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Rail News: Passenger Rail

Grand Excursion celebrates 150 years of upper Mississippi rail connections

This summer, Grand Excursion plans to re-create the original tourist train’s 1854 journey from Chicago to Minnesota’s Twin Cities to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the first railroad connection to the upper Mississippi River.

Between June 25 and July 5, passengers can complete a portion of or the entire trip from Chicago to the upper Mississippi. Train excursion service would coincide with the arrival of the Grand Flotilla, which features steamboats, riverboats, commercial barges, pleasure craft and trains.

Visitors can explore the region on flotilla boats or steam trains, which will retrace the original Grand Excursion’s route. A steam locomotive will carry passengers from Chicago to the Quad Cities, where riders can board flotilla vessels for harbor or port-to-port cruises, or continue on the train, which will follow the flotilla route.

More than 50 communities will participate in the celebration to recognize rail’s role in helping spur riverfront development.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 1/19/2004