Frequently Asked Questions
- How much does it cost to ride the dinner train?
- What does the price include?
- Can I pay for my tickets when I get there, or do I need to pay in advance?
- Do you offer group pricing?
- Are senior citizen discounts available?
- Can we put our gratuity on our credit card after the meal is served?
- Can I still use an expired gift certificate?
Schedule & Reservations
- Do you run year round?
- Do I need to make a reservation?
- Can children ride the train?
- How are seats reserved?
- Do you have booth seating?
- Can a table be reserved for just the two of us?
- Can you accommodate parties larger than 4?
- How do you accommodate parties of 5, 6, or 7?
- Are the four dining cars the same in quality and comfort?
- What is your cancellation policy?
Dinner Menu & Beverage Information
- What is on the menu?
- Are vegetarian, vegan, or gluten free meals offered?
- When do I have to let you know my meal selection?
- Will the meals be prepared on the cars?
- Is there a bar on the train?
- What selections are available from the bar?
- Can we bring our own wine or liquor?
Arrival & Boarding
- Is there a dress code?
- Is parking available?
- Where do we board and pick up tickets?
- Are you handicap accessible?
- What is your suggestion for seating a larger sized person?
- What if I left something on board the train after leaving for the night?
- What is your policy regarding a service animal?
About the Ride
- Where does the train go?
- How long is the excursion?
- How fast will the train go?
- Does the train stop anywhere along the route?
- Are there restrooms on the train?
- Is the train air conditioned and/or heated?
- Is smoking permitted on board?
- Can I travel between the rail cars?
- Do I need to be aware of sudden jolts & bumps?
- Will the scenery be perfect and will we be rolling through downtown streets?
- Why don’t you blacktop the parking lot?
About our Equipment
The cost is $84.95 per person plus Ohio sales tax of 7.0% which totals $90.90 per person. Gratuity not included. Our ticket price will be increasing to $89.95 effective March, 2020.
The Price includes a four course meal, as well as the unique experience and scenery.
Payment is due in advance at the time of your reservation. We accept Master Card, Visa, Discover, and American Express. Sorry, we cannot accept checks.
At this time, we do not offer group discounted pricing.
Sorry, we currently do not offer senior citizen discounts.
Yes, it is possible to put your gratuity on a credit card after the meal is served. It is not included in the price of the food, alcohol or train ride and is appreciated for the service staff. A good experience should be rewarded with a 15% – 20% tip on the total bill.
Sorry, gift certificates are no longer valid after the expiration date. Certificate expiration: Certificates shall expire (2) two years from the date it was sold. Certificates used in charitable donations may expire less than (2) two years. Expiration dates are noted on the front of each gift certificate and cannot be altered. Expired gift certificates are no longer valid nor redeemable after the expiration date. No exceptions to this policy.
Almost. The Dinner Train runs Saturdays through the entire year with the exception Thanksgiving weekend, the months of January & February, and the first two weekends in March. Each year we begin our Saturday runs the first Saturday after daylight savings time change.
Advance reservation and payment are highly recommended for those who want to be guaranteed a ticket. Tickets are sold on a first come basis, and trips often sell out in advance. Occasionally, we will have cancellations, or no-shows. In this event, we are able to accept last minute walk-up guests with full payment via cash or credit card. However, availability cannot be guaranteed for walk-up guests.
Yes, children 12 and older are permitted. However, there is only one menu available for all guest ages 12 and older. All tickets are $84.95 per person ages 12 and older.
Children under the age of 12 are not permitted. If people book online and elect to ignore this rule, we reserve the right to refuse boarding.
Seating will be made by our staff based on availability at the time of your reservation. Guests are able to request if a specific table is still available at the time of booking. Simply call us at 513-791-7245.
The majority of our tables have four dining chairs. We do have a small number of tables with a booth on one side of the table which allows for side by side seating. These are at the rear of the dining car. Also available are a few tables with booth seating on one side of the table and two dining chairs on the other side. All tables offer a view of the scenery in route. If interested in a table with a booth, please give us a call at 513-791-RAIL (7245). Our dining chairs and booths have cushioned vinyl seats to be equally comfortable for all guests.
