The Lima Locomotive Works once produced thousands of high quality steam engines during the great age of steam locomotives. Today, Ohio has over 5,000 miles of track, with most freight traffic handled today by CSX and the Norfolk Southern Railway.
Ohio is also the home of the the Nickel Plate Railroad, and an extensive collection of locomotives and rolling stock are located at the Mad River Museum, in Bellevue.
Opened in 1976, the Mad River & NKP Railroad museum has a wide variety of railroad equipment along with locomotives, coaches and freight cars. The Mad River & NKP Museum includes an extensive collection from the Nickel Plate Railroad and it’s successors of unique pieces of equipment as well. The founder of the Florida East Coast Railroad, Henry Flagler, once lived on the property where the museum is located today. As a major hub for the Norfolk & Southern, this museum’s location provides many opportunities for train watching and the photographing of trains.
Byesville Scenic Railway route was originally built as the “Marietta & Pittsburgh” Railway during 1871-1873. Scenic train rides include the Coal Miners Festival and a Steam Weekend with Ohio Central 4-6-2 steam locomotive No.1293. Additional scenic train rides include Wine Tasting Excursions, Halloween Excursions, Veterans Day Excursions and the Spirit of Christmas Excursions. UPDATE: The railroad discontinued operation in 2013.
Railroad museum with displays at the historic Cincinnati Union Terminal. The CRRC Museum of Railroadiana & Photographs has a large variety of items related to railroads, including lanterns, bells and records from the B&O dating back to the early 1900’s.
The Cincinnati Dinner Train operates every Saturday throughout the year. This 18 mile round trip excursion lasts about 3 hours while traveling about 10 mile per hour using 1940’s era dinning cars.
Conneaut Railroad Museum
Conneaut Historical Railroad Museum displays include NKP No. 755, one of six surviving Lima built NKP 700 series S class Berkshire. The former Conneaut Ohio NYC station museum has a large collection of great railroadiana. CSX freight trains roar by frequently. Railroad depot museum open Memorial Day-Labor Day. Ph. 440-599-7878
The restored 1873 Dennison Railroad Depot Museum, sits on the main east-west line used during WWII, and played a key role in the disbursement of troops headed overseas. Depot also houses a restaurant, a gift shop and model train. Railroad equipment includes rolling stock and a steam locomotive, Chesapeake and Ohio 2-8-4 #2700. Polar Express train rides operate weekends in December. Directions.
The A C & J Scenic Line, Inc., has been operating passenger excursions since 1991, reintroducing area residents and tourists to the pleasures of railroad passenger service. A C & J Scenic Line offers charter services and has special events through out the year, in addition to the regularly scheduled weekend passenger trains. Travel in 1920’s passenger cars over the 12 mile, one hour train ride over former NYC trackage. Various events include a Civil War Train, a Wild West weekend, a kids pumpkin weekend and a Santa Train train ride.Directions
Ride in an open air gondola for a one hour nostalgic train ride through the southeastern Ohio countryside board the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad. Several themed train rides include the North Pole Express train ride, a Murder Mystery Dinner Train ride and a Day Out With Thomas train ride.Directions.
Marion Union Station
Restored and renovated depot housing a museum area dedicated to the persons and railroads who built Marion and America. Model railroad display and a tourist information center. PH: 740-383-3768
The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway runs weekend diesel-powered train rides in vintage 1927 commuter coaches between Nelsonville and Logan. Route is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Special event train rides on the Hocking Valley Scenic Railway include the Easter Bunny Train, a 4th of July Fireworks Shuttle, Ohio’s Friendliest Train Robbery, a Pizza Train, a Labor Day Caboose Special, an October Foliage Train and a Santa Train ride. Two train departures on Saturdays and Sundays thru October. Ride aboard Ohio’s only operating regularly scheduled standard-gauge steam locomotive, No. 3, 1920 BLW 0-6-0. Directions
The Cuyahoga Valley Scenic Railroad is a nostalgia experience on one of the oldest, longest and most scenic railway excursions in the country. Scenic train ride winds its way along the Cuyahoga River Valley from the Akron Northside station, under towering highway bridges, past the Boston Mills ski resort & through the Pinery Narrows near Alexander’s Mill. Travel aboard vintage climate-controlled coaches that were built in the 40’s and 50′ for the Santa Fe and Seaboard Railroads. Past steam power has included the 1948 Canadian built 4-6-2, No. 1293 along with NKP 765. Excursions include a monthly wine train ride as well as special events, including Thomas the Tank Engine and a Polar Express train ride. Directions
Scenic train rides hosted by the Wheeling & Lake Erie Railway and the Ohio Central Railroad. The Orrville Railroad Heritage Society sponsors trips starting in April over the Wheeling & Lake Erie between Orrville and Pittsburgh, Pa. The scenic leaves Orrville at 8 a.m. and travels the scenic W&LE route that includes 13 tunnels and several high bridges. Check schedule for various weekend train rides thru early December, including a Ride with Santa train. Directions
Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad amusement park includes open coach train rides with replica 4-4-0 steam engines.Static displays include the Cedar Point & Lake Erie Railroad 2-6-0 No. 3 Albert and a former Pere Marquette caboose.
The Lorain & West Virginia Railway offers several scenic train rides that include such themes as a Mother’s Day Tea Express, a Presidential Train with Abraham Lincoln, a Magical Train Ride with Loop the Clown, the Wreck on the Wabash with Laurie Dickens, and an very popular Haunted Halloween Train ride. Fall Foliage train rides run Saturday and Sunday afternoons during October. The 90+ minute round trip rides take passengers back to a more casual time when passenger trains where a primary form of transportation, governing our lives and influencing our priorities. Sit back and enjoy the ride past an original 195+ year-old log cabin (built in 1817 and found down stream from Fort Megs). Then past a 100 year-old horse barn as you continue your journey over the last remaining ten miles of track from one of America’s most prestigious railroads, the Nickel Plate Railroad. (The Cloverleaf division of the Nickel-Plate provided rail service from Toledo, Ohio to St. Louis, Missouri between the mid 1800’s and the early 1900’s.) After your trip feel free to visit your locomotive engineer for a tour of the locomotive and converse with the train crew for a taste of what it was like to work on a railroad 100 years ago. Bring your camera. E-8 locomotive engine cab rides are also available.
Founded in 1948, the Ohio Railway Museum is one of the oldest railway museums in America. The museum began with the acquisition of Ohio Public Service Interurban Car #21, which is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Ohio Railway Museum’s displays include Norfolk & Western 4-6-2 steam locomotive #578, streetcars and passenger cars dating from the early 20th century along with a post office railcar built in 1920.