“Baby, don’t you want to go?” The time machine returns to Chicago! On September 15th and 16th, climb aboard for another trip on The Joliet Rocket!
Following the success of 2017’s excursions on Metra’s Rock Island Line, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (FWRHS) is pleased to announce that world-famous steam locomotive no. 765 will once again operate a series of first-class, vintage passenger train trips between Joliet and Chicago, Illinois.
Ticket sales for The Joliet Rocket start April 4th at 6PM EST. Member pre-sales begin April 2nd. To get on the waiting list, click here.
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This living history event will also include food and vintage cocktail service, live entertainment, reenactors, photo opportunities and contests, open vestibules, an improved VIP layover reception at LaSalle Street Station and more.
• September 15th & 16th
• Two trips each day
• Improved amenities and layover
• First class, dome car and a special class to be added
• Pricing, train consist and schedule will be posted on or before April 2nd
• Tickets on sale April 4th
In addition to first class and dome car seating options, plans call for The Joliet Rocket to feature a brand new offering for the diehard railroad fan to enjoy the sights and sounds of the 765 at speed. Additional details including schedules, pricing, full train consist and more will be made available at fortwaynerailroad.org on or before April 2nd.
The sold-out 2017 event hosted over 2,500 people, including passengers from over 30 states. As an inaugural occasion, it achieved a 90% customer satisfaction rating in surveys conducted after the trip. Improvements this year will see increased event layover times and refined food and beverage service.
“We’re already building on the great feedback we received from last year’s passengers and are looking forward to partnering with Metra to make this trip another one for the history books,” said Bill Otter, FWRHS President.
Last year saw the first steam locomotive since 1973 operate into LaSalle Street Station and the return of the Hickory Creek, a historic New York Central observation car that was once operated as a part of the famed 20th Century Limited between Chicago and New York City. The car had last operated out of LaSalle Street in 1968.
This will be one of the 765’s last mainline excursions until the locomotive is outfitted with Positive Train Control (PTC). Last year, the FWRHS convened its partners in the steam locomotive and rail preservation industries to tackle the application of the federally mandated safety system, which will be required on all PTC qualified railroads by the end of 2018.
In concert with Federal Railroad Administration, Friends of the 261, Fire Up 611, Friends of the 4449 and others, the steam locomotive community will develop solutions that will ensure the continued exhibition of the country’s railroad history and compatibility with the modern railroad system.
Additional trips with the 765 are also being planned at the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad later this year.