10 Scenic Train Rides In Virginia, USA

scenic train rides in va
Matthew
Matthew
Updated

A lot of people may find train rides, as a medium of transportation, a little old fashioned and outdated. But think about it! It’s really convenient, hassle-free, and gives you quite an experience. Train rides do not have to go through traffic. Along the way, you will get to see beautiful sceneries that would give you a feeling of peace and contentment. There’s a certain charm to train rides and railway systems. Whether you are off to a fabulous beach or the scenic mountains, there are a lot of railway companies in Virginia that provides transport services as well as excursion tour packages. They also have museums dedicated to the history of the railway system of the city. We have compiled for you a list of scenic train rides for your next trip to Virginia, USA. Feel free to check them out below.

1. Buckingham Branch Railroad

BB7 Louisa WJGrimes
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user William Grimes used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Buckingham Branch Railroad offers seasonal excursions to tourists. They have partnered with the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Preservation Society to provide excursion rides during the spring and fall season, and they even have a Santa train during the Christmas season. The ride starts from the Dillwyn Station and passes through rolling hills and lush forestry and magnificent landscape in the centre of Virginia. Join them for a memorable and nostalgic experience of an old-school train ride that is one for the books.

Buckingham Branch Railroad

Website: Buckingham Branch Railroad

2. Winchester & Western Railroad

WWUX 4795
Source: Photo by user Dan used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Winchester & Western Railroad’s primary mission is to provide a convenient, safe, and quality travel experience to its customers while simultaneously being corporately responsible towards the environment and the local communities that they are providing services for. They are a shortline railroad that functions from Gore to Hagerstown, Maryland. They also have other lines to New Jersey, bridging a connection to Conrail Shared Assets Operations in Vineland and Millville. Throughout the course of the trip, the train passes by a beautiful creek in the Potomac Highlands known as the Abram’s Creek and then passes through the historic northwestern Turnpike, Hogue Creek and a lot of lush greenery and virgin forestry.

Winchester & Western Railroad

Website: Winchester & Western Railroad

3. Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad -- In "The Trough" of the South Branch of the Potomac River Romney (WV) Saturday November 12, 2011
Source: Photo by Flickr user Ron Cogswell used under CC BY 2.0

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad provides excursion trips that offer a once in a lifetime experience along with world-class service. You can choose from the Trough trip, the all-day trip to Petersburg, and Green Spring Special tour packages. The Trough trip is a three-hour trip with no layover, and the trip passes through the Trough and Sycamore Bridge. On the other hand, the all-day trip to Petersburg is quite long in terms of travel time. This is an eight-hour trip that passes through Moorefield and reaching Petersburg. While in Petersburg, passengers are allowed to try the cafes and restaurants and buy goodies for a two-hour layover period. On a different note, Green Spring Special is approximately just an hour and a half trip northbound, that passes through the Potomac River and vast farmlands.

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

Website: Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

4. C&O Railway Heritage Center

C&O Railway Heritage Center - C&O 614 Locomotive - 1
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Jarek Tuszyński used under CC BY-SA 3.0

C&O Railway Heritage Center is a tourist destination in Virginia. It features a heritage centre and a museum that is both educational and inspirational. It tells tourists the American tale of the foundation of society from the people and places to the railways. They encourage that Americans be made aware of their history - from how the ancestors worked and persevered to the growth of the whole country at the present time. It all boils down to the two twin rails of steel that connects the lands together. The museum features models of the old trains and railway design, some antique equipment, replicas, and more.

C&O Railway Heritage Center

Website: C&O Railway Heritage Center

5. Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park, West Virginia
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Richard A. Weaver used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park is an amazing travel company that provides tour packages to various state parks and magnificent destinations in West Virginia. They promise an experience of a lifetime that will reconnect you with nature from lush greenery, mountains, enchanting waterfalls, fishing spots, and more. They also provide you and your family with wonderful memories that will make you want to come back to make some more. Their parks offer a diverse range of activities that you can choose from according to your preference, from hiking to biking to boating to fishing to camping to scenic train rides and a whole lot more.