We offer only eight tables that seat two people throughout the dining cars. Two tables seating only two people are available in the Milwaukee Road dining car, two tables seating only two people are available in the dining area of the Oasis Tavern, two tables seating only two people are available in the dining area of the Silver Sword, and the remaining two tables that seat only two people are available in the lounge area of the Silver Sword. These tables are requested and reserved quickly. If they are not available, you can pay for an additional ticket at the $84.95 cost. This will ensure no one else is seated at your four top table. Please contact us before making your reservations at 513-791-RAIL(7245) or by email email@example.com.
All of our tables seat four as in the tradition of railroad dining. Parties of 5 are seated with three at one table and two at the table directly across the aisle. Parties of 6 are seated with four at one table and two directly across the aisle. In both of the above cases, there is a chance a party of two will be seated with the remaining party of two. In the case of seven, we will sit four at one table, and three directly across from them.
Yes, we can accommodate parties larger than 4. The majority of our tables only seat 4, and we will do our best to seat everyone as close together as possible. Seating will depend on the availability, and parties larger than 4 will be split between tables.
In short, yes. We tried to insure each car was restored to the same quality standards as all the others. Each car was restored to the original design as much as possible. The 201 Milwaukee Road dining car seats the most people, 60, and has two large restrooms for men and women. The New York Central 447 dining car is the most authentic, having been restored to exact specs from 1947. It seats 48 passengers and does not have a restroom and is a greater walking distance from the boarding door. The Silver Sword, like the 201 is the first car you enter when boarding. It seats only 36 passengers with 28 in the main dining area and eight in the smaller lounge section. It has one small unisex restroom. The Oasis Tavern can seat two parties of 4 and two parties of 2. This car has an additional women’s restroom and one unisex restroom. Ask for a specific car when booking and the reservationist will do all they can to accommodate your request. There is no bad seat on the train. Each car provides a slightly different ride and experience. We do reserve the right to move your reservation into another dining car should a large party need all seats in a dining car. We will attempt to contact you should this occur.
14+ days’ notice prior to reservation date – full refund or right to reschedule the date.
13-8 days’ notice prior to reservation date – right to reschedule the date only.
0-7 days’ notice prior to reservation date – complete forfeiture of the tickets and no right to reschedule.
We offer a few options for menu choices. These can be found on our menu page. You will be asked for your entrée selection(s) when you make your reservation. Please note that we purchase and prepare on board the quantity of food reserved for each run. In most cases, we are not able to change the food you ordered for you and your guests.
Yes, we can offer dinners to meet special dietary needs. Please call 513-791-RAIL(7245) or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Meal selections are required at the time of reservation. If for some reason you need additional time, we can accept changes and selections no later than 11am on Friday prior to your ride. If we do not have your selection, we will put your reservation down for our chicken in white wine sauce with the dessert based on availability.
All food is prepared our our #3999 kitchen car. This is how we are able to serve our meals fresh out of the oven.
Yes, we have the bar in the Silver Sword car and a second bar in the Oasis Tavern car. Both bars are available before and during the Dinner Train excursion. Cash is the preferred method of payment, however, we can accept credit cards. We would be happy to set you up with a bar tab which would be required to be closed out at evening’s end.
The bar offers a wide variety of beers, wines, and cocktails. Wine can be purchased either by the glass or by the bottle. Alcoholic beverages can be purchased at any time throughout the trip.
Due to the terms of our liquor license, outside alcoholic beverages are strictly prohibited. No beverages of any kind may be carried onto the train. This includes water bottles.
The dress code is business casual, however some guests elect to dress in 1940’s period clothing which we at the Cincinnati Dinner Train strongly support and appreciate. Denim jeans and shorts are strictly prohibited. For safety purposes while boarding the train and walking between cars, we highly recommend wearing closed toed shoes with low heels. Guests are strongly discouraged from wearing high-heels or sandaled shoes. We cannot under any circumstance board passengers wearing flip flop sandals.
We reserve the right to refuse boarding if we feel the dress code is being violated. It is not fair to our other passengers who have observed this rule.
