9 Most Scenic Train Rides In Indiana, USA - Updated 2024

scenic train rides in indiana
| 5 min read

It is a high-paced world and, at times, we all need an activity that can give some simple pleasure. In case you want to take it slow and appreciate the scenic beauty around you, how about taking a picturesque and special rail ride through the state of Indiana? After all, there is something nostalgic about riding a train. A train ride can captivate the imagination of its passengers and remind them of simpler and happier times. So, how about planning a train trip soon with your family and enjoy some quality time with them? Go ahead. Book that trip and choose among the best camper rentals and bed and breakfasts in Indiana for your accommodations. Have a great time in the company of your loved ones and check out some of the most scenic train rides in Indiana.

1. Indiana Transportation Museum

Step into the past by experiencing an authentic train ride at the Indiana Transportation Museum. Guests can interact with the staff members who represent the old times and immerse themselves in Indiana’s railroad history.

The train used to operate between Indianapolis and Tipton and later moved its route to Fishers and Noblesville in 2018. You can look forward to enjoying a scenic 9.8 miles (15.7 kilometres) of travel while relishing refreshing beverages.

Indiana Transportation Museum

Address: 825 Park Dr, Noblesville, IN 46060, United States

Website: Indiana Transportation Museum

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2. Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society

Embark on an exploration journey of Northeast Indiana, Southeast Michigan, and Western Ohio by choosing one of the many steam-powered vintage trains at Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society. The train welcomes all age groups to experience a slice of history and hosts theme-based train rides every month.

Travelers can decide between a variety of diesel trains and expect a charge based on the journey they choose. Some trains even allow dogs to be on board, while others serve cigars to passengers. Furthermore, all the rides are round trip, ensuring convenience for travelers.

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society

Address: 15808 Edgerton Rd, New Haven, IN 46774, United States

Website: Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society

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3. Whitewater Valley Railroad

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Whitewater Valley Railroad on Thursday, March 24, 2022

Whitewater Valley Railroad is located in the eastern part of Indiana and provides some amazing rail rides from Connersville to Metamora, which is a pretty canal town. The town is ideal for exploring and shopping for a day. Check out the grist mill, go for a unique boat ride, or relish a scrumptious lunch at one of the eateries in Metamora.

The railway is also known for coming up with special excursions. You can experience a dinner ride, a foliage flyer ride, a special music fest ride, family-friendly ghost rides, and more in this train excursion in Indiana. It also offers an array of vacation-themed train rides and they cater to people on different budgets. There are a few train rides with tickets as low as 10 USD per passenger. In a nutshell, there is a train ride for everyone to enjoy and cherish for a long time to come.

Whitewater Valley Railroad

Website: Whitewater Valley Railroad

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4. French Lick Scenic Railway

French Lick Creek Bridge 2
Source: Photo by Flickr user Rod Detty used under CC BY 2.0

Too tired for hiking but dreaming of seeing Indiana’s beautiful views? Welcome to the French Lick Scenic Railway that enables you to enjoy scenic train rides throughout the year. These train rides are ideal for train lovers of all age groups. The duration of these train rides is a little less than two hours and you can enjoy some stunning places in the Midwest. You should explore the Indiana Railway Museum, located in French Lick, before or after the ride. The railway also arranges Indiana train rides to celebrate special events, such as The Polar Express ride, the Tasting Train (rum, scotch, bourbon, and chocolate), and the Wild West Hold-ups.

The train will pass through the scenic Hoosier National Forest and there will be an informative narration during this time. You can purchase wine and beer, other beverages, and snacks from the dining/snack car. Prior to the train returning to French Lick station, passengers will get a chance to relax and stretch a bit. It is better to buy tickets in advance, particularly during the fall. It is this season when people flock to the train to experience the leaves changing.

French Lick Scenic Railway

Website: French Lick Scenic Railway

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5. Carthage, Knightstown, & Shirley Railroad

Editor’s note: Establishment is permanently closed

This railroad company operates amazing train excursions, where passengers board from Carthage, Knightstown and the Shirley Railroad. The train goes down south from Knightstown and crosses the beautiful Big Blue River on the way. It stops at Carthage and passes the “Welcome to Carthage” sign. The train is steam-powered and carries its passengers for an hour.

