The Most Scenic North American Train Routes

517727907The most scenic North American train routes offer fantastic views of mountains, lakes, deserts and more. Some also feature luxurious amenities. Many of these routes are located to the west of Chicago:

Amtrak Cascades

1. The Amtrak Cascades train carries passengers from Oregon to British Columbia. They enjoy unforgettable views of the ocean, farms, forests and mountains. Lucky travelers may also get the opportunity to see eagles or seals.

California Zephyr

2. The California Zephyr departs Chicago and reaches California in just over 50 hours. This route covers more than 2,400 miles. The most attractive scenery includes canyons and the Rocky Mountains.

Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express

3. In the northeast, passengers can ride Amtrak’s Ethan Allen Express from New York to Rutland. This train offers excellent views of the Green and Catskill Mountains. It makes stops in Fort Edward and Saratoga Springs.

Cass Scenic Railroad

4. The Cass Scenic Railroad spans 11 miles in a West Virginia state park. Travelers can see mountains, forests and antique logging equipment as they ride this steam train.

Chihuahua Pacific Railway

5. South of the border, Chihuahua Pacific Railway trains begin their journey in Los Mochis and arrive in Chihuahua after about half of a day. Riders see impressive mountains and canyons as they travel.

Arizona’s Grand Canyon Railway

6. Arizona’s Grand Canyon Railway provides great views of various canyons in an eight-hour ride. It began operating back in 1901. The trip also features a fake train robbery.

Amtrak Southwest Chief

7. The Amtrak Southwest Chief traverses about 2,250 miles as it travels from California to Illinois. Passengers see a tremendous variety of scenery, including deserts, mountains and forests.

Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer

8. Canada’s Rocky Mountaineer departs Vancouver and travels east to Calgary. Riders can see a river, waterfall and canyon before stopping in Kamloops. In addition to gourmet cuisine, the second day features mountain and glacier views.

The Coastal Classic

9. The Coastal Classic route starts in Anchorage, Alaska. As the train travels to Seward, riders see rivers, glaciers, tunnels and possibly whales or bears. The sunsets are also impressive.

All of these scenic North American train routes create amazing and memorable experiences that airplane travelers usually miss.

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