ABOUT US / FAQS
Zephyr Route is a small privately owned business. We are dedicated to offering high quality rail tours reminiscent of the way rail travel was operated in the past. To better assist you and hopefully answer some of your questions, we have put together the following information about who we are, and assembled of list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs).
Our commitment is to high quality affordable tours. Our tours are not just "another seat on a train ride". We take great pride in offering high quality, first class tours, in private restored vintage rail cars aboard scenic rail routes. We always do our best to keep our tours affordable, while offering delicious meals on board, great accommodations, and interesting optional tours whenever possible.
We specialize in offering what we feel is a truly memorable rail travel experience. We always welcome your feedback for improvements. If you have special dietary needs, special requests, or need special assistance, we will do our best to accommodate you. Check out our previous menus on our website which will provide you with a glimpse of the tasty options we have offered. Menus are changed regularly.
FAQs -- Frequently Asked Questions
Do we take online reservations and payments?
Not really, but please let us explain why.
Are the tours all-inclusive?
No, but the costs of each tour, and what is included is listed in each Journey Page, with full details also written out in the downloadable fliers. The goal of our tours is to provide a first class memorable journey, with high quality food and beverages included while on board the rail car. If it doesn't state that something is included in the price, then it genearly isn't.
Are the vintage cars air conditioned and/or hearted?
Yes, all of the restored vintage rail cars have been modernized with comfortable cooling and heating.
Does the tour have boarding location choices?
Yes. We use restored vintage private cars, attached to the back of existing Amtrak trains. Many of these originate and end at Chicago's Union Station. This means that the train will stop at all Amtrak stations on the route to board passengers per their schedule. You will not be able to move into the Amtrak cars from our private car, nor will Amtrak passengers be able to move into our private car.
How far in advance should I make a reservation?
As soon as you know you can go! Our tours often sell out quickly, and we will then create a waiting list because we occasionally get cancellations. We take reservations in the order we receive them, so if there is a tour you really want to go on, don't hesistate to make your reservations.
What happens if Zephyr Route has to cancel or change the dates of a tour?
Occasionally we have to cancel or reschedule a tour for unforseen reasons, and while we do everything possible to prevent this, it does happen.
Are the tours only for Rail Fans?
Not at all. Everyone enjoys our tours.
When will Silver View be fully restored?
We don't have a date just yet, but going on one of our tours provides additional money needed for the restoration. As you might imagine, its expensive to find the talent, parts, and time needed to restore a Vista Dome rail car built in 1947. Each tour you take, allows us to get one more step closer to completion, and we will be very excited to announce the completion of the restoration of Silver View as soon as we can.
What is required for a depost and payment?
We have a published Terms and Conditions document that you can download and print, available by clicking the link at the bottom of every page of the website. There you can find all of the information regarding deposits, final payments, and other information regarding our Terms and Conditions. Putting it all in one document allows us to more easily maintain it.
Can I bring alcoholic beverages on board?
No, we serve complimentary alcoholic beverages in moderation, to those of legal age, while en route. The cost of beverages is included in the fare. If you have a special request for a brand, please ask while making reservations.
Are there any accommodations for dietary restrictions?
Please mention any alergies or dietary restrictions while making your reservations. In most cases, we will do our best to accommodate your special needs.
What happens if our train gets delayed?
Amtrak is pulling our private car, usually on the tail end, on one of their regularly scheduled routes. Trains can be delayed for any number of reasons and Amtrak will make every effort to get back on schedule.
Are you just a tour booking agent?
No, we absolutely are not just a tour booking agent. Mike Abernethy is the owner of Zephyr Routes and goes on every tour. This ensures that the tours are run in professional way to maintain our outstanding reputation.
Is smoking allowed on board?
Smoking of any type including electronic devices is never permitted on board any part of the train.
Is Travel Insurance Offered?
To protect investment in travel, Zephyr Route encourages and can arrange travel insurance at additional cost. Some bank cards also have a travel insurance provision which passengers should consult their card company for details.
If travel insurance is desired, consult www.travelguard.com website. Then call them directly to get insurance coverage information that will be specific to you and your trip.