We went for the "awe factor." To build this year's list of 10 Best Tourist Trains in the USA we looked for train rides that combine remarkable scenic and on-train experiences. Wilderness routes with abundant wildlife are prominent as are high trestles, hairpin turns and steep gradients. We also factored in cool stuff like coal-fired steam engines, dome cars, and open-air coaches. "Bonus points" were given for features like historic stations and onboard dining.
Over 170 railroads were consider before choosing 2015's 10 Best Tourist Trains in the USA. Amtrak and Alaska Railroad routes were not considered. Ultimately, we know this list of list of 10 Best Tourist Trains in the USA won't please everyone. If you think we've missed a particular railroad, let us know. Maybe your favorite tourist train ride will find its way to the top of next year's list.
Each of this year's 10 Best Tourist Trains in the USA offers online booking at the links we've provided. All offer assistance to those with physical limitations, however, access aboard vintage rail cars can be limited due to narrow doorway and aisle widths. Contact individual railroads to confirm accessibility.