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Indulge on Rails: Explore Maine's Exquisite Dinner Trains!

Last revised: April 14, 2024

By: Adam Burns

There is one location in Maine hosting a train ride that offers the availability of a meal at the historic Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum.  It is offered only once a year.

In addition, the Maine Narrow-Gauge Railroad & Museum hosts wine-tasting trains throughout the summer.  More information about both may be found further below.

Discover the Best Summer Attractions in Maine

Whether you seek outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, or a relaxing getaway, here are some top attractions to explore throughout Maine beyond just a train ride.  From stunning coastal landscapes to vibrant cities and charming towns, the state offers a wealth of attractions that promise to make your summer truly memorable.

Acadia National Park - Bar Harbor

Nestled along the rugged coastline, Acadia National Park beckons nature lovers with its awe-inspiring beauty. Immerse yourself in the park's diverse landscapes, from pristine beaches to granite cliffs and lush forests. Hike along the famous Precipice Trail, cycle the carriage roads, or marvel at the panoramic views from Cadillac Mountain, the highest peak on the East Coast. Don't miss a visit to the charming town of Bar Harbor, known for its vibrant downtown, delicious seafood, and charming bed and breakfasts.

Old Port - Portland

Discover the vibrant heart of Portland at the historic Old Port district. Wander through its cobblestone streets lined with unique boutiques, art galleries, and eclectic shops. Savor delicious seafood at waterfront restaurants or enjoy a pint of craft beer at one of the many breweries. Don't forget to explore the lively Portland Head Light, one of the state's most iconic lighthouses, and take a scenic harbor cruise to appreciate the city's maritime heritage.

Coastal Scenic Route - Route 1

Embark on a scenic road trip along Route 1, Maine's Coastal Scenic Route. Traveling along the state's stunning coastline, you'll encounter charming fishing villages, breathtaking vistas, and picturesque harbors. Stop in towns like Camden, with its charming downtown and scenic harbor, or Kennebunkport, known for its beautiful beaches and quaint shops. Along the way, indulge in fresh lobster rolls and other delectable seafood delights that Maine is famous for.

Moosehead Lake - Greenville

Escape to the tranquil beauty of Moosehead Lake, Maine's largest lake surrounded by pristine wilderness. Explore the lake's sparkling waters by kayak, canoe, or boat, and try your hand at fishing for trout or salmon. Discover the abundance of hiking trails that wind through the surrounding forests, offering glimpses of wildlife and stunning vistas. Unwind in the charming town of Greenville, where you can find cozy accommodations and enjoy local cuisine with a backdrop of breathtaking natural beauty.

L.L.Bean Flagship Store - Freeport

For the ultimate shopping experience, head to Freeport and visit the iconic L.L.Bean Flagship Store. Explore its sprawling campus, stocked with outdoor gear, apparel, and footwear, and discover everything you need for your summer adventures. Stroll through the charming village filled with outlet stores, boutique shops, and local eateries. Take part in outdoor activities like paddleboarding or fly fishing, offered by L.L.Bean's Outdoor Discovery Schools.

Baxter State Park - Mount Katahdin

For the adventurous souls, a trip to Baxter State Park is a must. Crowned by Mount Katahdin, Maine's highest peak, this wilderness paradise offers breathtaking landscapes and thrilling outdoor pursuits. Hike the challenging Knife Edge Trail or opt for more relaxed nature walks through tranquil forests and along crystal-clear lakes. Be sure to secure permits in advance for camping or climbing Katahdin, and relish the pristine beauty of this untouched wilderness.

002934827346124623742839589238637864.jpgBangor & Aroostook F3A #42 leads a Massachusetts Bay Railroad Enthusiasts fan trip northbound through the small town of Frankfort, Maine in July, 1985. Roger Puta photo.

Overview

Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum

(Alna):  Nestled in the scenic state of Maine, the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum stands as a testament to the golden age of narrow-gauge railroading. Today, the museum offers visitors a chance to step back in time, experiencing the magic of this historic railway and preserving its legacy for future generations.

The original Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway, charted on April 15, 1854 as the Kennebec & Wiscasset, stopped operating in the early 1930's.  At its peak the system was second-only to the Sandy River & Rangeley Lakes in size, linking Wiscasset with Waterville and Albion. Its system totaled about 60 miles.

The railway's impact was particularly notable in the logging industry. Lumber was a vital resource in Maine during that period, and the WW&F efficiently transported timber from the forests to mills and other markets. Its narrow-gauge design allowed for more flexible routes and cost-effective operations, making it a crucial component of the state's economic growth.

The last train operated on June 15, 1933, marking the end of an era. Over time, the tracks were dismantled, and the once-thriving railway became a forgotten memory.

Beginning in 1989 a group of preservationists began working to bring back a segment of the railroad for excursion purposes and today maintain over 2.5 miles of track.

Visiting the Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway Museum is like stepping back in time. The museum houses an impressive collection of historic locomotives, railcars, and artifacts that bring the era of narrow-gauge railroading to life.

They operate over 2 miles of the original right-of-way located just south of Alna.  Among their special excursions hosted during the summer months is the "BBQ and SeaLyon Farmstand Express."

The train departs from the Sheepscot station and takes guests out to SeaLyon Farm for a railroader’s cookout.  This event lasts over 3 hours.


Maine Narrow-Gauge Railroad & Museum

(Portland): The Maine Narrow-Gauge Railroad & Museum operates a two-foot narrow-gauge railroad using restored steam locomotives. The railroad hosts a number of special events such as the Sunset Express throughout the summer months. While not a true dinner train experience, this event offers wine tasting, hard seltzer tasting, and locally brewed beer tasting.  These trains depart at 6 pm and 7 pm.

Scheduled Dates

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