Missouri Train Rides And Excursions

Even though the state features very nice scenery, as its home to the Ozark Mountains, Missouri train rides are hard to find as there are just a few currently in operation; the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad, Belton, Grandview & Kansas City Railroad, and Branson Scenic Railway. The latter is certainly Missouri's most popular, hosted by a shortline railroad and operating through the aforementioned Ozarks. The other two tourist lines are smaller operations although the St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern is the only one in the state where visitors can catch a ride behind an operable steam locomotive. Despite there being just a few Missouri train rides the state is home to several railroad museums.

Missouri has a fascinating history with railroads, which is why its a bit surprising, coupled with the state's beautiful topography, that more excursion trains are not located there. As mentioned above, the Branson Scenic Railway has the most to offer visitors. They not only feature trips that cover several hours and around 40 miles but also offer elegant accommodations in climate-controlled, streamlined passenger cars. More information about the railroad can be found below but I would certainly recommend it as the first one to visit if you are wanting to ride one of state's tourist lines. To learn more about Missouri train rides please read over the information below, which highlights each in a little more detail.

Belton, Grandview & Kansas City Railroad

The Belton, Grandview & Kansas City Railroad based in Belton, Missouri offers a 5-mile excursion ride on former St. Louis-San Francisco (Frisco) trackage. The railroad operates several seasonal specials throughout the year and also offers cab rides.

Branson Scenic Railway

The Branson Scenic Railway is a tourist line operated in conjunction with the shortline Missouri & Northern Arkansas Railroad between Galena and Self, Missouri (train departures are from Branson). Depending on which line the railroad takes roundtrips are usually 40 miles in length and last nearly two hours, and while you might not think so, because the railroad operates through Missouri's Ozark mountains the line passes through and over several tunnels and bridges. Overall the railroad is quite scenic and well worth the trip through a region sometimes forgotten for its beauty and ruggedness due to its location in the Midwest.

Chicago & Alton Railroad Depot

This museum is housed inside the extensively restored Chicago & Alton depot at Independence that opened in 1879.  Inside there are numerous historic displays and artifacts to see within the two-story building.  Additionally, a few events are held each year.  The museum is open from April through late October each year.

Kansas City Northern Railroad

This attraction is located within the Frank Vaydik Line Creek Park at Kansas City offering 16-inch-gauge scale train rides.  They are open from May through September of each year.

Magic City Line Mini Train

This attraction is located at Rothwell Park in Moberly offering 12-inch-gauge scale train rides on a one-mile loop.  They are open from April through October of each year.

Museum Of Transportation

The Museum Of Transportation at St. Louis features one of the country's most impressive collection of railroad rolling stock and locomotives.  While they also feature other transportation-related pieces their rail exhibit is worth seeing!  Some of their featured pieces including "Big Boy" 4-8-8-4 #4006, "Centennial" DDA40X #6944, Baltimore & Ohio boxcab diesel #50, one of the Aerotrain sets, and Burlington #9908 the "Silver Charger."  There are nearly 200 pieces in all, some of which include interurban and streetcar equipment.

Patee House Museum

This historical museum complex is located in St. Joseph.  It generally tells the history of the local area inside the resort hotel building originally completed in 1858.  However, also on the premises is the restored Hannibal & St. Joseph (later Burlington) depot completed in 1877.  Finally, displayed in the town is H&StJ 4-4-0 #35 built by Baldwin in 1892 as well as Burlington Class O-5a 4-8-4 #5614.

Railroad Historical Museum, Inc.

This railroad museum is located in Springfield features a collection of rolling stock to peruse.  They also house preserved Frisco 4-8-4 #4524, housed under-shed and cosmetically restored.  They are open during the warmer months each year.

St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad

The St. Louis, Iron Mountain & Southern Railroad based in Jackson offers a ten-mile excursion through the rolling, open countryside of southeastern Missouri. The railroad normally uses an ex-PRR E8 for power but also has a 2-4-2 steam locomotive on hand which is currently being overhauled.

Wabash, Frisco & Pacific Steam Railway

This little operation is another 1-foot-gauge, scale train ride.  They are located in Glencoe and feature miniature, live steam locomotives which power their trains on a 2-mile, round trip that lasts about a half-hour.  They are open every Saturday between May and October.

Walt Disney Hometown Museum

This unique museum, located inside the town of Marceline's restored Santa Fe depot, looks to tell the story of Walt Disney himself and what he meant to so many folks including the local area.  Aside from the museum, the busy BNSF main line lies just outside the depot's front door while you can also explore the downtown area.

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