Scenic Train Rides in Kentucky

The Railroad Nation

Locations
Bardstown Bowling Green Covington New Haven Paducah Stearns Versailles

Kentucky scenic train rides can be found on the Big South Fork Scenic Railway operating from the end of March through December. My Old Kentucky Dinner Train operates year-round using 1940's dining cars. The Bluegrass Scenic Railroad & Museum operates several theme scenic train rides from April through the December holidays. The Kentucky Railway Museum operates scenic excursions on 17 miles of former Louisville & Nashville track and is home to L&N #152, a 4-6-2 Pacific type steam locomotive that is also the official steam locomotive of the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
Did you know?
Kentucky has 11 steam locomotives, with most of them on display around the state. Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad 2-8-4 No. 2716 is on display in New Haven. The RJ Corman Central Kentucky Lines' Chinese QJ Class 2-10-2 No. 2008 pulls occasional excursions and light freight hauling around the Lexington area.
Kentucky's first railroad was the Lexington & Ohio, opening in 1834. Total track routes for the state of Kentucky are a little over 2600 miles and the 2 major freight haulers transit through the "Blue Grass State" today are the CSX and NS, linking the South and the Midwest. High volumes of coal originate from the eastern areas of the state. Amtrak's Cardinal and the City of New Orleans routes pass through Kentucky and the folklore legend "Casey" Jones was born in Cayce, Ky.

 


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Bardstown

My Old Kentucky Dinner Train

The R. J. Corman Railroad Company operates the My Old Kentucky Dinner Train over a 15 mile year-round rail excursions that include both lunch and dinner trips. Special event trains include a Mystery Train, a Valentines Train, a North Pole Express as well as other event trains. Four course meals are server aboard the dinner train, that features elegant vintage 1940s dining cars, offers a place to enjoy relaxed conversation, along with the fine cuisine and gracious service. A ride aboard the My Old Kentucky Dinner Train is a chance to experience a wonderful bygone era. There are also two restored depots along the line, at Deatsville and Limestone Springs. The area is also rich in Civil War history. Directions

Bowling Green

Historic RailPark & Train Museum

Self guided interactive museum, theater and model train exhibit.

Covington

Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati

The Railway Museum of Greater Cincinnati a collection of railway equipment and over 70 railway cars, including large Pullman cars, several switchers from the seven railways that served Cincinnati along with a a Pennsylvania Railroad E8A diesel locomotive. Museum is open year-round.

New Haven

Kentucky Railway Museum

Housed in a replica of the original New Haven station, the Kentucky Railway Museum has more than 50,000 railroad items, including over 120 pieces of rolling stock and engines. Among the diverse locomotives is the museum's centerpiece, the 1905 Rogers built ex-L&N 4-6-2 No. 152. A 90 minute train rides take you over 22 miles of former Louisville & Nashville track. Open year round with excursion train rides running from April through December. Open air and air conditioned coaches are available. Museum offers dinner trains, murder mystery trains, train hold ups and Santa Trains. Locomotive cab and caboose rides are also available. Kentucky Railway Museum, in conjunction with Family Modular Lines, operates a large model train building. The 3,000 square feet exhibit space includes displays and operating layouts such as HO scale, N-scale, S-scale & G gauge from a variety of time periods.Directions

Paducah

Paducah Railroad Museum

The Paducah Railroad Museum displays equipment and memorabilia from various railroads, including the three roads that served Paducah, the Louisville & Nashville Railroad, the Chicago, Burlington & Quincy as well as the Illinois Central. The Puducah Railroad Museum also includes a model railroad layout. Open weekends.

Stearns

Big South Fork Scenic Railway

The Big South Fork Scenic Railway train travels over the former Kentucky & Tennessee Railway making a 16 mile round trip into the Daniel Boone National Forest and Big South Fork National River & Recreation Area. This trip is full of spectacular scenic vistas, lush vegetation and mountain streams as it descends 600 feet into the gorge before stopping for a short layover at a 1937 Blue Heron Coal Mining Camp, a NPS outdoor interpretive site. Your ticket also includes admission to the McCreary County Museum in Stearns.
Train rides run from April through October. Round trip times vary between 3 to 3 1/2 hours in length. All trains depart on Eastern Time and run rain or shine. Railway also offers diesel locomotive cab rides, caboose rides, as well as a Rivers and Rails package that includes a 12 mile train ride and a 5 mile canoe ride. October themed train rides include a Trick or Treat Train for Tots and a Haunted Halloween Train. Directions

Versailles

Bluegrass Scenic Railroad Museum

The Bluegrass Scenic Railroad & Museum operates a 6-mile round trip excursion through the heart of the Kentucky Bluegrass region. Railroad features several diesel locomotives and 1920's and '30's vintage coaches. Railroad museum includes indoor and outdoor displays. Special event trains include major holiday themes as well as a Mystery Train, a Halloween Train and a Santa Train. The near by  Nostalgia Station Toy Train Museum is located in a 1911 L&N depot and contains an extensive collection of 20th century toy trains. Trains run rain or shine.Directions