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Tourist Train Rides > Midwest States

Scenic and heritage train rides in the Midwest States

Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad, Abilene, Kansas

Tourist railways feature historic train rides and scenic routes to provide memorable day trips that are fun for the whole family! Shown: Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad, Kansas. Photo: © Abilene & Smoky Valley Railroad.

Illinois

South Elgin, Illinois

Antique trolleys ramble down 4 mi/6.5 km of historic trackage following the tree-lined Fox River through the Blackhawk Forest Preserve. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Union, Illinois

The nation's largest railway museum offers 10 mi/16 km train rides through rolling farmland plus on-site streetcar shuttles between display buildings. Trains operate seasonally. Highlights include exhibits of over 400 pieces of rail and transportation equipment. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Monticello, Illinois

MRM's 6½ mi/10½ km round-trips link Monticello's historic Wabash Depot with Camp Creek Yards, an operational railroad yard with a large collection of rolling stock. Highlights include optional cab rides. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, gift shop.

Indiana

Knightstown, Indiana

As of Fall 2013, the CKS has ceased operation until further notice.

French Lick, Indiana

The "Tunnel Route" takes in the scenic hillscape of the Hoosier National Forest and burrows through the Burton Tunnel on its 100-minute run. Highlights include "Wild West" train robbery reenactments. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar.

North Judson, Indiana

From its restored 19c station is the departure point for 10 and 20 mi (16 and 32 km) excursions through the Indiana countryside. Railroad memorabilia displays and equipment restorations are open to view. Highlights include caboose and cab rides and a guest engineer program. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, food vendor.

Noblesville, Indiana

As part of its mission is to preserve Indiana railroad history, the museum operates Weekend Express trains up and down the historic Old Nickel Plate Road. Highlights include Pizza trains and onboard "Dinner in the Diner" specials. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Connersville, Indiana

Indiana's longest scenic railroad traces the one-time tow path of the Whitewater Shipping Canal to the quaint 1838 canal town of Metamora. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Iowa

Boone, Iowa

The canary yellow locomotive and coaches of the B&SVRR are a familiar sight in the Des Moines River Valley as is the restored 1915 Charles City & Western trolley which trundles through downtown Boone. On-site rail museum, too. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, gift shop, snack bar.

Kansas

Abilene, Kansas

Not far from the Eisenhower Presidential Center, trains steam out of Old Abilene Town's historic Rock Island Depot bound for the prairie town of Enterprise. Highlights include open-air observation car and Silver Flyer Railbus. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Baldwin, Kansas

Seasonally changing gourmet menus feature selections ranging from prime rib to grilled fillet of ostrich to mahi mahi. Highlights include murder mysteries and patriotic 40s-style "USO Shows." Trains operate year-round. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Baldwin City, Kansas

The bucolic farmsteads and scenic woods of Eastern Kansas form the backdrop for these vintage train excursions through heartland America. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Michigan

Coopersville, Michigan

Rolling across Western Michigan's farm country the C&MR welcomes locals and visitors for its popular scenic excursions. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Flint, Michigan

An historic Baldwin steam locomotive hauls authentic wooden passenger cars to Crossroads Village, a living museum that recreates a turn-of-the-century Midwestern town. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, wheelchair access.

Mt. Clemens, Michigan

The museum's 45-minute excursion passes historicrail euipment including locomotives, streetcars and cabooses. The circa 1900 depot houses a collection of railroadiana. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Blissfield & Charlotte, Michigan

Patrons aboard both trains are served a wonderful five-course dinner while viewing a comical interactive murder mystery. Separate excursions depart Blissfield only. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Clinton & Tecumsah, Michigan

Along Michigan's oldest branch line, train tours snake their way through the historic River Raisin Valley, twice crossing the "world's crookedest river." Trains highlights include an open-air gondola. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Soo Falls, Michigan

This 24-gauge Toonerville Trolley serves up an exciting 1¾-hour journey through the virgin forest habitat of moose and bears. An expanded 6½-hour tour includes a riverboat trip and a visit to Tahquamenon Falls. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: train charters, gift shop, snack bar.

Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Twin Cities' popular Chain of Lakes is home to this heritage revival streetcar. Scooting between Lakes Harriet and Calhoun, the streetcar is popular with folks who take advantage of the area's many recreational opportunities. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Excelsior, Minnesota

Some 15 mi(24 km) west of Minneapolis, this restored streetcar line curls around Excelsior's charming little downtown and leads to the Lake Minnetonka departure point of the popular Minnehaha steamboat. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Duluth, Minnesota

Lucky passengers glimpse the occasional timber wolf, bald eagle or peregrine falcon as the LS&M edges along the shorelines of Spirit and Mud Lakes and the St. Louis River estuary. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: train charters.

Duluth, Minnesota

Vintage trains explore Lake Superior and the Northwoods on a variety of rail adventures. Lester River, Pizza Train and Two Harbors excursions are among the offerings. Highlights include steam runs and Birthday Caboose packages. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: dinner trips, murder mystery trains, holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Missouri

Belton, Missouri

Picturesque Olde Town Belton is the starting point for this 5 mi/8 km family rail adventure. Highlights include cab and caboose rides and weekly ice cream trains. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, holiday/event excursions, gift shop.

Branson, Missouri

Dark tunnels and high trestle crossings add excitement to "The Mainline through the Ozarks" as it whisks passengers off on a 40 mi/65 km roundtrip through the Ozark foothills. Highlights include a domed observation car. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, online ticketing.

Jackson, Missouri

A heritage diesel engine pulls vintage rolling stock on a 10 mi/16 km roundtrip through the Midwestern countryside. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, snack bar, wheelchair access.

Nebraska

Fremont, Nebraska

Operations have been suspended for 2014.

Fremont, Nebraska

The Fremont Dinner Train has relocated to Baldwin City, Kansas (see Kansas Belle Dinner Train, above).

Ohio

Jefferson, Ohio

Closed for the 2014 season.

Cincinnati, Ohio

Along a scenic route, Saturday night dinner trains treat onboard diners to gourmet fare aboard a trio of vintage dining cars. Highlights include Queen City Tavern car with full bar, music, and open viewing areas. Trains operate year-round. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Cleveland, Ohio

Running through the Cuyahoga Valley National Park, the CVSR follows the Cuyahoga River and the historic Ohio & Erie Canalway... to Akron's Quaker Square...and on to Canton. The park is a wildlife habitat and home to the artisan village of Peninsula. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Nelsonville, Ohio

Amid the rolling hills of Southeastern Ohio, the HVSR delights a steady stream of visitors looking to recapture the magic of a traditional steam train ride. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters.

Lebanon, Ohio

Departing historic Lebanon Station, 90-minute theme trains roll across the hills and dales of Southwestern Ohio. Highlights include an open-air gondola. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing.

Waterville, Ohio

Service continues to be suspended in 2014.

Fultonham, Ohio

Classic diesel locomotives haul vintage coaches on a 12-mi/19-km excursion over Southeast Ohio's historic Glass Rock Line. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

South Dakota

Hill City, South Dakota

Not far from Mt. Rushmore National Monument and the Crazy Horse Memorial, the 1880's 90-minute round-trip journey through the Black Hills recalls the bygone era of Western discovery and settlement. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, gift shop, online ticketing.

Madison, South Dakota

Heritage trains loop a 2 mi/3 km track encircling the recreation of a turn-of-the-century midwestern settlement. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar.

Wisconsin

East Troy, Wisconsin

Upon arrival at elegant Farmer Station, guests choose between open streetcar or interurban coach for a memorable excursion aboard the Badger State's last interurban line. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop.

Laona, Wisconsin

Visitors to the Camp 5 Logging Museum take a nostalgic steam ride to the site of an abandoned work camp where exhibits of logging life and lore share billing with the natural wonders of the Northwoods. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: holiday/event excursions.

North Freedom, Wisconsin

The recreation of a century-old rail yard is the departure point for a 7 mi/11 km rail journey through the Ice Age outcroppings and virgin woodlands of the Barboo Hills. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Green Bay, Wisconsin

A 25-minute spin around the museum grounds gives riders an onboard close-up of rail operations. Exhibits include the world's largest steam loco, Gen. Eisenhower's WWII command train and the once-futuristic Aerotrain. Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: rail museum, gift shop, wheelchair access.

Spooner, Wisconsin

Down a century-old route, the WGNR treats passengers to an assortment of outings including countryside excursions to Springbrook and Veazie Springs. Highlights include Family Pizza and Picnic Trains! Trains operate seasonally. Selected features: dinner trips, holiday/event excursions, train charters, gift shop, snack bar, online ticketing.

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