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7 Scenic and Historic Railway Adventures - View Video

Updated on August 23, 2013
Kristine Manley profile image

Kris Manley is a blogger, author, and speaker. She's a guest on radio in the U.S., Canada, and overseas, as well as a guest on network TV.


Going on a scenic and historic railway adventure is on my to-do list, and it should be on yours too. What a wonderful way to see the country in which you live. For me, the only railway system I was used to was the subway in The Bronx, NY - it's time for me to break free, LOL! In my research I have narrowed it down to seven scenic and historic railway adventures of choice and I like to share, so here are my chosen seven.

Cumbres & Toltec Railroad
Cumbres & Toltec Railroad

Cumbres & Toltec Railroad

Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad is located in Chama, New Mexico, but borders Colorado, and is tucked away in the Rocky Mountains and was built in 1880. The train is a sight for sore eyes and appears to be frozen in time. Decades ago it used to carry precious metals over Cumbres Pass, but now this steam locomotive's labor of love is to carry visitors up steep grades, through gorges and tunnels, and over tall trestles. The scenery is breathtaking and is a step back from the norm of traditional transportation tours.

California Western Railroad (The Skunk Line)
California Western Railroad (The Skunk Line)

California Western Railroad

This railroad is located in Ft. Bragg, California and is also called the Skunk Line and was built as a logging rail line to move huge redwood logs. The trains had gas engines and was given the name Skunk because people could smell the trains coming way before they saw them. You will most certainly enjoy riding in either the railroads covered cars or open observation cars. The Skunk Line's trek is 40 miles long and crosses some 20 plus bridges and trestles and passes through extremely deep tunnels. The Skunk Line offers a choice of several trips and eating options. There are Mothers' and Fathers' Day brunches along with BBQ dinners and wine. Full and half day trips are available.

The Skunk Line can host a variety of events such as corporate events, anniversaries, holiday parties, weddings, reunions, high school proms, etc. as well as offering catering services.

Cripple Creek Railroad
Cripple Creek Railroad

Cripple Creek Railroad

This fabulous railroad adventure is located in Colorado and opened for business in 1967. This steam locomotive transports it riders back to the gold mining days of Cripple Creek and Victor, Colorado. This pleasant and eye opening four mile round trip is something that will always remain with you. Train riders will enjoy a narrative of the history of this gold mining town. The train will also come to several stops so riders can enjoy taking beautiful pictures.

Mt. Hood Railroad

This railroad is located in Hood River, Oregon and will spoil you with its air conditioned cars, light food and beverage, dome car, and double-decker. This railroad will take you through various orchards, forests, and meadows. The brunch and dinner train rides are something you'll enjoy.

The Mt. Hood Railroad offers special events like a Murder Mystery Dinner ride, you'll experience a train robbery like way back when, and special brunches. You may also have your event hosted by the railroad such as birthdays, office parties, family reunions, Christmas parties, anniversaries, etc. Make someone's day or evening special by purchasing a gift certificate.

Upper Hudson River Railroad

This railroad is in my neck of the woods - New York, and is stroller, walker, and wheelchair friendly. The Upper Hudson River Railroad is a great way to see the Adirondack Mountains. This 2 to 2 1/2 hour train ride is filled with so much eye candy your sweet tooth or eyes will thank you. You might get a gander at some of the wildlife in the Adirondacks such as turkeys, foxes, ducks, beavers, and a bear or two. The train comes to a stop so passengers can relax in the park, have lunch, or shop 'till they drop at the North Creek Village. A great place to have a picnic is along the banks of the beautiful Hudson River so bring your camera.


Kettle Valley Steam Railway
Kettle Valley Steam Railway

Kettle Valley Steam Railway

If you are in British Columbia, Canada this is a must to-do. There is something for the whole family from games for the kids to live music to riding through the beautiful orchards and vineyards. You'll have a choice to ride in a covered rail car or an open air rail car. You won't forget the views of lake and land on this unforgettable train ride. You'll enjoy being chased and robbed by bandits, but don't worry your money will go to charity. You'll also enjoy a BBQ dinner which is offered on certain days and times. The Kettle Valley Steam Railway offers specials events for Mothers' Day, Christmas, Easter, along with The Great Train Robbery. You'll enjoy seeing some of British Columbia's fabulous terrain.

White Pass & Yukon Railroad
White Pass & Yukon Railroad

White Pass & Yukon Route

This heart-stopping railroad was built in 1898 and is located in Skagway, Alaska. You'll experience magnificent and jaw-dropping glaciers, mountains, waterfalls, gorges, tunnels, trestles, and steep cliffs. Alaska has some rough but beautiful terrain and yet this railroad was forged against and through some of this tough terrain and is a sight for sore eyes. The White Pass & Yukon Route railroad offers several options for excursions in length and location as well as wheelchair accessibility on some trains. Several excursions are passport required.

The train stops so passengers will be able to chow down at favorite local eateries as well as be able to hike before reboarding the train. This train ride you'll remember for the rest of your life. You'll wonder how in the world did men brave the elements and terrain to build such a railroad - against mountains, through mountains, and over bodies of water. This railroad is an engineering feat and a wonder to behold.

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    • profile image

      Lacy 

      6 years ago

      I had never thought about taking a railroad ride. This is a fabulous idea! My kids would love it.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hello prektjr.dc, you're welcome for the ride down memory lane. Can't wait to go myself.

    • prektjr.dc profile image

      Debbie Carey 

      7 years ago from Riverton, KS, USA

      Growing up in Albuquerque, NM, I have been on both the Cumbres and Toltec and the Cripple Creek trains. They are an amazing experience for young and old! Thanks for the ride down memory lane! Nice!

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Patty, I remember riding the amusement park type train as well. Thanks for the Rated Up.

    • Kristine Manley profile imageAUTHOR

      Donna Kristine 

      7 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      Hi Husky1970, I agree with you, railroad travel is part of the fabric of our country. Some friends and I have chosen to adventure on the White Pass & Yukon Route for our next vacation.

    • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

      Patty Inglish 

      7 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

      I enjoy trains, but have only ridden a 1/4 scale amusement type. This Hub makes me want to find th enearest train station, Rated Up.

    • profile image

      Husky1970 

      7 years ago

      An interesting hub about an intriguing topic. Railroad travel is part of the fabric of our country. Your suggestions are great. Nice hub!

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