Before diesel engines took over in the 1950s, trains were powered by steam. As any rail enthusiast will tell you, this is the way to re-live the golden age of train travel.
The Niles Canyon Railway dates back to 1862 with the formation of the first Western Pacific Railroad Company. Its collection includes lumber and mining trains dating back to 1913. Plus, you can actually take a vintage General Motors coach to and from the railway.
Utah’s Heber Valley Railroad runs through the original Denver & Rio Grande Western rail line along Highway 189 and through the Provo Canyon. Both of its 1907 Baldwin steam locomotives have heated coaches, so these trains are even a great experience in Utah’s winters.
The Delaware River Railroad Excursions is the only operating steam locomotive in New Jersey, with themed rides all year long.
Just be forewarned, some of these companies operate both steam and diesel trains, so call to confirm which train will be used–after all, you may as well get the full vintage experience on your journey.
For more on riding the rails, visit our Train Travel section.
Find more tips in our complete Travel Tips section.