Chicago Amtrak Train Days Events Announced

Amtrak is offering a series of events as part of its Amtrak Train Days in Chicago next month.

The events, which require a ticket purchase include self-guided tours of the Amtrak Exhibit Train, an excursion train, VIP train tour, “Hard Hat” Tour and a tour of the Joseph Szabo Control Center.

Joseph Szabo Control Center Tour

May 8, 9, and 10 at 9 a.m., 11 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2 p.m. Cost: $50. A 45 minute tour with each tour having a capacity of 20. Codes for the tour are CHI to CCT. The center controls 583 train movements a day. Participants will hear a short presentation on the history of train movements, the technologies used at the center, and visit the control office where trains are controlled. No photography will be permitted and a signed waiver of release will also be required.

Hard Hat Tour

May 9 at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. Cost: $75 (must be 18 or older). A 90 minute walking tour with a capacity of 20 people per tour, Codes for the tour are CHI to HHT. Participants will receive souvenir hard hats and take a tour of Chicago Union Station. Doors to hidden stairways will be opened, secret unused underground tunnels seen, and special one-time only access to never area not seen by the public will be provided. The sights will include the top of the five-story Great Hall glass atrium, the kitchen space where meals were prepared and the three-story restaurant space where travelers enjoyed them, a steam tunnel that carried super-heated steam, and former mail platforms. The tour cannot accommodate those unable to walk on his or her own or anyone who cannot climb stairs. A signed waiver of release will also be required.

VIP Train Tour

The Chicago to Three Oaks, Mich., trip will oprate on May 8, departing at 5 p.m. and returning at 10 p.m. Cost is $100 and the capacity is 200.  Codes for the tour are CHI to THR and return THR to CHC. Passengers will visit the Journeyman Distillery in Three Oaks and ride in Superliner coaches. Assorted adult beverages, snacks and entertainment will be provided. There will be a tour of the distillery while visitors sample beverages and enjoy appetizers. After the two hour tour, the train will depart for Chicago Union Station. Only adults 21 and older are allowed to purchase tickets and IDs will be checked before boarding.

Excursion Train May 9 with departures at 10 a.m., noon, and 2 p.m. Tickets are  $10 for adults and $5 for children. Each train has a capacity of 210. Code is CHI to CTD. Booking for the Joseph Szabo Control Center Tour, Hard Hat Tour, VIP Train, and Excursion Train may be made online at Amtrak.com for the VIP Train and Excursion Train. All other tours have to be booked in the station that day or via 1-800-USA-RAIL. For more information, go to www.amtraktraindays.com.

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