Friday, August 19, 2022


Autumn-Winter historic scenic train rides

There’s something magical about riding trains.  Why not plan a few hours from your RV journeys to experience the autumn color from a historic rail car. There are dozens of restored scenic railroads across the country, here are just a few:

 Great Smoky Mountains Railroad, North Carolina 

Great Smoky Mountain Railroad, NC (Great Smoky Mountain Railroad)

Chug along “river gorges, across valleys and through tunnels carved out of the majestic Appalachian Mountains” on the Great Smokey Mountains Railroad.

In the beautiful and remote corner of western North Carolina, the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad travels along 53 miles of track through two tunnels and over 25 different bridges.

The railroad features a variety of scenic, round-trip excursions departing from Bryson City throughout the year, including:
the Moonshine Experience (Diesel and Steam), Nantahala Gorge (Diesel and Steam), PEANUTS Great Pumpkin Patch Express (Diesel) Tuckasegee River (Diesel and Steam).

This premier scenic railroad is a one-of-a-kind experience. Call (800) 872-468.

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, California

Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad (Julianne G Crane)

If you are visiting Yosemite National Park,  check out the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad, a four-mile scenic railroad excursion near Fish Camp, Calif., and Yosemite’s South gate. The narrow-gauge train operates March through November (weather permitting).

This railroad also features rides on the quaint ‘Model A’ powered Jenny Rail cars. These trolley-like rail cars were once
used to provide transportation for logging and track repair crews.  Call (559) 683-7273 for more details.

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad

Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad (Oregon Coast Railroad)

Ride special event trains throughout the year on the historic diesel powered Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad.

The two-hour Fall Splendor Excursion travels along the Nehalem River. The Candy Cane Express “is lit up with Christmas lights to make it glow in the low winter light.”

The line extends from the Tillamook Air Museum blimp hangar on the South side of Tillamook through Garibaldi, Rockaway Beach and Wheeler, where the tracks turn to the East and head up into the coast range along the remote and breathtaking Nehalem and Salmonberry River canyons.

Tickets can be purchased onboard the train or on the website. Call 1 (888) 718-4253.

Chehalis-Centralia Railroad, Washington state

Chehalis-Centralia Railroad in Washington State

A ride on the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad, just off I-5 in western Washington, is a pleasant, scenic, and relaxing journey back in time.

“Gaze at the scenery as the nine-mile, former Milwaukee Road track winds through the scenic upper Chehalis River valley, crossing over several wooden trestles and passing many historic farms,” says the website.

“Relax in the open car behind the mesmerizing sounds of a 1916-vintage steam locomotive. Sit down to a white-tablecloth, old-fashioned dining car experience. Step back to another age. “

The Chehalis-Centralia Railroad and Museum is just a 90-minute drive
from either Portland, Ore., or Seattle, Wash., and is located
conveniently near Interstate 5 at Exit #77.  Call (360) 748-9593

Julianne G. Crane
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3 years ago

Though now closed for the winter, you might want to consider riding the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad anytime between Memorial Day and late October next year. The 64 mile ride by steam locomotive is always spectacular. Chama, New Mexico or Antonito, CO are boarding points.

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