Tracking Back Through Time by Marilyn Ostermiller
Got a yen to get off the fast track? If you’re looking for a summer adventure that takes you back to the trains that ran 100 years ago, you can ride on any of the numerous restored steam locomotives across the country. These trips offer views that can’t be enjoyed from the highway. And, depending of which train you hop on, you can enjoy the scenery in accommodations reminiscent of drawing rooms from that period.
This sampler of vintage train tours starts with an East Coast option and heads west:
- Black River & Western Railroad, which dates back to 1854. Board at Flemington, N.J for a 25-minute trek to Ringoes, N.J. After a 10 to 15 minute stop, which includes a visit to a museum car and a gift shop, it’s all aboard for the return trip. For information about tickets, train schedule, special events visit: org
- Strasburg Railroad, Ronks, PA. A 45-minute, round trip through the tranquil Amish countryside to Paradise, PA, and back. Travelers pass by more than 1,000 acres of farm fields. The excursion can be extended by getting off mid-trip at two convenient recreation areas. Choice of seating includes first-class, open air, coach and dining cars. For information visit: Strasburgrailroad.com or call (866) 725-9666.
- Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Board in Durango, CO. and travel 45 miles north through the valley of the Animas River before the canyon narrows, all roads vanish and for 30 miles there exists only the railroad, the glacial green waters of the river and the peaks of the San Juan Mountains. Narrators relate historic tales of the settling of the west dressed in period clothing. Season ends Oct. 29, 2016. Information: durangotrain.com. Reservations: (970) 247-2733.
- Grand Canyon Railway. Board at Williams Depot in Williams, Ariz. and arrive at the Grand Canyon Depot, just 200 yards from the edge of the canyon’s South Rim. The 2 1/4 hour trip covers 65 miles of classic Old West territory, including high desert plains with vistas, small arroyos and portions of the world’s largest Ponderosa pine forest. Vintage 1950s and 1970s-era diesel locomotives are used throughout the year. On select dates, the historic steam locomotive is put on the front of the train for the round trip journey. For reservations, call 1-800-THE-TRAIN (1-800-843-8724) or visit: thetrain.com
Marilyn Ostermiller is a long-time business journalist who now writes for children. You can follow her on Twitter @Marilyn_Suzanne.
Link to Youtube video: https://youtu.be/E4cTE18NnY8
I’ve ridden the Durango railroad, and I can say that when the canyon narrows, it’s not for the faint of heart!