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TIMELINE for the
American-European Express / Greenbrier Limited,
American Orient Express, and GrandLuxe Express
 
 
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This list is a work-in-progress. Any additions or corrections, please email.
DATE
EVENTS
Nov 15, 1989
Bill Spann starts American-European Express. The first car is ZURICH. Two sets of cars are attached to Amtrak's Capitol Limited trains offering luxury service between Chicago and Washington, DC. Inaugural run in November 15..
March 1, 1991
The Greenbrier Limited makes its inaugural run. This new concept for the AEE has all the cars running together in their own train and stopping at the Greenbrier Hotel in White Sulphur Springs, WV.
July 21, 1991
A mishap -- 11 cars were damaged by a flatbed truck on the railroad tracks. MONTE CARLO got the worst of it, but is soon repaired.
October, 1991
A second mishap -- two people trespassing on the Northeast Corridor are struck by a press preview of the proposed AEE winter service between Washington DC and Miami. The AEE cars are mothballed in Florida, later stored in Atlanta.
1994-1995
Rebirth of the concept as the American Orient Express. The cars run in service on 17 trips from San Antonio, TX to Branson, MO.
1996
From this year the AOE is turned into a true land-cruise tourist operation. Bookings take off. Growth actually becomes an issue as the train gets too long for station platforms.
2002-2004
Introduction and operation of the AOE II, splitting the cars of the AOE into two nearly-identical trains.
2006
AOE sold and rebranded GrandLuxe Express
August 2008
GrandLuxe Rail Journeys ends operations amid the deepest recession since the Great Depression.
June 2009
GrandLuxe Express cars sold to American Railway Explorer project and other buyers.
2011
American Railway Explorer cars sold - mostly - to Greenbrier Presidential Express project. Some of the cars would have been on familiar rails from 20 years earlier, as the Greenbrier Presidential Express was planned to run over some of the same routing as the 1991 American-European Express/Greenbrier Limited.
2014
Greenbrier Presidential Express cars sold to a variety of new owners.
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