By Railfan & Railroad Staff
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Milwaukee Road 4-8-4 261 will hit the main line of the Twin Cities & Western this fall, the Friends of the 261 announced Friday. The trips scheduled for Oct. 2 and 3 will feature the 4-8-4 as well as its newly acquired E9 locomotive, which is painted to match its Milwaukee Road train.
The route is notable for being the same one that the Olympian Hiawatha streamliner once ran on between Chicago, the Twin Cities and the Pacific Northwest. Passengers will spend seven hours wining and dining onboard vintage rail cars. “Relive the days of fine dining once offered on such famous trains as the Super Chief, Olympian Hiawatha and the luxurious California Zephyr,” organizers wrote.
The train will run out of the Twin Cities although due to construction of a light rail line, the exact boarding location will not be known until later this summer. The train will run through Hopkins, Chanhassen, Norwood and Glencoe.
The “Gourmet Express” will be the first main line excursions for 261 since the pandemic began. For more information, visit 261.com.