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

Website: Cass Scenic Railroad State Park

6. The Richmond Railroad Museum

C&O departures board at Richmond Railroad Museum
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user DearEdward used under CC BY 2.0

Managed by the Old Dominion Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, The Richmond Railroad Museum is a tourist destination that is situated in the Southern Railway Station in Richmond. The museum features a variety of fascinating memorabilia, exhibits, galleries, furniture, and a lot more artefacts related to the city of Virginia. It also has a gift shop where tourists can buy trinkets and souvenirs. On top of it, The Richmond Railroad Museum is available for rental. You can hold your special occasions there with its function room that can accommodate up to 100 guests.

The Richmond Railroad Museum

Website: The Richmond Railroad Museum

7. MountainRail

Cass Scenic Railroad State Park - Shay 4 and Shay 11
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user w:user:shayfan used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Photo is only for illustrative purposes

MountainRail is a travel company that offers excursion trips in Virginia. Explore hidden routes and pass by mountain ranges and lush forestry in an experience you will never forget when you book a package with them. Their packages vary from short trips to all-day-long to overnight trips. There is a wide array of options available for you such as the Cass Scenic Bald Knob, Wild Heart Connector package, New Tygart Flyer, Cheat Mountain Salamander, The Dublin Rocket, and a lot more. Long trip excursions provide lunch and dinner on the train.

MountainRail

Website: MountainRail

8. Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum

Editor's Note: There's no photo available at the time of writing

Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum is another tourist destination in the city of Virginia. It is filled with artefacts, memorabilia, a collection of railway station items, models of old trains, exhibits, and a lot more. This museum holds a significant part in the history of Virginia, having been in operation for a long time now. It holds 130 years of history of the local train station. This museum also holds interesting events that both adults and children alike will be interested in from book signings to movies under the stars to guided educational tours, and more. Top it all off, you can celebrate your birthday party in the Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum as per reservations and arrangements.

Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum

Website: Suffolk Seaboard Station Railroad Museum

9. O. Winston Link Museum and History Museum of Western Virginia

Winston Link Museum
Source: Photo by user Bitmapped used under CC BY-SA 3.0

One of the many educational and historical museums in Virginia is the O. Winston Link Museum and History Museum of Western Virginia. This museum is a tribute to the works of the master photographer O. Winston Link. Most of the photographs are in black and white settings. Some of his works are pictures of old locomotives and railway scenarios from the 1950s. The museum also features interactive displays and audio recordings that supply relevant information about the models in his photography. In addition, some of his old tools and equipment of photography are also on display.

O. Winston Link Museum and History Museum of Western Virginia

Website: O. Winston Link Museum and History Museum of Western Virginia

10. Virginia Museum of Transportation

Virginia Museum of Transportation, Roanoke Va.
Source: Photo by Flickr user dougprowse used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Situated in Norfolk Ave, Virginia Museum of Transportation is another museum in Virginia that attracts tourists. It has been in operation since 1963 and features a collection of artefacts, old pictures, memorabilia, and other antique items related to Virginia’s transportation system. It now considered as the Official Transportation Museum of Virginia. All in all, it holds approximately 2500 items on display, available for viewing. Some of them are locomotives, old railcars, and even loaned objects. Not only that, but it also covers the water and air transportation system of Virginia. Their primary goal is to preserve the history of the city as well as the accomplishments and hard work of the people who took part in the advancement of the city’s transportation system.

Virginia Museum of Transportation

Website: Virginia Museum of Transportation

Transportation and history of Virginia

Not only is Virginia, USA rich in beaches, shopping centres, restaurants, and high rise building, but it also boasts fascinating history and remarkable culture. Train rides and the railway system as a whole mark an important significance to the history of Virginia. Even at the present time, the city still encourages people to take train rides while travelling and learn more about the history of the city through museums. Check out our list of these activities for your next visit to Virginia, and have a wonderful time ahead.

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

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