Train Travel: It’s about the Journey, Not the Destination

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Guest Post: Family traveling is all about what you make it. If you have traveled with children before, you know there are ups and downs along the way. From air travel to trips in the car, traveling can provide your family with life lessons and cherished memories.

Families who love to travel are beginning to realize what a great experience traveling by train can provide as trains place more of an emphasis on the journey, and less on the destination. Rio Grande Scenic Railroad encourages travelers to celebrate National Train Day 2012 (May 12th) by scheduling a train trip this spring or summer season. Below are three ideas for getting the most out of train travel with your family—and making it all about the journey.

Train BridgeMake train travel a history lesson

Since the 1820’s, trains have played a significant role in the way Americans traveled and transported goods. In 1869, the first trans-continental railroad was completed, playing a major role in the colonization of the West. From the great railroad strike of 1877, to the introduction of steam engines, to more modern railway inventions, trains have been a part of U.S. history and development. Train-travel gives riders the opportunity to take a ride on a piece of American history and learn more about our past. Each destination train ride can be made into a history lesson, with specific lessons in the types of train you are riding, which railroad track you are on and what part of the country you are in.

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad, based in Alamosa, Colorado, offers historical rides on its 100-year-old steam engine. The town of Alamosa was built in only one day in 1878 with buildings transported by the Denver and Rio Grande Western Railroad. Everyone who takes a ride on the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad departs from the original train depot that was once a drop-off point for ore, lumber, farming products and animals and a place where locals could ship out agricultural and mining products. Beginning Friday, May 25th, Rio Grande Scenic Railroad’s opening day, travelers can take a ride on the historic steam engines and learn more about the history and scenery of Southwest Colorado.

Celebrate the transportation of 2012

U.S. travel and transportation of 2012 has come a long way since the 1820’s. Use destination train travel to teach your family more about the history of transportation and how it has developed over time. With all modes of transportation, including trains, it is hard for children to imagine what an older version of the car, airplane or train might have looked like. Destination train travel enables kids to ride on machines that are older than their Grandparents—and gain perspective on what it used to be like.

Trains offer much more now than ever before. Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is offering its Mountain Rails Live concert series and Rails and Ales excursion in addition to day-trips for travelers wanting to try something new.  These on-board activities and destination trips make the ride all about the journey and let families get more out of their train-travel experience.

Explore your own backyard

Train travel enables your family to pick a trip that’s right for you. While flights are quick and get you from Point A to Point B, train travel enables you to explore what’s in your own backyard. For westerners, Rio Grande Scenic Railroad offers an unforgettable train-travel experience with beautiful views of several 14,000-foot mountains and breath-taking views.

There are destination trains that provide great family experiences and hundreds of opportunities to take a ride on trains throughout the U.S. Getting the most out of your next vacation can be as easy as staying close to home and incorporating historic train travel into your adventure.

This National Train Day, consider train travel for your next family get-away. The next time you travel, think about your trip as a journey, and not just getting to the destination.

What do you think? Have you ever traveled by train?

Guest post. No compensation provided.

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  1. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    Traveling By Train Would Be A Fun Adventure! On My Bucket List For Sure!

  2. saminder gumer says:

    i have not been on a train in such a long time. it is the lost art of travel. i used to love it when i was younger and actually went on them. they are pretty expensive now but sometimes the scenery on the way is worth it.

  3. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    I’ve Always Wanted To Travel By Train!

  4. Thomas Murphy says:

    I love traveling by train!

  5. Heather Hayes Panjon says:

    A Long Distance Train Ride Would Be Very Exciting !:)

  6. Sandy VanHoey says:

    I have been on a train once, to go to Toronto and I really liked it. So much fun although at that time, I had no children. It was an enjoyable trip and I’d love to do it again sometime

  7. Love traveling by train! My mom and I did it last year and had a great time!

  8. Emily W says:

    I take the train regularly to New York, and I find it really relaxing and peaceful. I don’t have to worry about paying attention to driving, and there’s none of the stress of checking into the airport. I bring my ipod and listen to music or an audiobook while I watch the scenery go by.

