Dozens of railroads across the country offer a trip down memory lane, providing sentimental journeys for young and old alike. Here, for your group’s next outing, we highlight some of America’s best excursion trains. Relax and enjoy the ride. All aboard!

Scenic Rail Photo

Essex Steam Train—Essex, Connecticut

An unusual mix—a steam train ride and a connecting riverboat excursion —combines to add variety and interest to this rail-river duo. The 12-mile roundtrip from Essex Station to Deep River and Haddam offers about an hour’s adventure, while the rail-water combination lasts up to 2½ hours. The steam train is hauled by a 1920s locomotive or a newer Chinese-built #3025 engine, and the water portion of the journey is undertaken by a three-deck, Mississippi-style riverboat. (

Mt. Washington Cog Railway—Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

Passengers experience a sense of adventure and history on the Mt. Washington Cog Railway’s three-hour guided train tour to the highest peak in the Northeast. At the 6,288-foot summit, visitors can revel in the spectacular panoramic view that spans the mountains and valleys of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont, north into Canada, and east to the Atlantic Ocean. At the top, there’s plenty to do, including exploring the Sherman Adams Visitors Center, Mt. Washington Observatory’s Weather Museum and the 1853 Tip Top House. (

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