GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - If you drove by the Port of Gulfport this weekend, you may have noticed a unique sight on the tracks. A train made up of antique cars has made a pit stop in the city for a couple of days. For Nelson McGahee and his wife, the train is home away from home.
"It's really living your dream type stuff," said McGahee.
He and his wife share a passion for life on the rails, so one day they decided to be a part of it and bought a train car. Their affinity for traveling the country isn't uncommon. What's unique is how they do it.
"You really see America as it is, as opposed to 35,000 feet coast to coast," said McGahee.
His wife is the Executive Director of the American Association of Private Railroad Car Owners. This trip is for the association's mid-year meeting, and consists of 12 cars being pulled by Amtrak engines.
The car owners don't just keep their property to themselves. They invite others along to enjoy what they call a cruise on rails across the country. Everywhere they stop, the cars attract interest from people, like Gulfport couple Al and Martha Mayeu.
"It's been my dream since I was a child to be on a Pullman train and tuck in for the night on one of those little bunks and just chug away and be at another place in the morning," said Martha.
The Mayeus say it's the old style of luxury that makes the train so interesting. That luxury even includes a private chef in most of the cars. Malia Ramos is one of the chefs.
"It's a dream job. I wouldn't want to do anything else," said Ramos.
Cooking for passengers was her ticket to travel the country, but she's not quitting anytime soon, so to catch a ride on this train, you'll have to just buy a ticket.
The cars range in age from 60 to 100-years-old. The train left early Sunday morning. It's scheduled to make one more stop in Hattiesburg before heading back to New Orleans next week.
If you want to find out more about the association and how you can get involved, just visit http://aaprco.com/