Next Stop: Hedonism!

Long recognized by those in the know as the best way to get from New York to Boston—except, perhaps, for the slightly suspect Chinatown-to-Chinatown bus shuttles—Amtrak is now setting out to capture the luxury market. Key to the plan is an ambitious third-party tour operator called GrandLuxe.

According to the New York Times story “Some Amtrak Routes to Offer Luxury Service” (registration required), which practically reads like ad copy for the new service:

Starting in November, Amtrak passengers can enjoy luxurious service on some routes from GrandLuxe, a private rail tour operator based in Colorado. GrandLuxe plans to attach private, seven-car luxury trains, including sleeping, dining and lounge cars (some with vintage mahogany interiors), to regularly scheduled Amtrak trains.

Five-course meals and butler service (coffee brought to your private cabin in the morning) enhance a trip that starts at $789 for cheapskates and climbs to $2,500 for folks traveling for two nights in the “gold suite.”

I’d settle for tolerable pancakes and regular high-speed rail service between major American metro areas, but that’s just a matter of personal preference.