We are pleased to provide free parking including a security guard for the entire time you are on board the train. Our parking lot is leased from the building owner so therefore is not owned by us. We have four or five marked handicapped parking spaces and several more spots close to the boarding area. Our parking lot attendant/security man instructs passengers to park somewhat close to the next car in an effort to minimize the walk of all passengers. If we allowed passengers to take up one and a half or two spaces, we would run out of spots for those people arriving later in the boarding period. Please follow the instructions of the attendant and try to be considerate of all our passengers. We actually try to reserve some close in spots for senior citizens that do not have handicapped stickers but who would obviously have an issue walking a long way to board the train.
For our regularly scheduled Dinner Train departures, parking and boarding is from the rear parking lot of the Green Sales Company located at 2172 East Seymour Avenue, Cincinnati, OH 45237. Look for the directional signs on the telephone poles. Please keep all valuables hidden from view when locking your car. Tickets can be picked up at our booth just outside the train. Check-in begins no earlier than 5:00 pm. Train departure is 6:00 pm promptly. If you arrive prior to 4:30 pm, our directional signs and staff will not be in place to assist you.
Due to the historic nature of the railroad equipment, Cincinnati Dinner Train cars are not handicapped accessible. Historic and antiquated rail passenger equipment, like that used on this excursion, are exempt from ADA regulations under U.S. Code: Title 42: Section 12184. The passenger cars and station facilities used on this excursion were constructed before disability accessibility laws were adopted. Platforms, boarding areas, stairs, step-boxes, seating, and especially doorways, passageways, aisles, and on-board restrooms may not accommodate all passengers. We will make all reasonable efforts to accommodate differently abled passengers who desire to ride the train. Motorized wheelchairs and/or scooters cannot be accommodated on-board any of our trains at any time. We are able to accommodate some narrow wheelchairs and walkers; however, guests must be able to negotiate the steps for boarding. People with difficulties boarding and debarking, please have consideration for people with babysitters etc. and wait to board and debark after everyone else has gotten on/off the train, so that your group can take their time getting on/off the train taking it nice and slow.
To board the train, guests must step up onto a step box approximately 8-10″ above the ground, then step up to the first step on the car, which is approximately 6-8″. Guests then will proceed up 4-5 individual steps that are approximately 6″ high. There are handrails located next to the steps, and in the entry ways to the cars. Our staff will be on hand to assist guests as necessary.
The Cincinnati Dinner Train is not responsible for unsafe or uneven footing on property owned by third party organizations or created by situations beyond our control. Please watch your footing while loading and unloading from the train. Passengers assume all liability and risk associated with boarding/deboarding the train. Do not purchase tickets to ride train if you are unable to safely climb up to six (6) stairs or walk extended distances up to four hundred (400) ft.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 513-791-RAIL(7245) or email@example.com
Regarding larger sized people, the most comfortable seating would be at our four top table in the Silver Sword lounge area. The four chairs are capable of moving away from the table to allow more space between chair and table. Keep in mind our tables seat four people so another couple could potentially be seated with you. If you’d like to insure the table is yours alone, you’ll need to purchase a 3rd ticket and we will not seat anyone at the 3rd or 4th seat. Thus allowing us to move away the 3rd and 4th chair allowing for more space at the table. If due to your size another couple could not be seated at your table, then you would be required to purchase the 3rd ticket in order to have the table to yourselves.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us at 513-791-RAIL(7245) or firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’ve realized you’ve left something on the train after leaving for the night, please don’t hesitate to call our office and leave a message. We won’t be retrieving the message until Monday morning. Once the item has been confirmed that it was placed in our Lost & Found, you are more than welcomed to come back to the train the next Saturday between the hours of 4:45 pm and 5:45 pm to retrieve your item. If it is inconvenient for you to return to the train, then we would be happy to mail the item to you for the cost of Shipping and Handling. Shipping cost would be equal to charges incurred either from U.S.P.S. or U.P.S. and Handling cost would be an additional $12.00 to cover the cost of shipping materials and time.
