Friends of the 261 has the right to cancel the trip without any detail or advance notice. If the trips are cancelled tickets purchased for said trip will be refunded in their entirety, minus any online fees occurred. Friends of the 261 is not responsible for equipment substitution and assumes no liability for inconvenience caused by delays. Trains will run rain or shine. All times are subject to that day’s train status and are not controlled by the Friends of the 261. Amtrak/Air Fare rates are only estimates & are subject to the discretion of their provider.


Plan to arrive at the station 30 minutes prior to departure time. You may check on the current departure and arrival times for Amtrak trains by calling 1-800-USARAIL (1-800-872-7245) or by downloading the Amtrak app and clicking on “Train Status.”

If you call to inquire, the call center will not be aware that our private cars will be on the trains but they can furnish you with arrival and departure information.

Due to Amtrak’s new private car policy, from St Paul Union Depot to Chicago Union Station, we are restricted due to Amtrak’s on-time performance and can not guarantee the train will run as scheduled.


  • Smoking is allowed only in vestibules.
  • When applicable, Light food and beverage service will be available (complimentary in First & Premium Classes).
  • When applicable, Boxed lunch availability is limited so order early. Lunches will be sold on a first come first served basis prior to the day of the excursion and not available for purchase the day of the excursion. Light commissary food may be available for purchase. If you have a dietary restriction notify us ahead of time so we may accommodate you, Contact us.
  • We welcome disabled or handicapped passengers. However, because these are older cars, there are no special handicapped facilities available. Historic and antiquated rail passenger equipment, like that used on our excursions, are exempt from ADA regulations under U.S.. Code: Title 42: Section 12184. The passenger cars and station facilities used on our excursions were constructed before disability accessibility laws were adopted. Platforms, boarding areas, stairs, step-stools, seating, and especially doorways, passageways, aisles, and on board restrooms may not accommodate all passengers. We will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate special needs passengers who desire to ride one of our trips .Please consider the suitability of these trips carefully and Contact us for additional information. If you have special physical needs, please give us advance notice.
  • When applicable, Reserved seating is assigned in a random order, you may request a certain seat by emailing us, we do our best to fulfill request, but DO NOT guarantee that the request will be fulfilled.


Tickets are non-refundable – this includes but limited to: travel disruption, illness, family emergencies, etc. It is at the discretion of the passenger to purchase travel insurance from a private broker. Notified at least 30 days prior to departure date, 50% refund of full payment will be returned. Notified 0-30 days prior to departure date, no refund will be returned. Online purchasing fees are non-refundable. Hotel rooms are non-refundable, no exceptions. If you purchased a ticket with a hotel room you will be refunded 50% of an equal ticket without a hotel. Overseas trips are non-refundable 90 days prior to departure date.

During Covid we will provide a full refund to passengers that have tested positive for Covid-19. Please provide information on if you have been vaccinated or not, look at CDC web site for non-vaccinated people guidelines. Approximately 48 hours before departure we will be sending out information with last minute details, boarding instructions and a short health questionnaire.

Special offers/discounts are only valid from 12:00 am(midnight) to 12:00 am(midnight) of dates stated in offer/discount, offers/discounts may not be back dated or forward dated. Exchanges are not allowed on all events, and are not available from one event to another. Exchanges must be approved 60 days prior to event.

There is a $10.00 service fee due at the time of exchanging of tickets to another date and/or time.

Once tickets have been purchased, you have accepted all the terms & conditions listed above.

Membership/donation entries

All submissions are final, no refunds or exchanges. This includes accidental and duplicate entries on the part of the submitting party.


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