New York Train Rides And Excursions

Due to the state's long history with and importance to railroads (with cities such as New York, Syracuse, Buffalo, and others located there), it probably comes as little surprise that there are several New York train rides offered today, by many different organizations. Whether you may be interested in taking a long excursion in climate-controlled passenger cars through bucolic, rolling countryside, ride a restored trolley, or have your train pulled by a restored steam locomotive you can find it all in New York. Today, the state's excursions include the Adirondack Scenic Railroad, Arcade & Attica Railroad, Catskill Mountain Railroad, Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad, Delaware & Ulster Railroad, Finger Lakes Scenic Railway, Trolley Museum Of New York, Upper Hudson River Railroad, and trips offered by the Medina Railroad Museum.

Along with Pennsylvania, New York was the state years ago to watch northeastern railroads in action as dozens of well known companies could once be found there including names like the New York Central, Pennsylvania, Erie, Lehigh Valley, and numerous others. As such, New York also witnessed many well known passenger train names passing through its borders, most headed to or towards New York City. Many of the tourist railroads found in the state today look to preserve this history as well as providing passengers with a memorable trip by train. Depending on what your interests you can find about just about all of it in New York. In any event, to learn more about New York train rides please read the information below covering each in more detail.

Adirondack Scenic Railroad

Since their first trip in 1992 the Adirondack Scenic Railroad has grown by leaps and bounds, literally. Today, it operates two, unconnected sections of this former New York Central branch that once extended from Utica all of the way to Lake Placid to the north, a distance of over 150 miles. Their operations include a short 10-mile section of railroad between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid, and another 50-mile section between the town of Utica and Thendara, where it all began. Plans for the railroad include hopefully reopening the section between Thendara and Saranac Lake, a nearly 100-mile stretch of railroad that operates through New York's breathtaking Adirondack Park.

Arcade & Attica Railroad

The Arcade & Attica Railroad, based in Arcade, New York operates on trackage originally built and owned by the Buffalo, Attica & Arcade Railroad. The railroad also hauls freight with its passenger trains running between late May and December with several events and special trains operated throughout the season.

Brooks/Alco Railroad Display

Managed by the Dunkirk Historical Society this display, located in Dunkirk, features a few pieces of rolling stock, including Boston & Maine 0-6-0 #444 built by Alco's Brooks Works in 1916.

Catskill Mountain Railroad

Based in Mt. Pleasant, New York the Catskill Mountain Railroad operates on trackage originally built by the Ulster & Delaware Railroad, later owned by the New York Central. The railroad moves freight when possible and still has plans to reopen the entire line between Kingston and Phonecia. It travels through the beautiful Catskill Mountain region and carried a record year recently witnessing more than 40,000 annual riders. 

Central Square Station Museum

This museum is located inside the preserved New York, Ontario & Western/New York Central union depot at Central Square.  The building houses several artifacts, historic documents and displays while outside is a rather impressive collection of rolling stock including Pennsylvania (Amtrak) GG1 #4926 (#926), two 0-4-0T switchers of different heritage, a 45-ton switcher, and a 25-ton switcher.

Chester Historical Society

This organization has preserved the Erie's depot in Chester amongst its other historical buildings, which generally looks to keep alive the local area's history.  The museum is open from June through October.

Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad

The Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley Railroad operated by the Leatherstocking Railway Historical Society uses tracks originally built a railroad known as the Cooperstown & Charlotte Valley. With trains running through the upper Susquehanna River Valley using a handful of diesel locomotives for power.

Delaware & Ulster Railroad

The Delaware & Ulster Railroad, based in Stamford, like the Catskill Mountain Railroad operates on trackage originally owned by the Ulster & Delaware Railroad, which traveled through the scenic Catskill Mountain region. Today trains depart from the depot in Arkville with an operating season running between late May and October.

Empire State Railway Museum

This museum is located inside the Ulster & Delaware's small restored depot which once served the local area.  Along with historic artifacts display inside the group owns former Lake Superior & Ishpeming 2-8-0 #23, which they hope to restore one day.  Additionally, they offer rides on their scale train located nearby.  The museum is open from late May through October.

Hyde Park Railroad Station

This museum has preserved the New York Central's depot in Hyde Park built in 1914.  The building primarily displays artifacts related to railroading and that of the local area.  It is open on select days year-round and usually features special events and activities throughout the year.

