Scenic Train Rides in Texas
|Cedar Park||Dallas||Diboll||El Paso||Ft Worth||Frisco||Galveston||Grapevine||Houston|
|Jefferson||Marshall||New Braunfels||Rosenberg||Rusk||San Angelo||San Antonio||Temple||Wichita Falls|
The Austin Steam Train operates weekend scenic train rides over former Southern Pacific rails as you roll through the Texas hills and history. The Grapevine Vintage Railroad operates over ex-Cotton Belt trackage using the only 19th century steam locomotive in Texas. Head on over to the Texas State Railroad in Rusk where various steam and diesel locomotives operate over 25 miles through the piney woods region of east Texas. Bundle up for Polar Express train rides during the holidays on the Texas State Railroad and seasonal theme train rides throughout the year on the Austin & Texas Central Railroad out of Cedar Park.
When in Dallas, ride the trolley cars for free year-round on the McKinney Ave Trolley.
Did you know?
With over 55 steam locomotives around the state of Texas, you will find that most them are on display in either museums or city parks. The Union Pacific 4-8-8-4 Big Boy No. 4018 has been moved from Dallas to the new Museum of the American Railroad location in Frisco.
The first Texas railroad was the Buffalo Bayou, Brazos and Colorado which opened a 20 mile line from Harrisburg to Houston in 1853. Texas Amtrak passenger service includes the Sunset Limited, the Highland Flyer and the Texas Eagle.The Lone Star state leads the nation in total route miles with 10,386 miles, with Union Pacific and BNSF combining for 89% of the total track-age.
The Austin Steam Train Association, operates as the Austin & Texas Central Railroad offering four different rail excursions. The September-May Hill County Flyer is a 70 mile round trip excursion. The Bertram Flyer and the River City Flyer provides an round-trip excursion between Austin and Littig. Seasonal excursions include the Polar Express train ride. Twilight Flyer evening excursions feature special entertainment. Storytellers bring your kids’ favorite bedtime stories to life on board the Storybook Special trains. Additional Twilight Flyers, such as the Murder Mystery Specials, offer an adult-oriented getaway and all train rides depart from Cedar Park.
The 1916 Southern Pacific Mk-5 class 2-8-2 Mikado No.768 is currently undergoing restoration at this time.Directions
The Museum of the American Railroad, currently based at Dallas' Fair Park, will move to a new 12.3-acre site in suburban Frisco, the Dallas Morning News reported. The museum has been at the Fair Park site for almost 50 years. The museum draws about 30,000 annual visitors. Its collection includes Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4018, Pennsylvania Railroad GG1 No. 4903, and Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe FP45 No. 107. UPDATE: The Museum has discontinued operations at Fair Park and has move to Frisco, Texas.
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The History Center features both indoor and outdoor interpretive exhibits. The center piece is the 1920 Texas Southern Railroad Baldwin 4-6-0 steam engine No. 13.
The Friends of the Railroad and Transportation Museum of El Paso, Texas displays a restored 1857 4-4-0 locomotive and other railroad exhibits. Open daily.
Flatonia Rail Park contains a pavilion, a replica of a former Southern Pacific freight depot, a railroad museum, a SP caboose and a San Antonio & Arkansas Pass Railway switching tower.
The Museum of the American Railroad in Frisco is currently under construction. A graduated opening of the new location is anticipated in mid 2013. Displays include the Union Pacific "Big Boy" No 4018. The museum contains an eclectic mixture of all types of locomotives from both the US and Canada. Collection includes pre WWII passenger cars as well as other rolling stock.
The Galveston Railroad Museum boasts one of the largest restored railroad collections in the southwest, and one of the five largest in the country, with numerous railroad memorabilia and exhibits, including more than 40 pieces of locomotives and rolling stock. Known as the "Home of the Santa Fe Warbonnets", the Galveston Railroad Museum is the home for the pair of AT&SF F7's, No. 315 and 316, that originally ran between Galveston and Chicago and were known as the Texas Chief. Train rides at the museum are limited to Saturdays during the summer months.
