Traveling by train is a unique experience that not all Americans get to try. While trains are pretty standard along the U.S. coasts, they’re a less common form of travel in the Midwest outside of major cities.
Vintage train rides are an even more exclusive experience, with old-fashioned lounge cars and gorgeous mountain views. Next time you’re looking for a unique date or vacation idea, try one of these five vintage trains you can still ride today.
The Grand Canyon Railway
The Grand Canyon Railway is a “heritage railroad” since it operates mainly for tourism purposes. This restored railway carries passengers in vintage coaches from the 1950s and sometimes 1920s. It operates year-round as an exciting way to visit the Grand Canyon, plus you can even witness a mock train robbery!
The Cumbress and Toltec Scenic Railroad
This vintage train starts in either New Mexico or Colorado and stops in Osier, a town about halfway between the two starting points. Take a scenic lunch in town before heading back on the train. Depending on your ticket, you could get free snacks while you travel!
The Durango and Silverton Railroad
If you like the sound of traveling through the Colorado Rockies on a vintage train, you’ll love the Durango and Silverton Railroad. This heritage train runs on steam locomotives and takes about four hours each way. Once you reach Silverton, you get a couple of hours to spend shopping before it’s time to head back to Durango.
The Skunk Train
The Skunk Train is a historical train that runs through the California redwood forests. It got its name from the smelly heating devices the train utilized to keep passengers warm. The Skunk Train was both a passenger and freight train, but now it only carries tourists for scenic rides.
The White Pass and Yukon Route Railway
If you’re looking for beautiful Alaskan views from a train, there’s no better route than the White Pass and Yukon Route. This train route offers many options, some of which travel through Canada. Make sure to ask if you need a valid passport to ride!
Getting the Most Out of Your Ride
Incredibly, there are still vintage trains that you can still ride today. When planning your trip on one of these trains, ask about the different ticket prices since some have exclusive snack and beverage options. If you travel near the holidays, check if your route offers a Christmas or Halloween train!