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1880 Train

Miners struck gold in South Dakota in the 1870s, and this changed the wild landscape forever. As mining encampments popped up, train lines also began to make their appearance in the region. One of the most significant to lay their claim was the  Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad, which began construction through the Black Hills in the 1890s. This line continued in operation through the first part of the 20th century and was even used to haul equipment for Mount Rushmore's carving before its closure and dismantling. When the  Black Hills Central Railroad  group began construction on their line, they chose to follow a portion of the  Burlington's course, departing from Hill City, South Dakota.  Because the line was meant to recall train travel in the 1880s, it was quickly nicknamed the  1880 Train  

The  1880 Train  operates between May and October each season and transports passengers back in time. For comfort, the rolling stock changes with the season to ensure a fondly memorable journey for each guest. Each of these carriages features padded bench-style seating, with one bench on either side of a central aisle. 

Antique steam engines head the journey for most runs throughout the season. The  Black Hills Central Railroad  owns four, the oldest of which is over 100 years and is on permanent display at the Hill City Depot. The three remaining steam engines  in the fleet are nearly as old and rotate assignments throughout the operating season. On occasion, the rail line instead utilizes one of its two mid-century diesel engines for the journey. 

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Our customers love our 1880 Train tours
Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, & Yellowstone
23 Sep 2022
4 stars
“The tour guide was very professional and handled everything well. I did not enjoy the sleeper car on Amtrak and would not do that again. The raft float on the Snake River was wonderful and the views of the Tetons also. Mid trip I came down with Covid so I had to leave the tour unfortunately.
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