Joliet Rocket ticketing update

By | Joliet Rocket, News

Following Amtrak’s announcement in March concerning charter trips and passenger cars, the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (FWRHS) made the decision to delay ticket sales for The Joliet Rocket in order to reassess and reconfirm the cars planned for the event.

As of this writing, it is the goal of the FWRHS to finalize the consist for The Joliet Rocket by May 1st and open ticket sales within 30 days.

“While the delay in ticket sales is unfortunate, it’s our priority to make sure our customers have a seamless experience throughout the entirety of our event – from the ticketing process through the trip itself,” said Kelly Lynch, Vice President. “In light of the new policy, we needed to guarantee the availability of the equipment to the best of our ability, because in most cases the cars themselves are as unique as the steam locomotive.”

A sampling of the cars being confirmed for The Joliet Rocket, which is planned to include Deluxe Coach, First Class, First Class Suites, Dome Car, Open Air Car and Executive Class. For ticket prices, click here.

While the September 15th and 16th trips are not Amtrak events, the privately owned passenger cars that commonly operate in excursion service have been traditionally stored and transported by Amtrak at cost. New restrictions on the transportation of private cars currently limit where many are stored or how they are delivered to venues around the country.

In 2017, over 2,500 people enjoyed 2017’s four roundtrip excursions between Joliet, Illinois and Chicago’s LaSalle Street Station. The trips this year will feature an extended layover, improved service and other amenities.

FWRHS will notify its membership, the general public, and subscribers to the event waitlist when this issue has been satisfactorily resolved and ticket sales can progress. Click here to join our waitlist!



Joliet Rocket ticket sales postponed as clarification on new Amtrak policy sought

By | Joliet Rocket, News

On March 28th, 2018, Amtrak announced a new policy that discontinued special trains and charter trips with historic passenger cars. This decision directly impacts dozens of historical railroad organizations throughout the country.

While the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (FWRHS) does not have any Amtrak charters planned in 2018, the privately-owned, historic cars included in our excursions commonly use Amtrak terminals for staging and use Amtrak trains to travel to different venues around the country.

The new Amtrak policy will undoubtedly disrupt the passenger consist or delay car movements for The Joliet Rocket, our own excursions planned for September 15th and 16th in Chicago with Metra.

To date, over 1,862 people have indicated their interest in these events and ticket sales were scheduled to start early next week.

At this time, we feel it would be imprudent to open ticket sales as previously scheduled before we have more clarity on the situation. As such, this policy will force us to revisit our contractual agreements with car owners, re-confirm both their availability and costs, and confirm Amtrak’s ability to transport them to our venue. Amtrak’s participation was critical to last year’s Joliet Rocket trips.

We will notify our membership, the general public, and those who have subscribed to our waitlist when this issue has been satisfactorily addressed and ticket sales can progress. Click here to join our waitlist!


FWRHS looks forward to making The Joliet Rocket another safe and successful celebration of our country’s history as the railroad preservation community eagerly works to develop a productive alternative to this policy.

We and our sister organizations, including Friends of the 261, Virginia Museum of Transportation, Friends of the 4449 and others appreciate your patience.

For more information on this new policy and its effects, check out this recent article from TRAINS Magazine.