The Grapevine Vintage Railroad operates train rides over 21 miles of the ex-Cotten Belt trackage into the famous Fort Worth Stockyards Mall. There is also an additional 6 mile branch line that runs southward from the mall to the western part of the city. Scenic train rides originate at the restored 1888 Cotton Belt depot, in downtown Grapevine, Tx. Rolling stock includes four 1925-era day coaches and a pair of open-air excursion coaches. The Grapevine operates the only 19th century steam locomotive in Texas, a Cooke 4-6-0, built in 1896, No. 2248, formerly used by the Southern Pacific Railroad.
Houston Railroad Museum features a unique collection of 1940's built diesel locomotives, as well as vintage freight cars and passenger cars with a Texas flare. The museum is open Saturdays beginning in April from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. through the first weekend in November. Directions
Historic Jefferson Railway recreates the Golden Era of Steam railroading. Steam hissing, whistle blowing and pistons chugging, as Old Six Gun Territory No. 7, a 4-4-0 steam locomotive takes you on a scenic trip along the Big Cypress Bayou. Directions
The Texas & Pacific Railway Museum is housed in a restored 1912 T&P depot. The Texas and Pacific Railway Depot is located on Trudeau St. between 6th St. and Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. in Natchitoches. Exhibits include a replica of an old railroad agent's office complete with an old typewriter, electric fan and a working telegraph key. There is a 1920's era panoramic photo of the entire commercial and industrial area featuring the vast Texas and Pacific Railway shops. Another display includes working model trains that wind through models of historic Marshall buildings.
The New Braunfels Railroad Museum displays are housed in a restored 1907 International & Great Northern depot. Displays include a 0-6-0 Porter steam engine and a M&P caboose. The museum also houses a permanent HO scale layout, available for viewing to all visitors of the museum.
Rosenberg Railroad Museum features Tower 17, the last manned interlocking tower in Texas.Commissioned on July 23, 1903, Tower 17 controlled the crossing of the Gulf Colorado & Santa Fe Railroad (Santa Fe) and the Galveston Harrisburg & San Antonio Railway Company (Southern Pacific). Additional exhibits and tours of an 1897 business car are available. Birthday parties at the Rosenberg Railroad Museum designed for children from 2-8 years are also available.
This east Texas state park includes the former 1881 Texas State Railroad. Scenic excursion train rides run between Rusk and Palestine and include Murder Mystery dinner trains and a Polar Express train ride. The twenty five mile train rides operate with various steam and diesel locomotives. As you steam through the Piney Woods, the Texas State Railroad offers riders both open-air cars or air-conditioned coaches. Various historical western and military reenactments are presented several times a year. Food services are provided at Victorian-styled depots on days of operation. The historic steam locomotive No. 300 is a 1917 Baldwin built 2-8-0 and operates several steam excursions.
The Railway Museum of San Angelo is housed in a 1910 Kansas City, Mexico and Orient depot. Highlights include exhibits on local railroading history. Static displays include 2 diesel locomotives, a boxcar, and a caboose. Model railroad club operates several model train displays. Open Saturdays. Directions.
The Texas Transportation Museum displays a variety of railroad equipment and structures. The 2 room 1913 Southern Pacific depot houses memorabilia from the SP and two other roads that served San Antonio. Displays include 2 steam locomotives, and a diesel locomotive along with various other rolling stock. Museum does offer a short train ride.Directions
The Railroad & Heritage Museum is located in a 1910 Gulf, Colorado and Santa Fe depot, featuring early equipment from the Santa Fe and MKT railroads. Outdoor exhibits include Santa Fe No. 3423 , 4-6-2 steam locomotive, a diesel locomotive and a variety of cars. Directions
The Wichita Falls Railroad Museum displays a collection of 14 railroad rolling stock units, 8 motor car units and memorabilia, much of it related to the railroads that served and are serving Wichita Falls. The Museum's three-track yard is located on what was the site of the Wichita Falls Union Passenger Station. Displays include a 1906 Fort Worth & Denver, 2-8-0 steam locomotive, No. 304, and a M-K-T switch engine. The Museum also has a 20' by 6' modular HO scale railroad layout housed in one of the Museum's MKT Troop Sleepers. This layout is operated on random Saturdays. Directions.