  9. Kenny F. says:

    thanks for the tips :D

  10. I’ve never traveled but by train but this intrigues me. I know that my kids would really enjoy it and it would make special memories.

  11. Jennifer Marie says:

    Would not traditionally think of a train for transportation-thanks for the reminder!

  12. Mary Beth Elderton says:

    My grandfather was a railroad man, and he took a couple of us grandkids on a short run in the caboose of a freight train (a Looong time ago.) I’ve never been on a train since, but would LOVE to. I agre that it;s not about the destination–Hubz and I talk about going to the nearest Amtrak station and travelling across country…then just coming back home. What a vacation that would be!

  13. Traveling by train during a rainy evening…so romantic!

  14. Tina Barry says:

    Never have traveled by train, but this looks fun.

  15. Kathlean Owens says:

    I live 4 hours south of the Rio Grande Scenic Railroad. I need to make plans to go do that trip! The few people I know who have taken it, have said the scenery is wonderful but the sack lunch is disappointing!

  16. Gorgeous photo.

    I’ve never traveled by train. I have checked into a few times. I think I need to do it. It looks romantic.

  17. Stacey Schwerin says:

    I’ve never traveled by train but I hope to do so one day.

  18. Naina John says:

    Traveling in a train is really a nice experience that one should experience. You can feel the beauty. I like traveling in trains.But its painful when train is crowded.

  19. Mary Happymommy says:

    I traveled by train as a child and thought it was magical. I’d like to take my kids on a train trip one day.

  20. That water looks amazing

  21. Sarah Hirsch says:

    My husband and I have traveled by train and I would love to take the kids on a train trip. It just always seems so much easier and cheaper to drive, though.

  22. What a beautiful site

  23. Harmony B says:

    Ive only traveled locally on a train. I would love to see the country via train

  24. Lisa Brown says:

    I have never traveled by train. It would be a fun and interesting way to travel. It sure beats air plane travel, which I won’t do, unless forced, because I hate to fly.

  25. Ellen B says:

    I’ve never traveled by train but I would like to

  26. theresa bryan says:

    my nephew has downs he is 25 he travels by train a couple times a year to see his grandmother it makes him feel independent by being able to go alone.

  27. Heather Kalist says:

    I would love to travel by train with the family, this looks really fun….like you said it’s the journey.

  28. I have traveled by train in Europe, but never in America. I would like to try it here

  29. I did the train from Seward to Nchrage, AK. Nice! I’d like to try it in CA.

  30. Betty Baez says:

    Me and my mom use to ride the train often we lived in the city of Chicago and we would ride to the suburbs it’s definitely a fond memory traveling on trains for me

  31. Tammy S says:

    We travel by train between Portland and Seattle all the time. It is so nice to be able to sit back and relax. My kids love taking the train! Trains have come a long long way in recent years, some even have free wifi. Take the train next time, you will enjoy the ride. :)

  32. Marie Butler says:

    Have not traveled by train, but I would love take the family somewhere by train. Trains run all over CA, and we are in the heart of it all! Gotta look into scheduling something soon!

  33. Priscilla Benavides says:

    I have never been on a train, but after reading this post I plan to have one with my family soon now just to research and find the perfect journey that suits us.

  34. Debbie Welchert says:

    What a great idea. My mother-in-law just took a train trip and she loved it. I would love to do it some day.

  35. I LOVE train travel and must do it again very soon!

  36. Living in Japan I traveled by train often and it was great. My husband loves trains. :)

  37. JaimeeM says:

    I used to love travelling on trains to my grandparents house! never got up from my seat though.

  38. Linda Henderson says:

    It’s been a lot of years ago, but yes I have traveled by train. If you want a great train experience go to Durango Colorado and ride the narrow gage railway to Silverton Colorado, it’s a beautiful trip and a wonderful experience.

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