6 Scenic Train Rides In Maine, USA - Updated 2022

scenic train rides in maine

Maine is the easternmost state of the United States well known for its beautiful natural landscapes. With its luscious and expansive forests, low and rolling mountains, jagged and rocky coastline, any nature lovers would love to visit Maine. Many parts of Maine are located close to the coastline, this makes the area perfect for having seafood. Those who enjoy lobsters and clams will love dining in Maine. The state is served by airports, roads and railway transport but for a better view, rail transport is the best. There are a lot of places to visit and things to see while in Maine including Acadia National Park and Appalachian National Scenic Trail. The state offers some of the best beachfront hotels and lakefront rentals so you can have the vacation of a lifetime. Check out this list that will guide you into choosing the best scenic train rides in Maine.

1. Pan Am Railways

Pan Am Railways, Mattawamkeag, Maine
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user David Wilson used under CC BY 2.0

Pan Am Railways was created in 2006 as a renaming of Guilford Transportation Industries whose history dates back to 1981. Today, it remains a significant Class II railroad in Maine region. It is the most vibrant railroad in the region covering northern New England from Mattawamkeag, Maine, to Rotterdam Junction, New York. Book a ride with Pan Am Railways and enjoy the stunning views from northern Maine to New York’s Capital District.

Pan Am Railways

Website: Pan Am Railways

2. St Lawrence & Atlantic RR Co

Yarmouth Crossing, Yarmouth, Maine
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Dudesleeper used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Abbreviated as SLR, St Lawrence and Atlantic Railroad is a short-line railway operating between Portland, Maine on the Atlantic Ocean and Montreal, Quebec on St Lawrence River. It covers a track of 95 miles (152.9 km) and carries 263 000 passengers. Its trail is through beautiful sceneries of the Nothern New England communities where the travelers get to enjoy exceptional views. Among the things to enjoy are stunning skylines, magnificent bridges, heavy forests, rivers, and wildlife.

St Lawrence & Atlantic RR Co

Website: St Lawrence & Atlantic RR Co

3. The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority

Downeaster NPCU Ballardvale
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MBTafan2011 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA) is a public transportation authority created to provide passenger rail service between Maine and Boston and points within Maine. Its trail links 12 cities and towns and connects to bus services, airports, ferries and subways along the trail. Each trip takes approximately two hours thirty minutes and the passenger capacity is 232. The passenger train features wheelchair access, allows service animals and the service from the staff is excellent. Hop on to this train and enjoy the scenery along the way.

The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority

Website: The Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority

4. Trainriders-Northeast

Amtrak downeaster scarborough marsh 2002
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user BMRR used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Trainriders Northeast is an organization established to advocate for the extension of passenger rail service from Boston to Portland. The organization uses the Amtrak Downeaster to bring passenger service to Portland. Book a ticket online and hop on to the Amtrak train for a chance to discover the amazing cities, scenic landscapes and spectacular wildlife along the way. The train covers over 500 destinations and approximately 623 miles (1002.6 km) of track with some tracks allowing a speed of up to 150 mph (240 km/h)


Website: Trainriders-Northeast

5. Downeast Scenic Railroad

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

Check out another great shot taken by Tom F.! Come see this train in person at Downeast Scenic Railroad!

Posted by Downeast Scenic Railroad on Thursday, July 8, 2021

A trip on the Downeast Scenic Railroad takes the traveler back to a time of elegant travel and through beautiful parts of Maine city. The ride involves sceneries of canopied forests where the light sparkles through the treetops and open marshland where you will see herbaceous plants. You’ll travel over bridges, roll past schools and houses, pass through massive boulders, and see exceptional views of rivers and stream crossings. On the way, make sure you look out for the many forms of wildlife including osprey, blue herons, bald eagles, moose, deer, snapping turtles, beaver, and bears. The traveling time is approximately 90 minutes and traverses a 13-mile (20.9 km) section of the railroad. snacks and water are available for purchase but you are free to carry your own. This wonderful ride is especially a must-not-miss if you’re in Maine for a romantic weekend getaway!

Downeast Scenic Railroad

Website: Downeast Scenic Railroad

6. Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad

Belfast & Moosehead Lake Picture from 2020
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user MidcoastRailroader used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad is a shortline railroad that operates from Belfast to Burnham Junction in Maine. It offers exciting weekend round trip excursions for all seasons. They also have themed train rides like the Unity train rides, Railroad scavenger Hunt and Peace train rides which make it exciting. The route its uses offers the riders an adventurous feel as they get to see interesting landmarks and beautiful landscapes. Come ride one of these scenic train rides for lots of memories and fun!

Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad

Website: Belfast and Moosehead Lake Railroad

Get ready for a ride

When you’re done with all the places to visit in Maine, it’s time for the ultimate journey! If you are paying for your own ticket you might as well treat yourself to one of the scenic train rides in the world. It certainly is one of the best things to do in the state. To take in all the beauty of the trees, waters, valleys, and wildlife opt for one of these scenic train rides in Maine and be sure to enjoy your journey. Plan your trip and book your Airbnb or Vrbo soon; this magnificent state awaits!

Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.

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Besides writing, studying, and loving adventure; I try my best to learn something new each day.

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