Posts Tagged ‘excursion trains’

R&N to Launch New Passenger Excursions

February 16, 2023

Pennsylvania regional railroad Reading & Northern plans to launch in May weekend passenger excursions between Pittston and Jim Thorpe.

The all-day excursions will leave Pittston at 9 a.m. and make intermediate stops at Penobscot (Mountain Top) and White Haven.

Passengers will have a three-hour layover in Jim Thorpe. Pittston is located in the Wilkes Barre-Scranton region.

Ticket sales will begin on March 1. The first train will depart on May 27.

R&N said in an announcement that information on fares and seating options will be released later.

Monon Two for Tuesday

December 6, 2022

For several years the Indiana Transportation Museum operated in excursion service an F7A locomotive painted in the livery of the Monon Railroad. The unit was actually a former Milwaukee Road locomotive. ITM later repainted No. 83 into a livery paying tribute to the Nickel Plate Road.

The two images above were made in Worthington, Indiana, on Aug. 29 1998. The occasion was an excursion train between Indianapolis and Worthington on the Indiana Southern Railroad that ran to Worthington behind ex-NKP 2-8-2 light Mikado No. 587. It returned to Indy behind No. 83.

The excursion traveled on a former Pennsylvania Railroad route that once extended from Indianapolis to Vincennes, Indiana, and was best known for its coal traffic.

Photographs by Craig Sanders

Algoma Canyon Excursions Have Resumed

September 23, 2022

The fabled Agawa Canyon excursion train resumed operations last month between Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and Agawa Canyon Park.

The 113-mile excursions are now operated by short line holding company Watco, which earlier this year acquired the former Algoma Central route from Canadian National.

The Agawa Canyon train was cancelled in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and made a limited number of trips in fall 2021. The first 2022 train ran on Aug. 1.

The 10-hour excursion passes lakes, rivers and splendid scenery as it traverses more than 800 curves in the Canadian wilderness.

The trip includes a 90-minute layover in Agawa Canyon Park.

July RDC Excursion Set on R&N

June 9, 2022

A rail diesel car excursion has been set for July 29 on the Reading & Northern regional railroad in Pennsylvania.

The excursion will depart Outer Station in Reading at 9 a.m. and visit Tremont, Minersville and Port Clinton.

A photo runby is planned in Tremont in the median of Cres Street. Also on the agenda is a visit to the Anthracite Mine Rescue Station.

A lunch stop is planned in Minersville while a tour of the R&N steam shop will be conducted in Port Clinton.

The excursion is being operated in partnership with the National Museum of Industrial History.

It will be the first excursion train to visit Tremont in more than two decades.

Ticket are $112 for museum members and $125 for non-members. An optional lunch ticket is available for $15.

For more information and to purchase tickets visit

Ohio Rail Experience Sets 3 Trips in 2022

May 23, 2022

The Ohio Rail Experience has announced that it will offer three all-day trips this year, all of then running on two weekends in September.

The Spirit of Urbana is set for Sept. 10, operating from Washington Court House to Urbana and return. The next day the Lima Limited will run from Springfield to Lima and return.

On Sept. 17 the Return to the Big Four will operate from Cincinnati to Greensburg, Indiana, and return.

Tickets are expected to go on sale within the next 14 days.

The Ohio Rail Experience is a project of Cincinnati Scenic Railway, which operatives the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad in Lebanon.

More information is available at

R&N Begins 2022 Excursions

January 4, 2022

Pennsylvania regional railroad Reading & Northern has begun operating excursion trains on its Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway.

The trips will depart from Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, for 70-minutes rides through Lehigh Gorge State Park in the eastern region of the state.

Departures will be on Saturdays and Sundays at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. The first trips operated on New Year’s Day.

Seating options include standard coach; crown class coach, with larger, reclining seats; and first class dome seating for $35 per person.

Standard coach seats are $17 per adult and $9 per child ages 3-12; Crown Class Coach seats are $18 for adults and $10 for children 3-12; childen ages 2 and under are free.

Reading Motive Power on an Excursion

December 10, 2021

Paul Woodring and I caught Reading GP30 No. 5513 and RDG Alco C630 No. 5308 on a railfan weekend on the Blue Mountain & Reading at Ontelaunee, Pennsylvania, in late-June 1988. Both locomotives also spent time on the Conrail motive power roster.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

Steam Saturday: On Day with T&P 610 in Indiana

December 4, 2021

This may appear to be a Southern Railways locomotive, but take a closer look. Despite the Southern insignia and markings a Texas & Pacific logo above the headlight betrays its true origin.

The 2-10-4 Texas type was built in June 1927 by Lima Locomotive Works. It saw heavy duty on the T&P until the late 1950s when it was retired and donated to the city of Fort Worth and placed on static display.

In 1976 it pulled the American Freedom Train within the Lone Star State and a year later was leased by the Southern for its steam program.

The photographer caught up with the 610 on June 17, 1978, in Huntingburg, Indiana, where it was in charge of a roundtrip between Huntingburg and New Albany, Indiana.

That was one of four excursions the 610 pulled that weekend in which Huntingburg was either an origin or turning point on the Southern’s Louisville-St. Louis line.

The 610 would spend four years pulling Southern excursion trains before returning to Texas in 1981 where it is now on static display at the Texas State Railroad in Palestine.

Now listed on the National Register of Historic Places, No. 610 is the only surviving example of a T&P Texas-type locomotive and the only non-articulated locomotive built by Lima.

Photograph by Robert Farkas

New River Gorge Excursions Canceled

September 24, 2021

COVID-19 pandemic concerns have led to the cancellation of the 2021 Autumn Colors Express excursion trips through the New River Gorge of West Virginia.

Rail Excursion Management, which is sponsoring the excursions, said the trips have been rescheduled for 2022.

 “An overwhelming number of customers have expressed concern about this year’s event,” said Railexco CEO Adam Auxier.

He noted that a surge in COVID-19 cases in West Virginia has local hospitals operating at emergency levels,” making postponement our best and only option this year.

Ticket holders will automatically be transferred to equivalent dates in October 2022. Questions about tickets, credits, or refunds can be directed to

The excursions were to be run in cooperation with Amtrak and the cities Huntington, Charleston and Hinton.

Passengers were to board in Huntington or Charleston and travel to Hinton for that city’s Railroad Days festival.

The Autumn Colors Express uses the same route as Amtrak’s Chicago-New York Cardinal.

Agawa Canyon Train to Resume in Fall

September 17, 2021

The Agawa Canyon Tour Train in Ontario will operate on a limited schedule this fall.

Officials of Canadian National, which owns the tracks used by the train, said the shorter schedule is due to reduced capacity prompted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The shortened season runs from Sept. 25 to Oct. 11, and all trips are already sold out. 

“It’s obviously really good news for us and the tourism and hospitality industry,” said Travis Anderson, Sault Ste. Marie’s director of tourism and community development. “It was a big gap in our portfolio last year and it presents a really good shot in the arm in terms of economic impact to the community.”