Scenic Train Rides in Colorado

The Railroad Nation

Locations
Alamosa Antonito Boulder Canon City Colorado Springs Craig Cripple Creek Denver Dolores Durango Ft Collins
Georgetown Golden Greeley Leadville Limon Manitou Springs Morrison Pueblo Ridgeway Windsor  

Voted by the National Association of Travel Journalists as a "5 Star Award for Best Attraction" the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad is one of the most spectacular narrow gauge steam train rides in North America. Coal fired steam locomotives pull trains through the rugged Animas River Gorge over a railroad built in the 1880's.
If you are looking for first class sight seeing train rides with breath taking panoramic views, climb aboard Colorado's only dinner train, the Royal Gorge Route.
Don't miss Colorado's always popular scenic train ride, the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad's Rails & Ales theme train ride.
The Georgetown Loop Railroad has old time steam action featuring a full loop, where the tracks cross over themselves to gain elevation.
The Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad departs from Antonito for a 64 mile scenic train tide following the former Denver & Rio Grande Western narrow-gauge route to Chama, New Mexico. Climb to the "top of the world" Pikes Peak year round aboard a cog rail train. Discount coupons are offered for select days & times on the Pikes Peak Cog Railway. After departing from an 1893 depot high in the Rockies at 10,200 ft, the Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad offers spectacular scenery along the Arkansas River Valley as you climb another 900ft in elevation.
Did you know?
Colorado is well known for it narrow gauge railroads but did you know, it also has the most operating narrow gauge steam locomotives in the US? The Colorado Railroad Museum displays over 100 narrow gauge cars and contains the top railroad research library in the state.
Colorado has 76 steam locomotives, with over a dozen in operation around the state. The remaining steam locomotives are either on display/stored or going through restoration. Some notable narrow gauge steam engine rides in Colorado are on the D&SNG RR and the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad in Golden. Union Pacific Big Boy 4005 is on display at the Forney Museum of Transportation in Denver.
Amtrak services include the California Zephyr and the Southwest Chief. There are more than 2500 miles of trackage, reaching the highest point in the US for any Amtrak train at 9239 feet inside the Moffat Tunnel. The Pueblo Railway Museum has more than 25 trains per day of both the UP and the BNSF that pass alongside the museum yard tracks.

 

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Find the Perfect Colorado Train Ride

Photo courtesy of Michael Biehn

Alamosa

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

Experience the view of the panoramic mountains of Colorado and it's wildlife aboard the San Luis & Rio Grande Scenic Railroad train ride as you travel comfortably aboard one of the former Santa Fe 1954 vintage Super Dome luxury lounge cars or fully restored 1950's era Pullman coaches. The Rio Grande Railroad scenic train ride from Alamosa to La Veta is powered by steam every day during the season, by either the 1910 Lake Superior and Ishpeming 2-8-0 #18 or the fully restored 1901 Southern Pacific 2-6-0 #1744. Polar Express trains run during the holiday season. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad's Winter Wonderland Express provides an exciting Colorado scenic steam train ride on miles of snow-covered rail running during winter and running through the still snow covered month of May.

Antonito

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad takes in all the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains along a 64 mile route following the Colorado and New Mexico boarder. Powered by narrow gauge steam locomotives and able crews, you travel through tunnels, ride high above the deep Toltec Gorge and over Cumbres Pass. Climb a twelve mile 4% grade that includes the unique Tanglefoot Curve, originally known as the "Cumbres Loop", an old trick used by surveyors to gain elevation in 1880.

Boulder

Boulder County Railway Historical Society

Rolling stock displays.

Canon City

Royal Gorge Route Railroad

The Royal Gorge Route Railroad offers six different types of rail services aboard one of the most scenic train rides in the world. The Royal Gorge Railroad follows the original 1879 route along the Arkansas River for 24 miles along a very narrow 1000 foot mountain gorge. Scenic train rides may also include a first class 3 hour dinner train offering spectacular scenic views and abundant wildlife as you travel in air conditioned comfort aboard Vista Dome cars. Dinner & Murder Mystery trains are scheduled from May to September.Directions.

Colorado Springs

Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway

A non-profit organization, the Pikes Peak Historical Street Railway was formed in 1982, and has as its primary mission the restoration and operation of electric trolleys in Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs. Located in an 1888 Rock Island Railroad roundhouse. At one time, there were 11 different railroads in the Pike's Peak region between 1900-1930.

Craig

Museum of Northwest Colorado

Completely restored private business 1906 Pullman car available for tours at Craig city park. Car originally owned by rail magnate David Moffat while building the Denver Northwestern & Pacific Railroad until 1913.

Cripple Creek

Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad

A real treat for railroad and history buffs, kids and the whole family. The Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge Railroad operates a forty five minute 4 mile round trip scenic train ride that reveals the scenic wonders of the old gold mining days of Colorado as a century-old steam locomotive transports you back in time.

Denver

Ski Train

From Denver’s Union Station, Denver's Ski Train begins the 56 mile route west through northwest suburban Denver and then generally parallel to South Boulder Creek, past Pinecliffe and Rollinsville. The route climbs about 4,000 feet and passes through 28 tunnels before reaching the final mountain underpass, the 6.2 mile long Moffat Tunnel. It is the highest railroad tunnel in the United States and passes under the Continental Divide.  The train stops less than 100 yards from the base of the ski lifts of Winter Park.

Regrettably, the Anschutz Company has confirmed news reports that the Ski Train has been sold to the Algoma Central Railway Inc., a subsidiary of Canadian National Railway, and will no longer be operated in Colorado. The Denver Ski Train had operated since 1940.

