Amtrak City of New Orleans
Route Guide - Train #58 & #59
Chicago * Memphis
You are traveling on board the City Of New Orleans, an Amtrak®
Superliner® train, the delightful route between Chicago and New Orleans.
While on board, you will be experiencing the utmost in train travel and
some of the region's most musical cities. Jazz, Ragtime, Dixie, Blues
-- even Rock'n Roll -- all of America's music was born along this route.
THE FUN STARTS HERE.
There is a lot to see and do aboard the City Of New Orleans and a
variety of places to relax, socialize and enjoy a meal. Listen for
announcements of the specific times and locations of activities, and most
of all -- have fun.
Movies in the Sightseer Lounge Car
and other videos, including features for children during summer months,
will be shown.
Join fellow passengers in the Lounge Car for drinks and complimentary
snacks, and don't forget to ask about specialty drinks with a regional
flavor. You can place your order, play some cards and enjoy friendly
MEET THE CREW
The Conductor is in charge of all crew members aboard, and is responsible
for the collection of tickets and the safe operation of the train. The
Chief supervises the on-board service people, and is responsible for the
service you receive while you are on the City of New Orleans.
ON-BOARD ACCOMMODATIONS THAT PAMPER AND PLEASE
Roomy Coach Seats with a Coach Attendant ensures that you are
comfortable and well taken care of during your travels. Please keep in
mind that seats are assigned for the duration of the trip. If you wish
to change seats consult your Attendant first. Please do not re-seat
First Class Service is provided to you by your Sleeping Car
Attendant. Your Attendant will prepare your room for daytime or nighttime
travel, provide wake-up service and bring your morning paper and beverages
to your room. Meals and other amenities are included with your First Class
accommodations. Individual speakers bring you recorded music (Channels 2
and 3) and train announcements (Channels 1 and 2). The channel selector
is located near the reading light in your room.
Private Sleeping Accommodations are available based on your needs.
Deluxe Rooms can accommodate two adults and have a private restroom and
shower. Family Rooms can accommodate up to two adults and three children,
and also have a private restroom and shower. Economy Rooms can accommodate
one or two people. Ample public restrooms and showers are conveniently
located in the lower level of the Sleeping Car. Sleeping Accommodations
may be purchased on board from the Conductor (subject to availability).
Dining Car Service offers a delicious dining experience that is
truly pleasing to the palate with its unique Cajun flair. We have even
added gumbo, redbeans and rice, and prime rib to our menu. A crew member
will contact you if dinner reservations are necessary. Major credit cards
are accepted. Sorry, smoking is not allowed in the Dining Car.
Meal Service for in-room dining is available to First Class passengers
if desired. Please make arrangements with your Attendant in advance. Station
arrival times during meal service may delay in-room dining. The delay is due
to the necessity to assist passengers boarding and de-boarding the train.
Sightseer Lounge Car on the City of New Orleans allows you to
view the spectacular scenery along the route through the panoramic windows
on the upper level of the car. The lower level offers light dining where
sandwiches, snacks and beverages, in addition to various sundry items, can
be purchased. The Lounge Car also features first-run movies, a Hospitality
Hour with specialty drinks, and complimentary snacks during the evening.
THE CITY OF NEW ORLEANS is an Amtrak festival on wheels!
Must be someting about the places it can take you: the raucous Dixieland
and Zydeco clubs of New Orleans... Memphis, Tennessee, the home of Beale
Street blues and Sun Records... Chicago's cool jazz scene and hot new
Then, of course, there's the City of New Orleans train itself: spacious,
bi-livel Superliner cars with First Class Sleeping Accommodations,
comfortable coach seating and a Sightseer Lounge with panoramic windows
for sweeping views of the mighty Mississippi -- and first-run movies
And in keeping with its character, the City of New Orleans Dining Car
features genuine Cajun cookin', with menus developed by four-star
restaurants and cooked for you by specially-trained Amtrak chefs.
So, if you're looking for fun, head for the City of New Orleans.
This guide details some of the attractions at major points along the route.
Directional copy is written from North to South, so you'll know whether to
look to the right or left. The first time reference tells you how far the
sight is from the Amtrak stop to the north; the second, from the Amtrak
stop to the south.
Look to your left for a dramatic view of the towering city skyline.
The Sears Tower, Daley Center and the domed Wrigley Building are among the
many magnificent structures you can see. Continuing south, you'll cross
the Chicago River, famous as "the river that flows backwards" because of
its westward course away from Lake Michigan. Engineers reversed its flow
in the early 1900's in an attempt to prevent pollution of the lake.
About six minutes past the station you'll catch a glimpse of Americana on
your left -- "Chew Mail Pouch Tobacco" is painted on the side of a barn!
(The train only stops here going north.)
Towering above the business district is the sixth largest carillon in the
world. It sports 65 bells, the largest weighing 5-1/2 tons, and can play
any kind of music from classical to pop... ragtime to rock.
The train makes its last Illinois stop in the middle of the night.
Cairo (1:10 Min./60 Min.)
Pronounced care-row, this port at the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi
rivers still sports riverboat gambling. It was here that General Grant
established his Civil War headquarters because it afforded him command of
the waterways which split the slave and free states. Many slaves escaped
across the "wide Ohio" as they followed the Underground Railroad to
Created in 1823 following consummation of an 1818 treaty between the
Chickasaw Indians, Andrew Jackson, and Governor Issac Shelby of Kentucky;
Dyersburg was once the fourth largest port in Tennessee.
