Indiana Scenic Train Rides

the Railroad Nation

Locations
Connersville Elkhart French Lick Knightstown La Porte Linden
Madison Monon New Haven Noblesville North Judson Terre Haute

The restored NKP #765 Berkshire is on display at the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society and runs special steam rail excursions on the Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad.
Scenic rail excursions in Indiana can be found at the Whitewater Valley Railroad, the Carthage, Knightstown & Shirley Railroad and the Indiana Transportation Museum.
The Hoosier state has of 33 steam locomotives scattered around Indiana. On display in Elkhart is the New York Central 4-8-2 No. 3001 at the National NYC Railroad Museum. Elkhart is also home to a large Norfolk Southern rail yard. Narrow gauge New Mexico Lumber Co. Shay No. 7 operates scenic train rides at the Hesston Steam Museum.
Did you know?
The first railroad in Indiana was the Madison, Indianapolis & Lafayette Railroad, and was completed in 1838. The major railroads trans-versing Indiana's east-west main lines today are the CSX, the Norfolk Southern, and two Canadian railway systems. The state has 8 active rail tunnels, one of them on the French Lick Scenic Railway operated by the Indiana Railway Museum. There are over 4100 route miles of track. Amtrak routes in Indiana run between Chicago, Michigan, New York and Washington DC.


Find the Perfect Indiana Train Rides

Photo courtesy of Michael Biehn

Connorsville

Whitewater Valley Railroad

The Whitewater Valley Railroad scenic train ride runs on weekends from May through October. The 32 mile round trip train excursion lasts 5 hours, including a layover for touring and exploring a restored canal town. Ride aboard open-window coaches or on a caboose as your route follows along much of the Whitewater Canal. Specialty trains include an Easter Bunny Express, a Civil War Train, a Fall Foliage Train, a Polar Express Train and a Santa Train.Day Out with Thomas trains are scheduled for June. Directions

Elkhart

National New York Central Railroad Museum

Visitors enter the National New York Central Railroad Museum through a 1915 passenger coach. This area introduces a timeline to the local railroad history beginning in 1833 with the Lake Shore and Michigan Southern Railroad, and tracing it through 1914, when the New York Central Railroad gained control of the LSMS. At the end of the coach, the path leads through the Central System Gift Shop and into the Museum's main gallery in an 100 year old freight house complex. Hands on exhibits allow you to constrict track and operate a steam locomotive. Rolling stock includes the 1940 NYC Mohawk 4-8-2, #3001, the largest piece of NYC steam equipment left in existence. An O' gauge model railroad layout is on display and open to the public year round.

French Lick

Indiana Railway Museum

A 1907 depot at the Indiana Railway Museum serves as your departure point aboard the French Lick Scenic Railway. The 20-mile, 2 hour round trip scenic train ride travels through the forested countryside and through the 2200 foot Burton tunnel to Cuzco. Train Robbery specials operate on weekends April through November and on Tuesdays, June-October. Santa trains and haunted trains are also run. Museum displays include both steam and diesel locomotives. October train rides feature beautiful fall colors of the Hoosier National Forest.

Knightstown

Carthage, Knightstown & Shirley Railroad

This 10-mile round trip, 75 minute scenic train ride aboard the Carthage, Knightstown & Shirley Railroad departs from an old NYC station. Special events, including the CKS Railroad Train robbery. Train rides run from May through October.

La Porte

Hesston Steam Museum

Located in a park like setting, the Hesston Steam Museum features two narrow gauges, a two foot and a three foot miniature live steam train rides. Locomotives include a 1939 0-8-0, a 1940 Czech built 0-4-0T and a 1929 3T Shay. The Hesston Steam Museum is filled with other steam powered machinery including a steam-powered saw mill, a railroad steam crane, steam powered electric power plant, steam traction engines and more. Train rides run weekends and holidays, Memorial Day through Labor Day, and Sundays only, after Labor Day, until the end of October.Directions.

Linden

Linden Depot Museum

Linden Depot Museum resides in a former 1907 Nickle Plate depot. Exhibits and photos along with memorabilia from both the Nickel Plate Railroad and the Monon Railroad are on display. Linden is home to the Monon Railroad Historical Technical Society's World Headquarters, is located south of the Depot Museum. The depot, which houses the museum, is the oldest junction in the State of Indiana and is listed on the National Registry Of Historic Places. It has been restored to a 1950's era of railroading and is operated by the Linden-Madison Township Historical Society. A Nickle Plate caboose sits on display as well as two former Monon cars. Open May through September.

Madison

Madison Railroad Station

The Heritage Center includes the restored 1895 Pennsylvania Railroad Madison Railroad station,a brick Victorian-era passenger depot, offering visitors a permanent exhibit gallery featuring Jefferson County and Madison history, a wooden caboose, and a Children’s Education facility.Directions.

Monon

Monon Connection Museum

The Monon Connection Museum features a completely furnished, full-size replica of a Illinois Central depot with outdoor displays. Exhibits include a large collection of dining car china along with hundreds of hand-held lanterns, some dating back to pre Civil War, dozens of immaculately restored brass steam locomotive bells and whistles.Directions

New Haven

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society

The NKP 765 is the pride of the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society and one of only a handful of steam locomotives that still operate in the United States. Owned and operated by the society, the New York, Chicago & St.Louis Railroad (Nickel Plate Road) 2-8-4, No.765 Berkshire operates occasional steam excursions in partnership with the Southern Norfolk 21 Century Steam program.

Noblesville

Indiana Transportation Museum

This 22 mile scenic train ride through the Indiana countryside operates on weekends. The Indiana Transportation Museum offers a wide variety of special trains, including the Fair Train to the Indiana State Fair, a Mothers Day Train,the Blue Arrow offering an evening dining experience aboard a restored Louisville & Nashville Railroad dining car. Operations run from April an ending in October with a Harvest Train. Polar Bear Express and holiday charters are also available in December. Museum includes the 1918 Nickel Plate No. 587, a 2-8-2 Mikado, which is currently undergoing a complete rebuilding at this time.

North Judson

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum features 30 pieces of rolling stock, a former C&O 2-8-4 steam locomotive, No 2789 along with various types of restored railroad signals. The museum is open Saturdays. Various scenic train rides and caboose train rides are available weekends from May through October. Drive a real train out on the high iron! Receive a full hour of supervised experience at the controls of a real diesel locomotive on the C&O mainline with a short freight train. Admission is free.Directions.

Terre Haute

Wabash Valley Railroaders Museum

The Wabash Valley Railroaders Museum features two interlocking towers. The last lever interlocking machines on the CP, that are now preserved at the 1910 Spring Hill and the Haley Towers. This was one of the very last manned interlocking towers in the Midwest. They are preserved by the Haley Tower Historical & Technical Society, along with a depot and a viewing platform adjacent to CSXT mainlines. Museum is open weekends May through October.