By Mira Temkin

Train pulling into station at Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, Boone, Iowa
[/media-credit] Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, Boone, Iowa

BOONE, Iowa — All aboard the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad in Boone for a memorable adventure riding historic rail cars.

The tourist railroad, located west of Ames, offers a variety of rides, including the Basic Excursion and Dinner, Dessert and Picnic Trains. The railroad operates from Memorial Day through October.

The Basic Excursion can accommodate groups up to 600 passengers. The train travels to the coal-mining town of Fraser and back. Guests can enjoy first class, coach, caboose or an open-air car for the 90-minute ride.

“As the train travels through the Des Moines River Valley, it crosses the 156-foot-tall Bass Point Creek High Bridge, the tallest single-track interurban railroad bridge in the United States,” said Alan Schroeder, president of the board and acting general manager for the line. “Passengers are impressed with the beautiful scenery. They reminisce about their parents and grandparents riding the train and it gives them a sense of nostalgia.”

Dining cars for lunch or dinner can be chartered for groups of up to 88 people. The cars offer a two-and-a-half-hour ride. In the golden age of rail travel, these two cars were used on Union Pacific’s famous City Of Los Angeles and City of San Francisco trains, both of which served Boone on their way between Chicago and the West Coast. 

Yellow train at Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, Boone, Iowa
[/media-credit] Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad, Boone, Iowa

As an added attraction, groups can visit the James H. Andrew Railroad Museum & History Center to learn more about the glory days of railroads in Iowa. The museum features exhibits, videos and a multimedia library. Admission is included with purchase of most train tickets.

Check the online calendar of special events for Pumpkin and Santa Express Trains, and Day Out with Thomas. Motorcoach parking is available. Reservations are recommended.

For more information, call 800-626-0319 or visit