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Some Great Railroad Hotels — (and Others Accessible by Rail)

By Owen C. Hardy

Great story in the Arizona Republic today about railroad hotels, which you’ll find here.

I’ve been to the three Canadian hotels mentioned in the story; all are incredible and worth extended stays. And during a family trip to Glacier Park via Amtrak’s Empire Builder, we visited the Glacier Park Lodge but did not stay there. We opted for the Izaak Walton Inn in Essex, MT, a rustic hotel opened in 1939 to cater to Great Northern Railroad employees. It’s a charming hotel and a great place to watch trains; the trade-off is it’s not centrally located, and you have to drive a considerable distance just to get to Lake McDonald.

Prince of Wales Hotel
Prince of Wales Hotel, Waterton Lakes National Park, Canada

(The IRT Society’s Glacier Park Discovery Tour, incidentally, includes the Empire Builder between Seattle and Chicago as well as three nights at the Glacier Park Lodge and one night at Many Glacier Hotel, another former Great Northern property. And don’t forget to have afternoon tea at the Prince of Wales Hotel, another Great Northern creation; it proudly bills itself as “the most photographed hotel in the world.”)

St. Louis Union Station Marriott Hotel
St. Louis Union Station Marriott Hotel

I’m also a fan of St. Louis’ old railroad hotel, now a Marriott, located in Union Station, and easily accessible via Metrolink light rail and a 10-minute walk from the present Amtrak station.  And, some years back, fellow IRT Society member David Minnerly put us on to a comfortable little hotel, the Mornington, just a five-minute walk from London’s Paddington Station. Not a railroad hotel as such, but still an inexpensive hostelry accessible by rail and within walking distance of Hyde Park.