Forney Museum of Transportation

The Forney Museum of Transportation is a one of a kind collection of over 500 exhibits relating to transportation. Notable displays include the 4-8-8-4 Union Pacific Big Boy steam locomotive, No 4005. Directions

Platte Valley Trolley

Year round children's museum with trolley rides and displays.

Dolores

Galloping Goose Historical Society

Galloping Goose Historical Society's Museum and Gift Shop are housed in an exact replica of the Rio Grande Southern Railroad's Dolores Depot. Free admission.

Durango

Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Photo by John West

Photo by John West

One of the greatest American scenic railroads, the Durango & Silverton was voted one of the "Top 10 Most Exciting Train Journeys in the World" by the Society of American Travel Writers. Located in the southwestern corner of the state, this scenic 3 foot narrow gauge train ride offers one of the most enjoyable ways of seeing some of the most beautiful areas in the 1.8 million-acre national forest while riding the 45-mile Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. These scenic steam train rides run right through the heart of the San Juan National Forest as it follows the Animas River through the rugged Cascade Canyon. Excursions of either the “Raft ‘n Rail” or the “Rail ‘n Raft” offer a scenic train ride and a scenic raft ride down the Lower Animas. Experience the old world of steam at the Durango roundhouse. Currently, there are six steam locomotives, all 2-8-0's built between 1923 and 1925 by either Alco or Baldwin. Engine numbers are: 473,478,480,481,482 and 486. Scenic train excursion specials include a Valentine Murder Mystery, Polar Express, and a Day Out With Thomas Event. These along with fan and photo special train rides run all year round. Listed in Parade's "Unforgettable Day Trips by Rail".

Fort Collins

Fort Collins Municipal Railway

Three mile, round trip trolley ride through residential Fort Collins on restored trolley cars from May through September.

Centennial Travelers

Guided rail tours.

Georgetown

Georgetown Loop Railroad

The scenic Georgetown Loop Railroad operates a 1928 BLW 2-6-2 steam locomotive train ride in open-air cars, allowing for unobstructed views of the majestic Colorado mountains and its long abandoned gold and silver mines. Departures are available from the Silver Plume Depot or Devil’s Gate Station in Georgetown. Directions

Golden

Colorado Railroad Museum

The Colorado Railroad Museum building is a replica of a 1880s-style depot. It houses thousands of rare old photographs, artifacts and documents illustrating the colorful histories of the railroads which have served the state for over 125 years. Displays include narrow gauge steam locomotives. The roundhouse area includes a fascinating display of locomotives and cars on the roundhouse ”radial” tracks, as well as a fully functioning 90-foot, “Armstrong” turntable.The Denver Garden Railway Society has a G-scale garden railway exhibit and is home to the Denver HO Model Railroad Club, one of the oldest and largest model railroad clubs in the Rocky Mountains. The 15-acre rail yard features over 100 pieces of rolling stock.Directions.

Greeley

Greenly Freight Station Museum

This one-of-a-kind facility features over 600 railroad-related artifacts ranging from a Virginia and Truckee Railroad switch key to a full-sized Colorado and Southern wooden Caboose available for examining both inside and out.

Leadville

Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad

Beginning at an elevation of 10,200 feet, the Leadville, Colorado & Southern Railroad scenic train ride departs from an 1893 station that takes passengers along the old Denver, South Park & Pacific and Colorado & Southern lines to the Continental Divide. As you begin your 900 foot assent on this 22 mile scenic train ride, you can take in the breath-taking panoramas across the Arkansas River Valley while you enjoy a humorous narrative about Leadville's colorful past.Directions

Limon

Limon Heritage Museum & Railroad Park

Formerly a "Union" depot servicing both Rock Island and Union Pacific railroads, this 1910 Limon Depot, restored and maintained by Heritage Society volunteers, is a community treasure recently placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Manitou Springs

Pikes Peak Cog Railway

The Pikes Peak Cog Railway runs a three hour round trip scenic train ride to the summit at Pikes Peak. Pikes Peak is home to one of the largest herds of Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep in Colorado making for some great sights on the way to the sumit at 14,110 ft. Railway operates year round.Directions

Morrison

Tiny Town Railroad

Tiny Town Railroad is located in a former Colorado & Southern 1882 depot with railroad exhibits. Depending on the day, you’ll ride behind either a scale model steam engine, or a Rio Grande F7 diesel replica.

Pueblo

Pueblo Railway Museum

The Pueblo Railway Museum includes a collection of locomotives, passenger, freight and special-purpose cars in the rail yards behind and a short distance to the west of the historic 1889 Pueblo Union Depot. The tracks of the main lines of both the UP and the BNSF pass alongside the museum yard tracks. This is part of the famous "joint line". More than 25 trains per day pass through. Excellent for photo opportunities. Train rides include caboose rides and locomotive cab rides aboard a GP-7 diesel. AT&SF #2912, a 4-8-4 Northern type steam locomotive built by Baldwin in 1944, is part of their collection of locomotives and rolling stock. Directions

Ridgeway

Ridgeway Railway Museum

Birthplace of the Rio Grande Southern Railway. The Ridgeway Railroad Museum offers up an assortment of railcars and an indoor collection of artifacts, photos and tools from the Rio Grande Southern.

Windsor

Windsor Museum

1880's Colorado & Southern Railroad depot with exhibits from steam-era railroading. Railroad artifacts from the C&S as well as photos from the Great Northern Railroad, a baggage truck and an operating telegraph. PH: 970-674-2439