Finger Lakes Scenic Railway

The Finger Lakes Scenic Railway based in both Geneva and Watkins Glen is actually a freight railroad which hosts excursion trains using trackage once owned by the New York Central (their equipment actually uses a paint scheme derive from the NYC). The typical tourist train operating season is between May and December with a handful of special excursions operated throughout the year.

Jamestown Gateway Erie Train Station

As its name implies this organization has preserved the Erie's impressive station in Jamestown.  While tours are offered of the building and grounds the station also plays host to many events throughout the year and is even available for businesses to lease space.  It is open throughout much of the year.

Martisco Station Museum

This small museum is housed inside the NYC's beautifully restored Victorian era, brick depot that was originally constructed in 1881.  It houses several displays and historic artifacts inside.  As with the Central Square Station Museum this facility is maintained and operated by the Central New York Chapter of the NRHS.   It is open from May through October.

Medina Railroad Museum

The Medina Railroad Museum mostly looks to preserve the area's railroad history, notably that of the New York Central which operated through the town. The museum is housed in the NYC's former freight depot and also operates a 34-mile round trip excursion train along the Erie Canal Heritage Corridor during the operating season. The trains also operate specials throughout the year such as the Santa and wine trains.

New York Museum Of Transportation

This transportation museum, located in West Henrietta, looks to preserve the history of transportation and travel in Upstate New York.  They feature numerous pieces of railroad and streetcar/interurban rolling stock, some of which is operational and provides rides around the grounds.  Additionally, the museum is also home to several artifacts, displays, and a large operating model layout.

New York Transit Museum

This facility is located in Brooklyn and has a large collection of historic artifacts, interactive displays, and other material which tells the history of the New York City's many transit systems.  They are described as the largest such facility anywhere in the United States.  The museum is open throughout much of the year.  To learn more please visit their website.

North Creek Railway Depot Museum

Based inside the depot at North Creek of Delaware & Hudson heritage this museum.  Their mission statement, along with preserving local railroad history is to tell the story of the Gore Mountain Region in general.  To learn more about the museum please visit their website.

Oyster Bay Railroad Museum

This museum looks to preserve the history of Oyster Bay's railroading past as well as that of the entire Long Island region.  They currently have a large collection of rolling stock on hand along with many artifacts and displays.  The museum has future plans to greatly expand their presence, constructing a large complex in the area to further draw in visitors and attention to their endeavor.

Railroad Museum Of Long Island, Greenport & Riverhead Museum

Another railroad museum located on Long Island at Greenport as well as Riverhead, this organization has a number of exhibits to see along with an operating layout to peruse.  Their long-term goal is to fully restore and operation Long Island Rail Road Class G5s #39.  To learn more please visit their website.

Railroad Museum Of Niagara Frontier

Located in North Tonawanda inside the restored, 1922 Erie freight depot here, the museum is operated by the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society (NRHS).  It is the only such museum in the Buffalo area and its mission is to keep alive the history of railroading in this region.  Along with artifacts and displays the museum has several pieces of rolling stock on-hand.

Rochester & Genesee Valley Railroad Museum

Affiliated with the New York Museum of Transportation, this museum has been in operation since 1971, located at the Erie's restored depot in Industry.  Along with several pieces of rolling stock and numerous locomotives within its collection they are home to many artifacts and displays. 

Roscoe O&W Railway Museum

This facility is a division of the Ontario & Western Railway Historical Society.  It is located in Roscoe and has artifacts relating to the New York, Ontario & Western.  The museum is open during the warmer months of each year.

Salamanca Rail Museum

This museum is located at the restored brick depot built by the Buffalo, Rochester & Pittsburgh.  It is open during the warmer months of each year and features displays and artifacts related to the BR&P, other railroads, and area in general.  There are also a few pieces or rolling stock on display.

Saratoga & North Creek Railway

Formerly known as the Upper Hudson River Railroad until 2010, the new Saratoga & North Creek (an Iowa Pacific subsidiary) is based in North Creek and operates through the beautiful Adirondack Mountains along the Hudson River. Their excursion trains use the Delaware & Hudson Railway's ex-Adirondack Branch.  Under new management the S&NC has greatly expanded its services and now offers upscale accommodations and numerous other events and specials throughout the year.  The road is unique for its use of a rare Electro-Motive BL2 road-switcher.

Trolley Museum Of New York

The Trolley Museum Of New York features the state's only operating trolley at Kingston. The museum operates on 1 1/2-mile of trackage and uses the former yards of the Ulster & Delaware Railroad to store and display equipment.

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