American Orient Express
United States - Deluxe Rail Journeys On Americas Premier Train
By Carl Morrison, Carl@TrainWeb.com
WHO: The American
Orient Express (AOE) is owned by Oregon Rail Holdings, LLC (ORH) of
Portland, Oregon. AOE has been owned and operated by Oregon Rail
Holdings since 1997.
WHAT: AOE is North America’s only private, deluxe train, offering eight
regional, three to nine-night itineraries in 2006 throughout the United
States and Mexico. AOE is noted for its exceptional service,
outstanding cuisine, and deluxe, vintage furnishings and
appointments. The classically trained staff pampers each
WHEN: Unlike regional trains that operate only seasonally, AOE operates
during all four seasons, taking travelers on regional rail experiences
at the optimal time of year for each destination. For example,
the AOE spends early spring in the Deep South, spring and fall on the
West Coast, the summer months in the National Parks, and fall and
winter in Mexico’s Copper Canyon.
WHERE: AOE’s itineraries often include the tracks less traveled, taking
travelers on “rare mileage” routes that have been virtually abandoned
to only freight trains since the decline of commercial passenger
service some 50 years ago. In developing its eight itineraries,
AOE has sought out these tracks to give travelers the rare opportunity
to see some of the most spectacular wilderness areas of North
America. In addition to offering travelers a deluxe, vintage rail
experience, AOE programs include in-depth, regional exploration along
the way featuring lecturers, historians, off-train tours and excursions.
WHY: North America is undergoing a renaissance in rail travel, with
increased interest in transportation and tourist-related trains.
AOE believes there is a need for all levels of service, and is
committed to providing a high-end product that delivers quality as well
as the widest variety of itineraries offered by one company.
HOW: AOE’s 17-car
train consist (excluding locomotives) travels on eight separate
itineraries depending on the time of year. To reposition the
train from east to west, the company offers an annual transcontinental
itinerary from Washington, D.C., to Los Angeles in April.
Throughout the rest of the year, the train travels in the west, north
and deep south, including such varied venues as the Pacific Coast,
Rocky Mountains, national parks, and Mexico’s Copper Canyon.