My buddy Bob is really into trains, and I've got to believe he will love taking a ride in the Amtrak Great Dome car, if he hasn't already. Why?

The Amtrak Great Dome car has a 360-degree view (this train car has windows on all four sides and curving up into the roof. For four weekends in July, the Amtrak Pere Marquette train will have the Great Dome car attached to it.

This is going to take a little planning, but it's not expensive, just $32 each way for adults.

So take a look at the dates and maybe look up a hotel package in downtown Chicago, and make some memories. Do you have kids? Kids that adore Thomas the Tank Engine? How often will they get a chance like this?

Officially known as car 10031 “Ocean View,” it is the only Dome Lounge car in the entire Amtrak fleet. It will operate eastbound on Thursday nights with round-trips through the weekend, returning west to Chicago on Monday mornings, June 30-July 4, July 7-11, 14-18 and 21-24. There is no extra charge to ride in this car. The downside is these dates don't include Lollapalooza, which is at the end of July..

The upper level offers panoramic views of the of one of the prettiest routes in the Midwest, from the Chicago skyline to the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, carousel and beach in St. Joseph, Holland and the new station in Grand Rapids.