WHAT TO EXPECT

Riding aboard a vintage train can be an exciting and memorable occasion. Our events are meant to be sensory experiences – from the onboard accommodations and food service to the dramatic sights and sounds of a historic locomotive pulling the train. Passengers can enjoy standard accommodations in coach and deluxe coach classes, or opt for a special experience aboard first-class lounge cars straight out of the 1940s and 50s.

The Indiana Rail Experience is managed, staffed, and operated by volunteers of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (FWRHS), a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) educational organization and all events and excursions are major fund-raising activities for historic rail preservation projects.

All guests, passengers, patrons and riders are expected to adhere to the following rules and policies.

RAILROAD RULES & SAFETY

  • The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society (FWRHS) reserves the right of rescind service and eject any passenger who refuses to obey safety rules or whose behavior has been or may be detrimental to other passengers and/or crew. 
  • All passengers, onlookers, and members of the general public should stay at least 25 feet away from the railroad tracks at all times, except in the event of boarding or alighting the train.
  • FWRHS employs uniformed and plainclothes police officers as security for our events. These are duly licensed and recognized law enforcement officers.
  • Please wear sturdy, comfortable shoes. Do not wear flip-flops, sandals, or open-toed or high-heel shoes. 
  • For the Indiana Railroad Experience, open windows, doors, and vestibules may be available as part of your accommodations. Consult your event and ticketing information for details and observe all train crew instructions on the proper use and enjoyment of these amenities.
  • Small coolers and jugs for food and drink are welcome. Large, two-handled coolers are prohibited due to space limitations. 
  • Cigarette smoking and electronic cigarettes (i.e. vapes) are prohibited. Smoking of pipes or cigars is only permitted on specific cars, in specifically designated spaces, and in conjunction with special occasions. 
  • Steam locomotive no. 765 is a coal-burning locomotive and often produces cinders that fly through the air and can be dangerous to the eyes. Passengers must wear safety glasses or eye protection is required if riding in an open vestibule, window, platform, doorway, or open-air car during a trip.
  • One of the most dramatic parts of a steam locomotive is its melodious whistle. Operated as a warning and communication device the whistle can nevertheless be very loud, especially for young children or guests with hearing sensitivities. It is highly recommended that passengers with these considerations plan accordingly, with noise-canceling headphones or hearing protection. Earplugs may not be available onboard the train.
  • FWRHS cannot guarantee the security of cameras and other personal property – you must keep track of your belongings.

DISCLAIMERS

FWRHS reserves the right to revise terms, conditions, disclaimers, and notices at any time.

Please do not call any railroad companies or Amtrak regarding these excursions. Their offices, call centers, and employees do not have information about these trips and cannot make reservations.

All schedules, timetables, and event amenities and offerings may be altered by the FWRHS at any time due to railroad logistics, late departures, mechanical substitutions, or other unforeseen circumstances. Due to the unique and historic nature of the equipment we are operating, mechanical breakdowns are uncommon but can occur. We reserve the right to substitute motive power or rolling stock as necessary.

In addition, schedules and timetables may be adjusted due to other railroad traffic or operations that our trains encounter.

Every effort will be made to operate trains as advertised but as these are special, one-time events, the FWRHS, and the railroad companies cannot guarantee times and assume no consequential liability for inconvenience or expense caused by delays or cancellations. Do not book other transportation or make time-sensitive reservations.

LIABILITY

These operations take place at, on, and within working railroad facilities. Please be mindful of your safety and the safety of your guests. Watch your step, be mindful of moving railroad equipment, uneven surfaces, or bad footing, and pinch points for fingers, arms, and limbs. Do not walk on the railhead and obey instructions from the train crew at all times.

Your presence and participation indicate that you, as a ticket holder, ticket purchaser, guest, passenger, crew, or the vendor accept the limits of liability from inherent risks of all activities and operations.

ADA ACCOMMODATIONS

Boarding and detraining sites may well have uneven footing, large heavy gravel, unusually high steps –  sometimes as much as 20 inches, and walking is required at all locations.

Most of the passenger cars used on these trains were built in the 1940s and 1950s, decades before ADA handicap considerations were implemented on railroad passenger cars.

These historic cars mostly have narrow hallways, narrow doorways, and small restrooms and these can present many handicapped persons with insurmountable challenges.

Passengers with limited mobility need to be aware of these limitations and should expect such situations and should contact the Ticket Agent for planning and accommodations. We make every effort to reasonably accommodate guests with limited mobility.

If you are traveling in a wheelchair or other such device, you are responsible for providing any person(s) necessary to assist in loading, unloading, or onboard mobility and they must have the proper ticket.

ON-BOARD ACCOMMODATIONS

Generally speaking, seats are not assigned in our cars. Passengers who desire to sit together must make reservations simultaneously, on the same ticket order, and present themselves on the train together. Reservations will be made by car name or number, but not individual seats unless your accommodation is a suite, table, or room.

Some first-class cars have more than one type of seating arrangement within the car. Passengers may be asked to switch seats for everyone to get a sampling of the accommodations within that class. A class of tickets refers to accommodations and services and may not be specific to a car.

No merchandise vendors are allowed on the train unless specifically authorized by FWRHS in advance.

Restrooms are always available onboard and at our boarding sites. On-board train staff will direct you to the nearest restroom.

