There’s nothing like sitting back, relaxing and watching the countryside roll by while a train engine rumbles beneath you. The golden age of locomotives may be behind us, but you can still experience the thrill and beauty of an old-fashioned train ride right here in Massachusetts. Check out these fascinating and scenic train and trolley rides across the state.
1. Berkshire Scenic Railway
Step inside the restored 1903 Lenox Station and begin your journey into railway history. In addition to a museum with exhibits that showcase the unique place trains have in the Berkshires' past, this railway offers scenic Hoosac Valley Service train rides between Adams and North Adams. The beauty of the restored trains rival the beauty of the natural landscape you'll be happily chugging through.
2. Liberty Ride, Lexington
This is a fantastic trolley ride for people interested in learning the history of Lexington and Concord. Your tour guides (in costume, of course) will lead you through the town on a 90-minute tour through the area's pivotal role in the founding of the nation. The trolley is comfortable and quaint, and the perfect way to get to know the town in a breezy and beautiful fashion. Tickets are $25 for adults and $12 for guests under 17. There is also free all-day parking nearby.
3. Cape Cod Central Railroad
Two words: Rails and Ales. If you like trains AND beer, we have just the train ticket. In addition to lunch, brunch, and formal dinner train rides, the Cape Cod Central Railroad offers beer tasting trips that are lots of fun. During your trip, you'll travel between Hyannis and Sandwich and eventually cross the beautiful Cape Cod Canal. We'll drink to that.
4. Salem Trolley Tours, Salem
Get to know the spookiest city in Massachusetts on the official Salem trolley tour You'll be guided past historic sites like the House of the Seven Gables, the Witch Dungeon Museum, the Salem Witch Museum, and lots of other fascination and beautiful locations. The trolley goes right down Salem's Chestnut Street, which is considered to be one of the most charming spots in America. Hop on at any of their 13 stops, and explore Salem in style. Tours run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. The cost is $18 for adults, and $8 for children.
5. Edaville Railroad, Carver
This is a train experience the whole family will love. Edaville Railroad is actually a fully-fledged amusement park, complete with rides, games, and gorgeous scenery. The best time to visit may actually be during the holiday season, as the park transforms into a magical railway experience that rivals The Polar Express. Guests can take a two-mile ride on a narrow-gauge train, and even meet Thomas the Tank Engine.
6. Shelburne Falls Trolley, Shelburne Falls
This trolley museum is located right by Shelburne Fall's gorgeous Bridge of Flowers. Take a spin on the restored Trolley No. 10, and perhaps even cooler, ride on their old-fashioned pump car (pictured). Kids can play with the train toys on offer, and train enthusiasts of all ages can explore the exhibits showcasing the railway history of Shelburne Falls.
7. Lowell National Streetcar Museum, Lowell
More than just a museum, the National Streetcar Museum is a great way to experience the city of Lowell. You can ride on the trolley that inspired Tennessee Williams' play "A Streetcar Named Desire." Knowledgeable guides will explain the history of the city and the trolley system. Best of all, visitors can enjoy rides on nearly two miles of track for no cost at all.
8. Trolley Tours of Boston
Take a journey through one of the nation's most historic cities and ride the Freedom Trail in one of these fantastic trolleys. For over 30 years, Boston Trolley Tours has been providing what they call "transportainment" by offering rides filled with fun facts, trivia, and fascinating stories about the city. Because the trolley travels all over Boston, you can avoid pricey parking, stressful city driving, and long walking distances. Your trolley ticket will also get you free admission to the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum, Old State House, and the Boston Harbor Cruise.
Have you taken any of these trips? Are you interested in trains and trolleys? Let us know!