Scenic Train Rides in the US

If you have ever wanted to travel back in time and experience the romance and excitement of the golden age of railroading, Scenic Rail Excursions is your one stop source to find that tourist railroad or railroad museum that is an affordable way to have fun for the whole family.

Scenic Rail Excursions is a directory and review site to provide you with up to date and comprehensive listings of reviews for travel by train, scenic train rides, old time train rides and railroad museums in North America. From this directory you will find information about hundreds of scenic train rides, vintage train rides and railroad museums all over the U.S. You will also find videos of many the trains in action. You can also find information on railroads that offer train locomotive cab rides and ones that offer  instructions on operating a locomotive. Many scenic train rides and museums offer a variety of different packages, including everything from river rafting, fine dining to themed train rides like the always popular Polar Express and Murder Mystery Dinner Trains.

What You Can Expect

Unlike traveling by plane high above or in a car speeding by down the interstate, scenic railroad travel takes you at a pace that lets the environment unfold around you. Whether it is the clickety-clack sounds of the wheels as they ride along the rails, or maybe the sound of a steam locomotive whistle deep in the forest as you travel beside of a swiftly flowing river, it will be an experience you will never forget. It can be for just a vacation, a romantic get away, a special occasion for that someone special in your life, or even a Polar Express train ride, with all the joy of riding the rails in a snow covered setting. You could be served a relaxing dinner where the scenery outside your widow is ever changing. It can be an scenic train ride to nowhere or a interactive mystery play performed for you as you travel to your destination. There are special runs on some railroads for various holidays, which may include Mothers Day, Valentines Day,Trick or Treat Trains, Polar Express Trains and even Santa Trains during the holidays. Some theme parks have their own railroads to take you around to the different parts of their parks. These are great places for families to bring their children and enjoy a day together. For a real railroading experience, train cab rides are also available on several tourist lines.

The Railroad Nation

Early American Railroads

Beginning in the early 1800’s, railroads were the main means of transporting passengers and freight across the vast miles that criss-crossed the American landscape. The discovery of gold in California in 1848 created an incentive for the railroads to cross the continent. After the driving in of the golden spike at Promontory Summit, Utah the connecting of the east railroads with the west was completed. With the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in 1869, travel by rail across the entire country was made possible for passengers and commerce. Along with the coming of the railroads, the cities and towns along these routes began to grow and develop.The local cultures that went along with the dependence of the railroads created a world of their own.

If you want to tour the western US by train, you can enjoy all the beautiful wonders that nature has to offer. You can take a scenic rail excursion to glacier cover mountains of Washington State, enjoy a train ride to the Grand Canyon in Arizona, or the majestic scenery of the tall redwood forests of California. Scenic tourist railroads provide the easiest and most relaxing way to see this great country.
Travel aboard narrow gauge train rides that cross over the boarders of Colorado and New Mexico.
Head on over to Tennessee and ride to the top of Lookout Mountain or take a 100 mile scenic excursion.
If you’re heading south, ride a Florida  fan favorite like a Murder Mystery train or an old time steam train excursion.
Scenic train rides in Pennsylvania run on one of the nations oldest operating railroads in Strasburg.
Take a leisurely New England Fall Foliage train ride through New Hampshire forests or take in the all the beauty the Great Smoky Mountains of North Carolina have to offer as you relax and enjoy the beauty of a fall day as the leaves show off their brilliant colors. The sights can be spectacular, and you don’t even have to worry about the driving.

Preserving Our History

Even though the steam locomotive has been long ago replaced by the diesel engine for delivering passengers and freight today, they do still exist. California currently has the largest number of operating steam locomotives with 29. With the dedication and hard work of hundreds of volunteers and train enthusiasts from every state, they have dedicated their lives to their passion of tourist railroads by helping maintain the locomotives and rolling stock on their short line scenic railroads. They are there to help preserve the history of the railroads they love. They are there to help you as you travel and to make your trip as comfortable and as enjoyable as possible. Some of them may also act as your guide to answer any questions you may have as you roll along.

Whether you are are seasoned railroader or a first timer, a tourist railroad can offer a great chance to relive a little American history and enjoy the spectacular sights this country has to offer. When planning your next trip or vacation, you can turn to for the latest in tourist railroading and scenic train rides.

So, before your train leaves the station, just pick the state or region you would like to visit, and climb aboard. And, don’t forget to visit those gift shops that help support the tourist railroads and museums.