Alaska train vacation, contact a rail specialist at 1-877-929-7245 or book online.

Vacations By Rail is a leading North American seller of rail travel and tours. Travelers can choose from a large selection of independent rail vacations, escorted rail tours, and luxury rail journeys around the world. Vacations By Rail also provides virtually every European rail pass and ticket to meet customers’ European travel needs. For more information on Vacations By Rail and the company’s products, visit or call 1-877-929-7245.

See also: Royal Caribbean’s ‘cruisetour’ brings passengers into heart of Alaska – Denali

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Free Timetable App Launched for European Rail Travel

February 14, 2013


Eurail Group GIE, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, has launched the Rail Planner App designed to assist Eurail and InterRail Pass holders © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Eurail Group GIE, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, has launched the Rail Planner App designed to assist Eurail and InterRail Pass holders © 2013 Karen Rubin/

Eurail Group GIE, based in Utrecht, the Netherlands, has launched the Rail Planner App designed to assist Eurail and InterRail Pass holders.

Rail Planner App is free and offers everything pass holders need to successfully plan and execute their rail journey by providing offline timetable information for international European trains and connections. As an offline app, an internet connection is no longer necessary once it’s been downloaded, with the exception of accessing some of the special features. This ensures that travelers will always have timetable information at hand, avoiding expensive roaming costs.

Besides timetable information, Rail Planner helps travelers to find their closest train station with the inbuilt augmented reality function, and there is also a feature which specifically benefits pass holders; rail pass holders are entitled to a whole host of extra benefits, offering free and discounted boat and ferry trips, discounts in hotels, museums and more. Information about these discounts is featured on the app, as well as city maps and country facts for all participating countries.

This free and offline app is already available from the App Store or Google Play. Rail Planner has been developed by HaCon, the leading European player in planning, scheduling and information solutions; who has also provided mobile applications to the German Railways (Deutsche Bahn), the Austrian Railways (ÖBB), and the Railteam Alliance among other major railways and transportation companies.

Eurail Group is the organization dedicated to the management of the Eurail and InterRail Passes on behalf of its members; a large number of participating European railways and shipping lines. Eurail Passes are available for non-Europeans through a network of authorized sales agents, and InterRail Passes are available for European residents via the participating railways and

Visit for more information about Rail Planner App and the Eurail Group.

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Vacations By Rail Adds New Independent and Escorted Train Tours Across North America for 2013

January 31, 2013

Chicago-based specialty travel company Vacations By Rail kicks is adding 29 new rail tours across North America to its collection of train vacations for 2013. New tours range from 3 to 21 days and visit popular destinations and take in must-experience annual events.

The fiery reds, burnt oranges and golden yellows of New England’s fall foliage are the backdrop of the new 8-day Autumn in New England escorted tour, taking travelers through the region’s autumn scenery to quintessential New England sights and attractions like the Farnsworth Museum of Art, L.L. Bean, Franconia Notch State Park, Mystic Seaport, and the Kennedy Museum in Hyannis. Highlights include scenic rail excursions aboard the Maine Eastern Railroad, Conway Scenic Railroad, and Cape Cod Central Railroad.

Discover America’s musical heritage on the 7-day Sights & Sounds rail vacation featuring two nights each in Chicago, Memphis and New Orleans, the cities that played important roles in the jazz, blues and rock ‘n roll scenes and America’s cultural development.

Experience the flavor of the southwest on the 10-day Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta escorted train tour. Traveling roundtrip from Chicago, travel to Colorado aboard the legendary California Zephyr for visits to Colorado National Monument, Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park and an excursion aboard the iconic Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railway. Continuing into New Mexico, visit Taos; Santa Fe, the cultural and artistic capital of the southwest; and, Albuquerque for a visit to one of the nation’s best-loved events—the annual International Balloon Fiesta—before returning to Chicago aboard the Southwest Chief.

Visit Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons and Mt. Rushmore on the re-mastered America’s Parks and Monuments with Mt. Rushmore 11-day escorted tour. Highlights include one-way travel from Chicago aboard the California Zephyr; visits to Yellowstone, Grand Teton and Badlands National Parks as well as Little Bighorn Battlefield, Mt. Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial; and a scenic rail excursion aboard the Black Hills Central Railroad.

Other new programs feature locally-hosted and escorted US vacations along the west coast, tours to national parks, and exciting rail-cruise vacations.

New and noteworthy in Canada is the addition of the new Churchill Town and Tundra Experience, a 7-day adventure roundtrip from Winnipeg to Churchill. Combine days on the tundra in a Tundra Buggy viewing polar bears in their natural environment with classically Canadian activities in and around town.

Further west, connect the Canadian Rockies and Seattle with new Coastal Passage packages. Select from two: Western Explorer & Coastal Passage and Canadian Rockies & Coastal Passage. Both include travel aboard Rocky Mountaineer trains in GoldLeaf service from Seattle to Vancouver and from Vancouver into the Canadian Rockies.

All of Vacations By Rail’s new train tours include outstanding rail experiences, hotel accommodations, select meals and comprehensive sightseeing. Detailed itineraries for new tours as well as Vacations By Rail’s complete product line can be found at

To book a Vacations By Rail train vacation, contact a rail specialist at 1-877-929-7245.

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