Passengers are permitted to board the dinner train with a service animal. The service animal must fit under your seat, at your feet, and cannot block the aisle. The service animal must be always under the control of the handler while on board. Keep in mind, that during the entire train excursion there is no opportunity for the train to stop in order for the service animal to relieve itself (approximately 3 ½ hours.)
Emotional support animals, comfort animals, and therapy dogs are not service animals under Title II and Title III of the ADA.
We shove the train down to the Theodore Berry Park and after sitting for ten minutes at the park, we will pull our train back to the boarding location.
The excursion is 25 miles round trip, and will last approximately 3 hours and 15 minutes in length. The Cincinnati Dinner Train makes every effort to maintain its schedule, but reserves the right to alter schedules or equipment as operating conditions demand.
We will travel between five and seven MPH on the way down during dinner and ten to twenty MPH on the way back, in accordance with restricted track speeds of which we must comply.
There are no stops along the route in which passengers are able to de-board the train. We will make a stop to change our direction near Theodore Berry Park and occasionally make a stop en route to give our passengers the chance to view significant sights.
Yes, there is one men’s room and one women’s restroom in the Milwaukee Road #201 dining car, a unisex restroom in the Silver Sword dining car, and one women’s restroom in additional to another unisex restroom in the Oasis Tavern.
Yes, all Cincinnati Dinner Train cars have a climate controlled environment. Please keep in mind that the dining cars are over 60+ years old, and regulating the temperature to an exact degree is difficult. Cars tend to be more cool than hot, so if you are cold natured, you will want to dress accordingly.
Ohio state law dictates that we do not allow smoking anywhere on board our train. This includes in the restrooms and in the vestibules. If a person is caught smoking on board, the state has the ability to fine both the smoker, as well as the Cincinnati Dinner Train. We also enforce the no smoking rule for the comfort and safety of all passengers. Electronic cigarettes, smokeless tobacco products and vaporizers are also not permitted.
Yes, dining passengers can travel between the rail cars, however, we do ask guests to refrain from walking through the cars when entrees are being served. Passengers should remain seated at all times and be aware that the servers can not see the area directly below their trays at their feet so please keep your feet and the legs of your chair tucked in as much as possible in order that the servers do not trip over items you may have in the aisle way.
Please know we are on a moving train which at times, will be stopping and starting. Caution should be used at all times while on board. Although we are typically only travelling at 5 to 10 MPH, there will be occasional jolts and bumps. We strongly suggest you stay seated when we are approaching our final stop back at the boarding area. With occasional jolts when stopping, it is just not worth the risk to stand up to try and exit the train first. Patience is always best. Wait for the train to come to a complete stop before exiting.
The answer to both is no. We do not own the tracks nor do we dictate where they go. We are fortunate to have operating rights on tracks owned and maintained by our host short line railroad. The host railroad only controls the land fourteen foot to either side of track center. Therefore the property owners that elect to dump trash in their backyards are the ones responsible for any unsightly views and ultimately for any required clean-up. In the few sections of our route where we have noticed excessive trash, we have reported it to the applicable city management for them to resolve with the home owner. Even if we wanted to organize a track clean-up party ourselves, we would not be permitted by the host railroad due to liability concerns. In regards to rolling down city streets or across the bridges to Kentucky, we can only operate where there are established tracks. There are no tracks in downtown Cincinnati.
We are fortunate to be able to rent the parking lot from the Green Sales Company who owns and operates their business from that location Monday through Friday. It would not be financially feasible for us to pay thousands of dollars to pave and then maintain a parking lot that we rent forty four Saturdays a year.
We usually have a 1960’s era GP-30 Diesel Locomotive pulling the train. We will occasionally use different engines.
The dinner train consists of a 1947 Budd built New York Central dining car which can serve up to 48 people, a 1947 American Car & Foundry table car which can serve up to 60 people, a 1952 Budd built dining car which can seat up to 28 guests in the dining area and up to 8 in the lounge area, and finally the 1950 Budd built Oasis Tavern which can seat up to 10 guests in the lounge area . Also included in our consist is the 1984 MHC power car and the 1960 Pullman baggage car 3999 that has been converted into our kitchen car.