TICKETING & REFUNDS

FWRHS members are often granted special pre-sale access to tickets up to 24 hours before the general public.

Do not purchase tickets from individuals unless specifically authorized by our Ticket Agent. Should tickets be re-sold or gifted, the customer and passenger names must be updated so that our passenger manifests are accurate. We reserve the right to ID passengers as part of any pre-boarding process.

Do not purchase tickets from any website other than fortwaynerailroad.org or indianarailexperience.org. Beware anyone on social media claiming to have last-minute ticket availability and asking for personal or private messages.

Our refund policy applies to all tickets and passes issued by the FWRHS for any FWRHS event including excursions and events at our facility or as part of the Indiana Rail Experience.

Refunds are subject to a 15% service charge and are typically only issued if there is a waitlist for that particular class of tickets. As a train nears a sold-out status, persons who purchase an odd number of tickets are not guaranteed a window seat and will have to be seated with another passenger for us to utilize all seats. Railway employee passes cannot be honored.

In the unlikely event of a cancellation, refunds will be issued, less any ticketing fees.

Trains to run rain or shine.

CONSENT TO PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO RECORDING

By entering railroad property or participating in FWRHS events, operations, and excursions, and by your presence, you consent to be photographed, filmed, and/or otherwise recorded.

Your entry constitutes your consent to such photography, filming, and/or recording and any use, in any media throughout the universe in perpetuity, of your appearance, voice, and name for any purpose whatsoever in connection with the FWRHS.

You understand that all photography, filming, and/or recording will be done in reliance on this consent given by you by entering this area.

HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT

By entering railroad property or participating in FWRHS events, operations, and excursions and by your presence here, you and your guests agree to hold FWRHS harmless in the event of sickness (including COVID-19), physical risk, or damage. Foods at our events is processed in a kitchen that produces dishes with milk, wheat, soybean, fish, tree nuts, peanuts, eggs, and egg products. If you have a food allergy or special dietary requirements, please inform a member of staff or ask for more information.

You assume all related liability for accidents, negligence, combined negligence, and omissions.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What's it like riding your excursion trains?

Riding aboard a vintage train can be an exciting and memorable occasion. Our events are meant to be sensory experiences – from the onboard accommodations to the dramatic sights and sounds of a historic locomotive pulling the train.

Offerings and experiences on each trip or event will vary. Passengers can enjoy standard accommodations in coach and deluxe coach classes, or opt for a special experience aboard first-class lounge cars straight out of the 1940s and 50s. Private, executive-class cars are also available to charter for groups of 15-20 passengers on a limited or trip-specific basis.

Foodservice is generally only available in First Class, Lounge, Executive or Pullman Class accommodations, and is available when specified as part of your ticket purchase.

Please check the details for your tickets and trips, as onboard food or drink service may not always be available or included, and always make sure to check your email for your receipt and pre-trip instructions and information.

What things should I know before taking this trip?

Our train rides are memorable outings, but there are key items to keep in mind:

  • Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes (no sandals, flip flops or open-toed shoes.)
  • Expect a train on any track, at any time in any direction.
  • Do not walk on the rail of any track or between the rails.
  • Our primary attraction is a coal-burning steam locomotive which often produces cinders that fly through the air and can be dangerous to the eyes. You must wear safety glasses if riding in an open vestibule.
  • Due to the special nature of these events, our scheduled times are not guaranteed and can be affected by freight or passenger traffic or other logistics. Please do not make time-sensitive plans.
  • All trains run rain or shine.

Are there restrooms available on your trains?

Every passenger train has restrooms. In the event that your specific car does not have a restroom, the next car ahead or behind you will. Restrooms will also be available at our boarding site.

Are cars air conditioned?

Most cars are climate controlled, but our open-air and open-window coaches are not. Please be sure to read the ticket information with your class.

Are seats assigned?

Generally speaking, seats are not assigned. Only suites in our lounge car are assigned to the ticket buyer at purchase. Groups riding together are encouraged to purchase their tickets under the same name and board together to ensure they’ll be kept together and car hosts will make every attempt to seat parties together. Your ticket may be assigned with a car name or number at the time of purchase or before travel.

Are your trains ADA accessible?

These trains are not normally accessible. Most of the passenger cars were built in the 1940s and 1950s, decades before ADA considerations were implemented and all of our equipment is historic in nature.

Some passenger cars have narrow hallways, narrow doorways, and small restrooms and these can present guests with limited mobility with insurmountable challenges. 

Passengers with limited mobility need to be aware of these limitations and should expect such situations.  We make every effort to reasonably accommodate guests with limited mobility. Please contact the Ticket Agent for planning and accommodations.

If you are traveling in a wheelchair or other such device, you are responsible for providing any person(s) necessary to assist in loading, unloading, or onboard mobility and they must have the proper ticket.

Will there be a diesel in the train?

Our trips are operated with historic steam or diesel locomotives. Please check each event for details on the planned, primary motive power for the train. We reserve the right to substituent equipment as necessary.

Due to limited turning facilities on the railroad, many (but not all) trips featuring our steam locomotive will also utilize a diesel locomotive on the rear of the train to facilitate return trips or back up movements.

Until additional turning areas or a turntable is installed, our operations are limited in this regard.

Are these excursions roundtrip?

Yes. All trips return to their original departure location.

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