Steam Train Engine Trips in USA

Steam Train Engine Trips in USA
Once upon a time, all American trains were steam trains, but today almost all locomotives run on diesel. While you can no longer travel cross-country by steam train, you can still get your nostalgia fix on shorter scenic trips all over the United States.

Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad

Located just west of Mount Ranier National Park, this historic train is "the longest continuously-operating steam train in the Pacific Northwest." The round-trip journey takes just over two hours and you can take your pick of coaches: open, partially enclosed or fully enclosed. There is a concession car and restroom available, should the need arise. The steam train runs mostly on weekends, so it's a nice start or finish to a week of camping or hiking in the national park.

Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad
P.O. Box 250
Mineral , WA 98355
Phone: (888) 783-2611

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

Originally a route for mining trains, this railroad makes the 3.5-hour trip from Durango to Silverton, Colo. You'll have about two hours in Silverton to look around before heading back to Durango by train or motorcoach. For the adventurous, the train offers a number of summer and winter adventure packages that combine a train ride with snowmobiling, ziplining, rafting or ATV riding. Backpackers can bring their gear along for a small additional charge ($10 per pack as of November 2009). Hikers can board the train at several designated flag stops along the route, but must pay the conductor the exact fare upon boarding.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad and Museum
479 Main Ave
Durango, CO 81301
(877) 872-4607

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

Train enthusiasts in the eastern United States can travel by both steam train and river boat from this station in Essex, Conn., where trains have been stopping since 1871. If you want to take the train and the river boat, the trip will take about 2.5 hours and departs seven days a week during the summer season (late June to early September), less often in spring and fall. For those who just want to travel by train, the trip takes an hour. As the train passes through wetlands inaccessible by car, wildlife enthusiasts can view many bird species, including cormorants, egrets, blue herons and the occasional bald eagle. While cruising on the Connecticut River, passengers can view historic landmarks, such as the Gillette Castle and the Goodspeed Opera House. If you're feeling romantic or adventurous, you can also book a Clipper Dinner train or a murder mystery evening.

The Valley Railroad Co.
One Railroad Ave. / P.O. Box 452
Essex, CT 06426
(800) 377-3987

Article Written By Andrew Cockerham

Andrew Cockerham is a world traveler and perpetual student with He has been writing since 1999. His work has appeared in "The Gadfly," an annual literary journal, and "Spectrum." He holds a Bachelor of Arts in writing from Walla Walla University.

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