The newest scenic train ride in Kansas is now the Kansas Belle Dinner Train operating out of Baldwin City.
Scenic train rides in Kansas can be found on the Midland Railway, that operates an impressive roster of first-generation diesels from the NYC, the Rock Island, CB&Q and the Katy.
The Kansas Museum of History proudly displays the state’s oldest surviving Santa Fe locomotive, an 1880, 2-8-0, the “Cyrus K. Holliday,” named after the ATSF founder. Occasionally it would be seen in films and on an episode of the television series Gunsmoke.
Did you know?
The first railroad in Kansas, the Leavenworth, Pawnee & Western, was charter in 1855 and went on later to become the Union Pacific Railroad. There are 28 steam locomotive listed in Kansas today and the only operational steam train ride is the former Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe Railway 4-6-2 No.3415 on the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad. Another 16 Santa Fe steam locomotives are currently on display in city parks and museums, including Santa Fe 4-8-4 No.3768 at the Great Plains Transportation Museum.
Kansas ranks third in total state route-miles with more than 4800 miles of track. During the states history, the dominate rail line was the Santa Fe, but it also included the former Missouri Pacific and the Kansas Pacific Railway. America’s first streamlined train was the UP’s M-10000, that began it’s first revenue assignment between Salina, Kan. and K.C., Mo. and Amtrak’s Chicago-Los Angeles Southwest Chief travels through Kansas, making several stops along the way, mostly at night.
The 90 minute, 10 1/2 mile round trip scenic train ride aboard the Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad’s recently refurbished Santa Fe No.3415 is truly a spectacular sight as it glides through rolling Smoky Hill River valley from Abilene to Enterprise. School field trips, private charters, dinner trains, and Silver Flyer Rail Bus trips run from April – October. Two round trip cab rides are available on each steam excursion. The 3415, a 1919 Baldwin built 4-6-2, is the only operating steam locomotive in the state of Kansas and is only one of three operational former Santa Fe steam locomotives still operating today. Train rides consists include a 1902 wood KATY passenger car, converted to a dining car, two open air gondola cars, with canopy tops and a caboose.
The Midland Railway Historical Association operates scenic trains on a line originally constructed in 1867. The one-hour scenic train rides make a 20-mile round trip, crossing two 200 foot trestles from Baldwin City via Norwood to Ottawa Junction, traveling through scenic Eastern Kansas farmland and woods with vintage railway equipment. Children can enjoy a twenty five minute Thomas the Tank Train ride aboard the Day Out With Thomas the Tank Engine.
The Kansas Belle Dinner Train began operation on January 26th, 2013 after operating as the Fremont Dinner Train in Fremont, NE for the past 24 years, on the Fremont and Elkhorn Valley Railroad. The Kansas Belle Dinner Train plans to operate Saturday evenings and Sunday afternoons and hopefully adding Friday evening train rides as the year progresses. The Kansas Belle Dinner Train currently operates four dining cars, all of which have their unique and distinct personalities.
Santa Fe Depot
The Kingman Santa Fe depot was built in 1910-1911 to replace a wood depot. The museum features railroad memorabilia from a private collection, from items found within the depot, and other items that have been donated or loaned. There is also an HO gauge model train display. 620-532-2142
The Kansas Museum of History displays the #132 “Cyrus K. Holliday,” with a tender and two 1880s coaches. The “Holliday” performed under steam at local celebrations, fairs and other events until 1961. Occasionally it would be seen in films and an episode of the television series Gunsmoke. The two coaches have been restored to their one-time use as a 1920s drover’s car and a 1910 division superintendent’s car.
The Great Plains Transportation Museum includes outdoor displays of locomotives, cabooses and cars. Featured engines include the Santa Fe No.3768, Northern class 4-8-4 built by Baldwin in 1938, and a 1967 Santa Fe FP45 diesel No.93. The museum is open year-round on Saturdays and on Sundays from April thru October. Directions