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.
Tourist Trains In Nearby States
Arkansas, Ride The Arkansas & Missouri And Other Excursions
Illinois, Home To One Of The Country's Largest, The Illinois Railway Museum
Kansas, Showcasing A Few Trips By Rail
Kentucky, Home Of The "My Old Kentucky Dinner Train"
Nebraska, Ride The State's Only Excursion, The Fremont & Elkhorn Valley
Oklahoma, Where You Can Enjoy A Few Trips By Rail
Tennessee, Enjoy Train Rides Through The Appalachians
Texas, Home Of The Steam-Powered Texas State Railroad
American Association of Railroaders, Inc
A group which has been around since 1967, they look to generally tell the history of the nation's railroad industry. They do not have a physical location in which equipment or artifacts are available for display but they do host charters, excursions, and weekend tours. To learn more please visit their website.
American Railway Caboose Historical Educational Society, Inc.
This society looks to preserve the history and tell the story of the caboose, once an important car that normally operated at the rear of freight trains. The group occasionally sponsors trips with restored cabooses. To learn more please visit their website.
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.
Friends of Landmark Kirkwood Station
The Friends of Landmark Kirkwood Station is a former Missouri Pacific depot located in the town of Kirkwood. Today the building is restored and features exhibits and displays. For more information about visiting the museum please call 314-752-3148.
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
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.
Webster Groves Frisco Depot
The Big Bend Railroad Club, the oldest model railroad club in the country (1938), is housed inside the St. Louis-San Francisco Railway's (Frisco) depot in Webster Groves, originally built in 1910. They are open only one Tuesday of each month. To learn more please visit their website.
Related Reading You May Enjoy
Tourist Train Information