Boarding will take place 30 minutes prior to departure. All return times are approximate.
Joliet Transportation Center
4 North Michigan
DEPART – 9:30AM
RETURN – 2:30PM
DEPART – 3:30PM
RETURN – 8:30PM
DEPART – 9:00AM
RETURN – 1:15PM
DEPART – 2:30PM
RETURN – 7:00PM
All times are Central Time.
Parking in designated areas will cost between 50 cents-$3.00 for the day. Parking in open-air lots is free on Sunday and lots are patrolled.
Prior to boarding time, please line up at street level. Any passengers with limited mobility can use the elevator at Eastern Avenue and board first. As a reminder, boarding is not at historic Union Station.
Upon arrival at the Joliet Transportation Center, passengers will line up at the appropriate station stairway for their class. 30 minutes prior to departure, boarding will begin and The Joliet Rocket will depart for Chicago! En route, passengers can enjoy an exciting photo runby at a commuter station stop where steam locomotive no. 765 will back up and travel by passengers at speed.
After the runby, the train will race into LaSalle Street Station where passengers will enjoy a private cocktail party, freshly prepared brunch or dinner appetizers and live entertainment. Passengers will also tour the train, explore the cab of the 765 and can get their photo taken with the locomotive by our event photographer. At the conclusion of the layover, passengers will board the train for a relaxing return trip back to Joliet.
All roundtrips will take approximately four hours, with each layover lasting approximately two hours. Train handling and logistics may affect departure, arrival and layover times.
ROCK ISLAND ROUTE
Our route will be Metra’s Rock Island District, the route of the original Rock Island Railroad’s Joliet Rocket.
The Chicago and Rock Island became the railroad to serve Joliet in October of 1852. Joliet soon became a center for railroad activity as it was joined by the Chicago & Alton, Michigan Central, the Santa Fe and the Elgin, Joliet & Eastern. In 1978, commuter service was taken over by Metra. Today’s excursion will be the first steam powered passenger excursion in the area in over 20 years and the first excursion of its type into LaSalle Street Station since 1973! Click here to see the route.
We believe in passionately recreating the era when railroading was the preferred method of travel. This is a sensory experience – from the classes offered, food served and the locomotive pulling the train.
Regardless of your background or interest, riding aboard a historic train can be an exciting and memorable experience. You’ll have the opportunity to meet hundreds of new people, see towns, cities, and the countryside from a new perspective, and enjoy the sights and sounds of steam locomotive no. 765. We commonly hear that passengers “feel like rock stars” on our trains as hundreds of waves are exchanged between those aboard and people trackside.
Passengers can enjoy standard accommodations in coach and deluxe coach classes, or opt for a special experience aboard first class and dome passenger cars straight out of the 1940s and 50s. Please check the details for your individual tickets and trips and don’t forget to visit our merchandise table or car!
Passengers and their ticket purchase directly support the continued maintenance, preservation, and operation of no. 765 and our vintage train sets.
Our excursions are memorable outings, but there are key items to keep in mind:
- Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes (no sandals, flip fops or open toed shoes.)
- Expect a train on any track, at any time in any direction.
- Do not walk on the rail head.
- 765 is a coal-burning locomotive and 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, one-time nature of these events, our scheduled times are not guaranteed and can be affected by freight or passenger traffic or other logistics.
- All trains run rain or shine.
Nearly every car has its own restroom facility. In the event that a car does not have an operational restroom, the next car ahead or behind you will.
Yes. All cars are climate controlled.
No. Car attendants will make every attempt to seat parties together. Groups riding together are encouraged to purchase their tickets and board together. Your ticket may be assigned with a car name or number at the time of purchase or before travel.
There’s nothing we love more than powering a passenger train over the road without a modern diesel locomotive in the consist, but for this particular operation, the 765 will lead (northbound) into LaSalle Street and a Metra diesel will pull the passenger train and the 765 back (southbound) to Joliet.
Why? There’s no adequate way to turn the train in a logistically feasible manner for these trips. While 765 could easily handle just about any train on its own, we can’t say we mind the help from our friend the diesel.
On the northbound trip, expect the 765 to charge along at speeds between 60 and 70MPH! After all that work, the fireman probably deserves a break…
Yes. Each excursion returns to Joliet later the same day.
We understand that not everyone can ride, so the Railfan Pass is a way for people to support our operations and join us for the event at LaSalle Street Station. The layover and amenities are already included in your ticket, so if you’re a passenger, you don’t need a pass. The Railfan Pass is also a great way to show your support of the 765 from afar – even if you won’t be around. You may be rewarded with some swag…