What better way to explore the past than by steam train? Steam engine train rides blend beauty and history on railroads across the world, from the US to the UK. Look back to the days when trains found their fuel by burning coal, wood, or oil for steam and energy. Steam locomotives once dominated rail travel, from the nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century. The steam engine's creation in Great Britain even influenced the Industrial Revolution.
Today, steam train rides invite you to explore rail's heritage. Travelers and history buffs will love the scenery of a vintage train ride. When planning your next rail adventure, consider these five spectacular steam trains.
New England Novelty
The Essex Steam Train awaits on Connecticut's Valley Railroad. Run by the Valley Railroad Company since the 1970s, the Essex Steam Train combines heritage and sightseeing. The Essex Station dates back to 1892, and the Essex Steam Train's coaches have a vintage design sure to pull you into the past. As you travel through New England, take in two charming Connecticut towns, Deep River and Chester. With its Steam Train & Riverboat ride open from May to October, the Essex Steam Train promises stunning summer scenery too.
Rail and Redwoods
Over to the west, tourists have been traveling by Roaring Camp Railroad's steam trains since the late 1800s. Today, the Redwood Forest Steam Train features not only breathtaking redwoods but also California ski destination Bear Mountain. Once used to transport redwood logs, this locomotive's nineteenth century engine now serves passengers seeking a taste of the past. Travel back to the 1880s on this authentic narrow-gauge steam train, and learn more about the heritage of Roaring Camp. Consider Vacations By Rail's California Rail Tour.
The Chehalis-Centralia Railroad & Museum has a vested interest in heritage. In the 1980s, the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad Association began restoring the area's 1916 steam train. Now, over a hundred years since this train first ran, railroad fans can enjoy seasonal train rides through Washington State via the Chehalis-Centralia Railroad. The Chehalis Steam Train invites travelers for an unmatched Pacific Northwest experience on its ten-mile track.
Wilderness views beckon on Colorado's Durango and Silverton Steam Train. With tracks dating back to the 1880s, this steam train looks back in time to the days when miners traveled between Silverton and Durango. Experience the journey for yourself with the Round Trip Silverton Train Tour. This trip lasts nine hours total, including two hours of leisure time in the mining town of Silverton. Look out over the winding, blue-green waters of the Animas River. Peer up at the staggering peaks of the San Juan Mountains. 45 miles long, this railroad promises breathtaking views. Travelers interested in a one-way rail excursion can take the train one direction and motorcoach back. Ride the Durango and Silverton Steam Train for yourself on Vacations By Rail's Colorado Rail Adventure.
Scotland by Steam Train
Across the ocean, the Jacobite Steam Train highlights the splendor of the Scottish Highlands' villages and lochs. The train's very name looks back in time at centuries-old Scottish politics. Formerly called the West Highlander, the Jacobite Steam Trainreceived its current name in 1995, with the privatization of British Rail. The Jacobite travels towards Mallaig, a Highland port located on Scotland's west coast, over an eighty-four-mile journey. Your trip will include the Highland town of Fort William, the shore-side village of Arisaig, and the Glenfinnan Viaduct, famous as the bridge to Hogwarts in the Harry Potter films. Travel around Scotland by steam train, and bask in the country's seaside scenery. Experience the Jacobite for yourself with Vacations By Rail's six-day-long Highland Adventure.
Book Your Steam Train Today
Steam trains may have a rich history, but they also promise modern-day adventure. When planning your next sightseeing trip, don't forget the possibilities of a steam locomotive.