The Great American Pyramid (1:45 Min./10 Min.)
Look to your right for the Great American Pyramid -- a gleaming 32-story
fusion of modern technology and ancient mystery. It connects to Festival
Island, a $60 million development designed to showcase the Mississippi
River. You'll find boat rides, a river museum, restaurants -- even a model
of the Mississippi you can walk! Just over the bridge and to your right,
the famous B-17 "Memphis Belle" is housed under a tent.
Beale Street (1:49 Min./6 Min.)
Covering 15 city blocks, Beale Street offered all that was legal and
illegal in the New South including the venerable Schwab's, selling
everything from shoes to voodoo supplies since 1876. Beale Street
created its own music to accompany the powerful and intense economic and
social evolution Memphis underwent at the turn of the century. It was the
attraction of this area that lured W.C. Handy here in 1912, to create
America's first original music ... the Blues.
In addition to its reputation as the "Birthplace of the Blues," Memphis
is also the home of the "King;" it was here that Elvis Presley built
Graceland, the fabulous mansion in which he lived and ultimately came
Discover a city of lively legends and rich history, harkening back to the
days when cotton was king. Nearby you'll find beautiful antebellum homes
and buildings, plus 17 casinos within a 150 mile radius.
is known as the place where "The Delta Meets the Hills." While in town,
visit the Oakes African American Cultural Center, the Triangle Cultural
Center, the Confederate Memorial Monument and more. Or, discover a taste
of plantation life at the No Mistake Plantation Bed and Breakfast; the
excitement of striking oil at the Tinsley Oil Field; or the natural beauty
of The Delta National Forest and Panther Swamp Wildlife Refuge.
The Jackson skyline is distinguished by the gold dome of the "new" Capitol,
built in 1903. This city was invaded by General Sherman three times during
the Civil War and burned to the ground. Some folks say that "Chimneyville,"
as it came to be called, was where Sherman practiced for the burning of
Atlanta. Modern-day attractions are the Governor's Mansion, the Dizzy Dean
Museum, the Old Capital Museum, and the Mississippi Petrified Forest.
As you pull into the station, note the regal magnolia trees, beautiful
azaleas and fragrant camellias that line the walkways to your right.
Thayers Crossing (5 Min./18 Min.)
Watch closely out your right-hand window (heading north or south) and you
may see Brad waving at the train. After noticing this young man faithfully
standing at the crossroads each morning and evening, rain or shine,
conductors and engineers invited him aboard for a ride. Since then, Brad
has become an unofficial "mascot" of the City of New Orleans.
Enjoys the distinction of being the "Camellia City of America." The flowers
were brought to the area by an old African-American woman known as Aunt
Interstate 55 (20 Min./57 Min.)
On the right, I-55 sits atop concrete piers. Next, cross Pass-Manchac
waterway, connecting Lake Maurepas on the right with Lake Pontchartrain
on the left. Lake Pontchartrain covers 625 square miles, big enough to
accommodate fresh water on its west side and salt water on its east.
Watch for the skyline of New Orleans across the lake.
Independence (52 Min./8 Min.)
Note the intriguing cemetery to your right. Like many of Louisiana's grave
sites, the tombs are positioned above the ground to prevent moisture from
seeping in. Legend has it that the graves in this particular cemetery all
face east-to-west, except for one lone plot facing north-to-south. The
perpetrator of a heinous crime is reportedly buried here in this position
to help speed his journey to purgatory!
Louisiana Bayou (16 Min./61 Min.)
Suddenly, you're in the Bayou -- Louisiana's exotic swamps. Here, amidst
the haunting beauty of moss-laden cypress trees, the Cajun culture has
is one of the "Strawberry Capitals of America."
Ponchatoula (9 Min./68 Min.)
Watch for "Charlie Jr.," the alligator in his cage to your left. Yes, he is
real and "Charlie's" father was his first 'gator to be caged in this place
of honor. When he died, he was paraded through the streets to fanfare and
music, receiving a proper southern funeral parade!
Welcome to "Nawlins," -- the Crescent City -- one of this nation's
greatest ports are more popular places to visit. Often called the
"City That Care Forgot," its people are always ready to lay aside their
business and have a good time! Mardi Gras is perhaps the most famous
example of this... but as the birthplace of Jazz and home to some of
the best restaurants in the world -- New Orleans is a city that never
sleeps! Visit the beautiful Riverwalk, take a ride on the St. Charles
Streetcar, visit the Garden District and more. Don't miss the infamous
Bourbon Street in the heart of the French Quarter, where the music never
Scenic Photo Tips
SCENIC SPOTS: Your train passes many beautiful and interesting
sights. The "camera" symbol on your Route Guide Map marks the best spots,
so have your camera ready!
OUTSIDE SHOTS: Medium-speed films (ASA 200 or higher) are recommended
for shooting scenery through the train windows. If your shutter speed is
adjustable and light conditions permit, set it at a higher speed (1/125 or
1/250 sec.) for the clearest results. Hold your lens close to the window to
eliminate glare and reflections.
INSIDE SHOTS: Flash is recommended. To avoid glare and reflections,
do not point the flash directly at the windows.
Visit the Old South in a brand
new Superliner complete
with all the amenities.
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