Most people have no idea that you can travel by private railcar in America today, but you can! It’s a unique and unforgettable way to get where you’re going, and a great way to spend time with family or friends. You can charter the Swift Stream for your own private journey virtually anywhere that Amtrak goes across the country. We have a chef/car manager who goes along on every trip to take care of things for you.
We are based in Kansas City, Missouri, at beautiful Union Station. You can start your journey right in Kansas City, or it’s an easy trip to Chicago, which gives you access to a large number of Amtrak routes.
The Swift Stream has 6 bedrooms, each with one upper berth and one lower. For daytime travel, the berths fold away to make a long sofa or chair, depending on the room. Each bedroom has a private toilet and wash basin, a very small coat closet, a storage rack for luggage, and individual fans and reading lights. Each bedroom also features a large picture window. Pairs of adjoining bedrooms can open en-suite to make a larger room accommodating 4 passengers. One bedroom normally houses our crew, leaving 5 rooms available for passengers.
In addition to the private toilet in each bedroom, there is a larger bathroom at the end of the hall. Across from the bathroom is a shower and changing room in place of the former porter’s bedroom.
The Swift Stream has a small but fully functional galley kitchen, with ovens, cooktop, fridge and freezer, sink and dishwasher. An adjoining pantry has plenty of storage space to supply trips lasting several days. Our crew prepares and serves all meals for you, with whatever menu you like.
The lounge features comfortable booths seating 16 people. There’s also a curved sofa, original to the car, in one end of the lounge. We have a TV on board with a DVD player and satellite antenna, which even works while you’re traveling – except when you’re in a tunnel!
Mechanically, the Swift Stream meets all modern Amtrak safety and mechanical requirements, and is thoroughly inspected every year. The car is certified for travel anywhere on the Amtrak system, at speeds up to 110 mph. We have an on-board diesel generator and large fuel tank, in case we are disconnected from normal train-line electricity. Standard 120 volt outlets are available throughout the car for passenger use. A tank for fresh water supplies all the needs for the car. We also have a sewage holding tank, as required by sanitation rules. Fully functional heating and air conditioning keep the temperature comfortable inside, whatever the outside weather.
How much does it cost? Since each trip is custom planned, the cost depends on where you want to go. A ballpark estimate is approximately $3,000 to $5,000 per day while traveling. It’s more expensive to travel long distances, and much less expensive to just occupy the car in a station. That cost is for the whole car, which has accommodations for ten passengers overnight. A slightly bigger group can travel comfortably on daytime-only trips. Keep in mind that in many destinations you can stay on board the car, so you don’t need hotel rooms. The major exceptions are New York and Chicago, where there is no station parking.
If you’re interested in learning more, please email our car manager. He would love to answer any questions and help you plan your own trip!