Iowa April 13, 2016
7 Epic Train Rides In Iowa That Will Give You An Unforgettable Experience
All aboard! It’s time to see Iowa in a way that you’ve never seen it before – from the inside of a train! While train travel is somewhat of a novel thing nowadays, we Iowans are lucky enough to still have several passenger trains to take a ride on – from Creston in the west to Burlington in the east. Next time you’re looking to take a scenic, relaxing trip across Iowa, check out these railways for an unforgettable experience:
1. Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad
Boone is a great place to start your train adventure. If you don't want to commit to a lengthy train ride around Iowa, this is just the thing for you. Boone & Scenic Valley offers leisurely train rides around the Des Moines River Valley in Boone. One of the most beautiful spots on the trip is the scenic High Bridge, shown above. (The train pictured is not one of the passenger trains.)
A normal ride typically lasts around 2 hours, and a dinner train, dessert train or picnic train will typically run about 3 hours. They also offer a 30-minute trolley ride to downtown Boone.
For the kids, they offer a "Thomas The Train" ride, which goes out on select days in September, for roughly 25 minutes.
2. California Zephyr through Creston
There are several different Amtrak stops in Iowa. If you live in the western part of the state, the station in Creston is a great place to start your railroad trip. Hop on the California Zephyr at Creston Station and make your way to the next destination - Osceola.
3. California Zephyr through Osceoloa
From Creston, it's approximately 35 minutes by train to Osceola, the next stop. Compared to that same trip by car, the train will save you 4 minutes, but provide you with all the relaxation of not having to deal with driving.
4. California Zephyr through Ottumwa
From Osceola Station to Ottumwa, it's approximately 1 hour and 20 minutes by train. Depending on which road you take, this route can save you 23 minutes compared to car travel.
5. California Zephyr through Mount Pleasant
From Ottumwa Station to Mount Pleasant it's a 45 minute train ride. By car, the fastest route would be a 52-minute long drive on US-34 E or a 1 hour and 17 minute trek along IA-16 E.
6. California Zephyr through Burlington
From Mount Pleasant Station to Burlington, it's 42 minutes. We'll give it to the highway engineers on this one - taking US 34 E would save trip-goers 10 minutes if they were taking a car, but they would lose out on all the amazing views to be had from the inside of a passenger train.
7. Southwest Chief through Fort Madison
From Burlington Station to the final stop, Fort Madison, it's about an hour long train ride. Although the trip by car is only 24 minutes, think about how much relaxation you will get done sitting back on the plush seats of the Southwest Chief as you chug your way along to Fort Madison!
Have you taken a ride on one of these trains? What did you think? Share your thoughts with us!