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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