The Big Four railroad company in proximity to Knightstown owned the rails once. Knightstown is a small town located around 48.3 km (30 miles) from Indianapolis. Interested persons can purchase their tickets at the train station. Looking for ideas for your next romantic weekend getaway? Lucky for you, these rides take place over the weekends, from May to October.

Carthage, Knightstown, & Shirley Railroad

Website: Carthage, Knightstown, & Shirley Railroad

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6. Spirit of Jasper

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Spirit of Jasper Excursion Train on Thursday, September 6, 2018

The Spirit of Jasper is a charming train excursion in Jasper, in the state of Indiana. The train ride is ideal for work events, day trips, and family parties. During the course of this beautiful journey, you can marvel at the fantastic architecture, including several bridges that the train crosses, and beautiful scenery.

The excursion links to French Lick and so the cities have come up with partnered events. The Spirit of Jasper also provides memorable dining experiences, including a wine and chocolate tasting trip, as well as a Strassenfest rail ride.

Spirit of Jasper

Website: Spirit of Jasper

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7. Nickel Plate Express Rail Road Train Rides

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

This Independence Day, celebrate with a ride on the rails that helped build America Visit NickelPlateExpress.com to...

Posted by Nickel Plate Express on Monday, June 28, 2021

Enjoy specially-themed train excursions by booking a ticket on Hamilton County’s Nickel Plate Express. These excursions are specially meant for families and kids, but there are also some fun adults-only rides. So instead of the usual shopping malls, why don’t you book a ticket and hop on to The Reindeer Ride Express instead? This Indiana scenic train ride is the ideal option to avail of during your vacation. You can expect plenty of train rides with the expansion of the railroad.

The family-friendly rail excursion operates out of central Indiana over a distance of 19.3 km (12 mi) and passes through Cicero, Arcadia, and Atlanta. The ride starts from about 20 minutes outside of downtown Noblesville. The year-round train excursion includes themed excursions, such as the Reindeer Ride Express, Ales & Rails Express, Ghost Express, and the Pumpkin Express. While the Ales and Rails Express is perfect for adults and couples, the Reindeer Ride and Pumpkin Express Ride are ideal for families.

Nickel Plate Express Rail Road Train Rides

Website: Nickel Plate Express Rail Road Train Rides

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8. Lark Ranch Train Rides

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Lark Ranch on Wednesday, September 29, 2021

Today, Lark Ranch in Loogootee, as well as, Lark Ranch in Greenfield, have both emerged as a popular spot for young children who are fond of train rides. Lark Ranch in Indiana happens to be a fun destination in the fall for the families living in Indianapolis. There is something unique at Lark Ranch that one will not find at the other farms in Indianapolis, which is this delightful train ride. It operates on a proper railway track around the entire farm. Not only the children, but you, as well as the grandparents, will love this amazing train ride.

The track spans around 1.6 km (1 mi), so sit back and enjoy the ride with your family. The train has the capacity to accommodate 80 passengers and is custom made, so it is sure to be unlike anything you have experienced elsewhere.

Lark Ranch Train Rides

Website: Lark Ranch Train Rides

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9. Indiana Live Steamers Train Rides

Editor's Note: Photo taken from the establishment's official social account

Posted by Indiana Live Steamers on Saturday, May 5, 2018

Some die-hard train enthusiasts came together and started the Indiana Live Steamers Train Rides in the state of Indiana. While these train rides in Indiana are conducted on a small scale, they operate on real railway tracks, with model trains. In short, you can call them miniature train rides. It is not only a favorite train ride for little ones, but also for their parents who accompany them. The Indiana Live Steamers Train Rides are also known to offer well-organized birthday parties for children.

Entry tickets for these rides are quite nominal, at just 3 USD for each person. The ride will take you through the forest, as well as over bridges. You will simply fall in love with this unique experience.

Indiana Live Steamers Train Rides

Website: Indiana Live Steamers Train Rides

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Enjoy these train rides in Indiana

CP 9734/8826 on the IHB in Dolton, Illinois
Source: Photo by Flickr user vxla used under CC BY 2.0

No matter how many advancements there are in the transportation sector, trains have a quaint charm of their own. If you wish to be a part of this wonderful experience, check out these most scenic train rides in Indiana, USA, and have unlimited fun. Be sure to watch out for the beautiful lakes and places for kayaking for an unforgettable experience!

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Pala Sen is an avid follower of travel and health updates, current affairs and entertainment news from all across the world and writing is a passion for her. She had been previously associated...Read more

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