The Top 10 Railroads In The USA

August 7, 2014

One of the best ways to get a taste of North America’s sheer grandeur is to travel on its highly acclaimed rails. As a means of transportation, taking a train ride is truly a far more relaxing alternative to flying and driving. What’s more, the United States has a wealth of historic railways that offer a nostalgic and leisurely sightseeing experience, passing through gorgeous mountain peaks, desert vistas and breathtaking canyon overlooks. Indeed, enjoying a scenic railroad trip in the US is something every avid sightseeing vulture and ambitious traveler should try in his or her life.

There is no shortage of intriguing historic railways in the United States. To help you choose the best trains to hop on during your trip to the US, consider the tips shared below.

1. Grand Canyon Railway

From Williams to the Grand Canyon, this 65-mile train ride offers it passengers a glimpse of Arizona’s colorful history, thanks to the county’s historic captivating ice-cream parlors, sassy saloons and other historic buildings. Furthermore, passengers will be traveling in a beautiful historic train that vows with dazzling views of the Coconino Canyon and San Francisco Peaks.

2. California Zephyr

The California Zephyr, which travels from Denver to San Francisco, is arguably the most dramatic and eye-catching train route in all of America. Traversing through two of the highest mountain ranges in the country, the California Zephyr delights it passengers with its majestic wilderness scenery. As a passenger in this train ride, you will be laying your eyes on a string of steep canyons in the Colorado River as well as on Utah’s exquisite red rock desert. Moreover, the trip entails you to marvel at Sierra Nevada’s granite grandeur in California.

3. City of New Orleans train

Traveling from Chicago to New Orleans through Memphis, the City of New Orleans train will take you through the heart of the United States, and give a quick introduction of the Deep South.

4. Coastal Classic Train

Covering some of the wildest natural landscapes in the world, the Coastal Classic Train is a spine-tingling journey that winds through the vast opulent wilderness between Seward and Anchorage. A true sightseer’s delight, passengers of the train will also be treated with a fascinating display of massive glaciers that are quite visible from the track.

5. Ethan Allen Express

Operating daily from Albany to Rutland and NYC, the Ethan Allen Express will take you to the scenic fall foliage, summer wildflowers, and fabulous Hudson River Valley.

6. The Empire Builder

For nature lovers, don’t miss out on the opportunity to enjoy the lovely natural offerings of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Montana and North Dakota with the Empire Builder. In this train route, passengers get to take snapshots of rocky snow-capped mountain peaks, woodlands and glaciers.

7. Coast Starlight

From the city of Los Angeles to Seattle, the Coast Starlight boasts the best and most striking coastal scenery in the United States. Hugging the dazzling shoreline of Southern California for a hundred miles near Santa Barbara, this railroad has a plethora of magnificent sights that will leave its spectators in awe.

8. Vermonter

Conveying passengers from Washington to Vermont, the Vermonter is dramatic route that snakes through photogenic villages and pastoral green hills of rural Vermont.

9. Cass Scenic Railway

With a total track length of 11 miles, the Cass Scenic Railway is by far the shortest railroad or train route in this list of the top 10 railroads in the USA. But, do not let its short distance fool you, as this train route is packed with splendid sights, such as magnificent views of the highest point in West Virginia. Plus, it has an old world charm that would you remind you of the US in the 19th century, when a clackety-clack soundtrack and stream-driven locomotives were a big part of everyone’s life.

10. Durango & Silverton Train

For more than 130 years, the Durango & Silverton Train has been one of the most sought-after tourist attractions in Southwest, thanks to its grand and exciting excursions along a Narrow Gauge railroad. In addition, this train route allows its passengers to feel the pristine countryside vibe of the San Juan Mountains.

Feast your eyes on some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes and iconic landmarks in the US, with a train ride to any of these classic and amazing railways. Of course, to get to these railways, you need to plan your trip with Trekeffect!

Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips & Tricks

Book your accommodations

Let's face it.  Expedia, (and all the other hotel booking engines) typically earn huge margins off of you.  You might think you're getting a deal, but you're not getting a deal.  Want the best deal when you book your hotels?   Of course you do! With Trekeffect you can get FREE access to discounted hotel prices and save a bunch of money.  

How does it work? Simple... 
1. Sign up for Trekeffect [FREE]
2. Click the hotels tab in the navigation
3. Search for the city you are visiting
4. Book a hotel and save a ton of money

Shop for Travel Essentials

Get all of your essential travel gear right from our store. We hand pick the best travel products. Get everything from luggage to camping gear and other travel accessories for your trip. 

Book your flight

Find cheap flights using SkyScanner. This search engine is are our favorite, making sure you get the best deal for tickets all over the world.  They are great at aggregating flights from multiple providers.  

Don't forget travel insurance

Protects yourself against illness, injury, theft, and even cancellations with travel insurance. You're buying comprehensive protection in case anything goes wrong. We never recommend traveling without it. We’ve been using World Nomads, a great company, with great service and highly recommend them.

     - World Nomads (for everyone below 70)

     - Travelx Insurance (for those over 70)

Looking for the best companies to save money with?

Check out our resource page for the absolute best companies to use when you travel! We list our favorite companies that save people the most money when they travel and we think it will help you too!

Disclosure: Some of the links above may be affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, we earn a commission if you make a purchase. We only recommend products and companies we use and the income keeps the community supported. 

Alternative Text
Peach Anne Nacion
"I believe in traveling. I believe that it gives your soul what it needs from time to time. It answers your need to be free every now and then, your longing to be by yourself once in a while and your cry for life to awaken your spirit. Traveling will always be the answer for me."
Trekeffect Hotel Booking Engine
Cheap & Luxurious Hotels From Around The World
Compare hotel prices in a fast & simple way. Book your ideal hotel. Get last minute deals and high-class service guaranteed.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

We Compare Hotel Prices. Lowest Price Guaranteed.

Save money when you book your accommodations today. Don't get ripped off by hotels or major hotel booking sites ever again!


Trekeffect Hotel Savings

Trekeffect Hotel Rate - $315/n


Expedia Hotel Prices

Expedia Hotel Rate - $414/n

With Trekeffect, you get access to the same great hotels at massive discounts.