Ready for a New Way to Ride? Check out These Amazing Trains in the U.S.

Travel Inspiration

While RVing is obviously our favorite way to vacation, there’s something to be said about not having to drive. There are many fantastic historical trains in the U.S. that offer riders a way to see the incredible landscapes without having to worry about road traffic! Many of them also offer narrated tours which is a great way to learn more about the place you’re visiting. So if you feel like switching it up from your typical RV travel, try taking a ride on one of these amazing trains!

Where to Find Amazing Train Rides in the U.S.

Although train travel isn’t as popular in the states as it is in Europe, there are still some great train rides all over the United States – especially if you’re looking for historical steam engines. From all day rides across the wild Alaskan landscape to slow but steady trips up a mountain to an incredible overlook in West Virginia, we’ve pulled together some amazing train rides from all over the United States.

Scenic Train Rides

Forget the driving and stare out the window as you explore the country on these historic train rides.

The Grand Canyon Railway

If you’re worried about finding places to camp near Grand Canyon National Park, why not stay in Williams and take a trip on the Grand Canyon Railway? This historic train leaves from the station in Williams, AZ in the morning and travels through the ponderosa pines and high desert before dropping you off at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. There are six different classes you can choose for your ride – from the Pullman class that’s modeled after the original 1920s train cars to the glass ceiling Observation Dome Car to the Luxury Parlor with a private bar.

And it’s not just a way to get from point A to point B. Costumed employees explain about the history of the train and interact with guests, and live musicians even serenade the cars with songs. The train heads back to Williams in the afternoon, so it’s the perfect way to see the Grand Canyon during the day without waiting in line to get in and battling traffic.

Need an RV? Check out the great RV rentals near Grand Canyon National Park.

Cass Scenic Railroad

Located in Cass Scenic Railroad State Park in West Virginia, the historic steam engines trains offer rides to visitors to the top of Bald Knob for amazing views or along the countryside and beautiful Leatherbark Creek. Built in 1901 to haul lumber to the Cass mill, the Shay steam locomotives now take visitors through the Appalachian scenery.

Jump in a refurbished logging car for the four and a half hour round trip excursion up the mountain to Bald Knob lookout, the second highest point in West Virginia. As the steam train chugs up the mountain (sometimes at a grade of 10%!) you’ll gain 2,390 feet in elevation. The cars are open air so you’ll have fantastic views of the trees and wildlife. Or take the shorter two-hour ride to Whittaker Station along the lower slopes of Cheat Mountain. The trains run from May through October, and once you’re done with the train ride be sure to check out the rest of Cass Scenic Railroad State Park.

Strasburg Rail Road

How does a scenic train ride through the tranquil countryside sound? The Strasburg Rail Road in Pennsylvania offers guests rides through Lancaster County’s Amish Country on their historic steam train. These shorter trips are the perfect way to see this part of the country’s picturesque landscapes. Book one of their 45-minute train rides through the country and pick from a variety of refurbished historical cars to enjoy. The ride has seating options that include coach, open air cars, dining cars, and first class. They also have special rides including escape rooms, holiday rides, live theater, and other themed rides you can choose from to make the trip even more of an adventure.

White Pass & Yukon Railway

If your RV travels take you to Alaska, a ride on the White Pass & Yukon Railway is one of the amazing trains you won’t want to miss. View the incredible and wild Alaskan scenery as you relax in vintage passenger cars where don’t even have to worry about driving! The railway offers a number of different train excursions during the spring through fall that range from two hours to eight hours.

Pick from the day long Bennet Scenic Journey which takes you over 67 miles from Skagway to Carcross along the Klondike Trail and stops at the historic 1903 Bennet Station gold rush site. Or choose the narrated Fraser Meadows Steam Excursion where the historic steam engine climbs almost 3,000 feet to the Fraser Meadows Loop past waterfalls and glaciers and through tunnels and over trusses.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

It’s not just Alaska that offers amazing views. If you’re heading to Colorado you can take a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. This train between Durango and Silverton has been operating since 1882 and take passengers through the incredible wilderness of the San Juan National Forest. The steam-powered train runs year round and offers guests several different seat classes to choose from.

Leaving from Durango, the train ride is about 3 hours each way through the mountains. Guests also get time to explore the historic mining town of Silverton before heading back to Durango. You can even add an overnight stay in Silverton if you want to extend your trip. The train has four classes of service, from standard class to the Victorian-era luxury of the Presidential class. You can also choose from open air cars and glass topped cars to give you a better view of the surroundings.

Need an RV? We have a great selection of RV rentals near Durango.

So if you want to kick up your feet after a long drive day, a trip on one of these amazing scenic trains might be just what you need! They’re the perfect family friendly excursion to add to your next RV trip. And if you’re looking for a great RV to get you there, RVshare has you covered with a fantastic selection of RVs to rent.