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Great Train Rides In The United States

Cars PartsRiding the rails was once the preferred method of transportation. Today, train rides are offered in various parts of the country to get a different view of the countryside. Some distances are short, but most go where private vehicles cannot. Here are some exciting train rides that the whole family can enjoy.

The Durango/Silverton train is a narrow gauge railroad located in Colorado. There is a Winter and Summer/Fall schedule for this ride. Each season offers a different view of the state of Colorado. This train offers a fleet of vintage cars to choose from and classes of service. There is the Presidential , first , deluxe and standard classes to choose. In first class, there is a choice of an open air gondola car or a vintage coach. The round trip for this line is 52 miles through the San Juan National Forest. Lunch items are available on the train or you can pre-order a tamale lunch. Prices vary for this trip, and reservations are required. For more information, contact www.durangotrain.com or 1-888-872-4607.

The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad travels through the Sand Dunes National Park, in Colorado. Winter wonderlands are experienced from warm dome cars. The Mountain tops with snow in the Winter makes this a scenic trip. This train is located in South Central Colorado, 200 miles South of Denver. For more information, pricing, etc., contact www.riograndescenicrailroad.com or 1-877-726 RAIL.

The Abilene and Smokey Valley Railroad departs from a 1887 Rock Island Depot in Abilene Kansas. This 10 mile ride features a 1945 diesel locomotive, 1900 wooden dining car, a gondola car, and a caboose. The flatlands of Kansas are visited on this trip.

The Grand Canyon Railway is one of the most popular adventure. It was re-established in 1989 and offers several classes of service, including coach, first class, observation, and luxury parlor. There are tour packages available offering a night stay at the Grand Canyon Hotel. Some of these are available from Las Vegas. This train operates between Williams Arizona and Grand Canyon National Park, South Rim. Steam locomotives are featured with air conditioned and heated coaches. This is a day long trip on the trail. For more information , contact www.railsnw.com or 1-800-717-0108.

The Great Smokey Mountains Railroad is a standard gauge steam engine. This was re-established in 1988. The ride includes 53 miles of track, 2 tunnels, and 25 bridges. This train departs from Bryson City, North Carolina. Dining is available on board at the Iron Horse Grill. The depot for the train is in Western North Carolina on the south side of the Great Smokey Mountains National Park. The Murphy Branch of the Western North Carolina Railroad was once the popular means of transportation for many mountaineers. For more information contact www.gsmr.com or 1-800-872-4681.

The Austin Steam train is noted as the Hill Country flyer. Vintage passenger cars are pulled by a 1960 diesel Alco Engine. The passenger cars are six P70 Pennsylvania Railroad coach cars. This train takes passengers into the Hill country of Texas. For more information, contact www.austinsteamtrain.org. or 512-477-8486. The depot is located in Cedar Park near Austin, Texas on U.S. Highway 183.

There are many more train routes available throughout the United States. The ones mentioned are available year round. A train ride is a fascinating way to see the land from a new vantage point.

By Kathie Trower - I have been a freelance writer for 18 years. I have more than 550 articles published to date on various subjects in periodicals throughout the United States. I taught Weight Watchers for 13 years .  

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