The development of the locomotive in the early 19th century transformed the way people around the globe traveled to new destinations. Two Lane roads were no longer the only way to explore new territory. At one point they were considered the most luxurious and convenient method of travel. In today’s world of direct flights and luxury automobiles, trains are considered a slower, more nostalgic form of transportation. While these historic train cars may no longer be riding the rails, they are serving patrons in a new way, and can still be appreciated for the industrial innovation they represent.
These six cabooses were rescued from the rust and either restored back to their prime or updated with modern conveniences. If you appreciate trains, history, and are the adventurous type, we’ve got your weekend plans ready. All aboard!
The 1905 Pullman — President Harding and Wilson’s “Air Force One”
Location: Plano, Illinois
The Train: Travel back in time to the private Pullman train car, the Constitution. Built in 1905, it served as “Air Force One” for Presidents Harding and Wilson. The original car consists of four state rooms, an observation deck, a dining room, and a galley. The train car sits atop a bluff overlooking the beautiful slow-moving Big Rock Creek. Beyond the creek is a floodplain full of two-hundred-year-old oak trees and an occasional eagle or two! The beds are on the small side, but two large living rooms with fireplaces, a master bedroom and bathroom have been added on.
Price: $134 per night
1926 Wooden Train Caboose — Part of The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway
Location: Waynesville, North Carolina
The Train: This bright red storybook train was part of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway before becoming the cozy caboose rental it is today. (The Chesapeake and Ohio Railway was a Class 1 railroad formed in 1869 in Virginia ) The car was still fully functional when the owners purchased it in 2015. It’s parked on authentic 1920’s railroad tracks and is connected to a rustic bathhouse. Amenities on the train include a queen sized bed, central heat and air, television, and refrigerator stocked with locally brewed beers and sodas. Wake up in the tiny train then step outside to have a big adventure in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, or Asheville which are all close by!
Price: $259 per night
The 1894 Private Palace Pullman Car — Used By President Theodore Roosevelt
Location: Fredericksburg, Texas
The Train: This sleeper car was once occupied by President Theodore Roosevelt on his trip to “The Four Sixes” Ranch in Guthrie, Texas. Parked about an hour away from Austin in Fredericksburg you have the opportunity to explore the downtown area, wineries, and more. Features original decor — even a clawfoot tub! History surrounds you in every nook and cranny.
Price: $280 per night
Platform1346 — The WWII Kitchen Car
Location: Maryville, Tennessee
The Train: More than 70 years ago, Platform 1346 operated as the kitchen car on troop trains carrying soldiers coast to coast during World War II. Today it has a second life as a luxury overnight space resting at the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains. It has been renovated with some mid-century renovations to make it extra cozy. Walk freely around the 6-acre property which includes a fish pond and a fire pit area. No pets allowed here but the owners do have six friendly dogs that like to run around the property and welcome guests!
Price: $117 per night
The1941 Restored Caboose + Historic Train Station
Location: Lock Haven, Pennsylvania
The Train: This caboose was part of the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1941. Part of its historic appeal is that it’s parked beside the Castanea Railroad Station, which was built in 1883. (By 1895, more than 6,000 railroad cars passed this station each week!) Guests have access to the entire caboose which includes two bunks, shower, and a dinette for sitting. There is also heat and air conditioning depending on the weather outside. It’s a steal at $57 a night too!
Price: $57 per night
The 1906 Depot — The Caboose With a View
Location: Joseph, Oregon
The Train: While the year and type of train are unsure, what makes this car unique are two things. One: The mother and her two daughters who run this caboose live in the train depot next door which dates back to 1906. Two: It has the most incredible view of the Wallowa Mountains. It runs on an environmentally friendly greywater system (meaning the used sink/shower water goes back into the garden) and uses a compact RV toilet. There are also two other Airbnb rentals on the grounds: a tipi and a 1970s camper, so expect to share the grounds with others. If you need anything, just knock on the depot doors!
Price: $125 per night
Here are MORE of our favorite unique places to stay on Two Lanes: