With gas prices at record highs and flight cancellations and delays, this is a good time to take the train. These are the top scenic train trips in the USA, ranging from a few hours to a few days, including on old-fashioned steam trains.
In alphabetical order, since that’s the only fair way:
Alaska Railroad’s Coastal Classic
Route: Anchorage – Girdwood – Seward
Travel time: 1.30 hours
From mid-May to mid-September, Alaska’s days are long, plants are blooming, wildlife is on the move, and the Coastal Classic offers daily departures so you can experience it all.
The route, from Anchorage to Seward, follows the shoreline of the Turnagain Arm, where 3,000-foot mountains of the Chugach Range plunge straight into the ocean.
Watch for beluga whales in the inlet and, farther along on the journey, Dall sheep on cliffsides and bear and moose in the backcountry wilderness.
Head back same day – it will be a long day, 6am to 10pm – or extend your trip with a day in Seward. Cruise Resurrection Bay or Kenai Fjords National Park, or visit to Exit Glacier and a dog sled ride at the famed Seavey kennel.
Route: New York – Saratoga Springs – Montreal
Travel time: 10 hours (one way)
This train journey takes you through charming towns and along the beautiful Hudson River Valley, delivering you to Montreal by dinnertime.
Very scenic, it’s a popular train ride for viewing fall foliage, traveling to wineries and visiting Lake Champlain. Or stop off along the way in Saratoga, for the mineral water baths, horse racing and more.