Railroads & Locomotives Tourist Railroad Profiles New York tourist railroads you must visit

New York tourist railroads you must visit

By Lucas Iverson | July 14, 2023

| Last updated on December 4, 2023

Here are our must-see tourist railroads, museums and displays across the Empire State.

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Green vintage subway cars in operation
As one of the New York tourist railroads you must visit, the New York Transit Museum’s century-old “Lo-V” cars operate the “Nostalgia Rides” excursion. Joseph M. Calisi

From “The City That Never Sleeps” to Niagara Falls, you can’t go wrong with visits to New York’s tourist railroads, museums and displays across the Empire State. Here are some must-see destinations from Trains Magazine’s Tourist Trains Guidebook.

New York Tourist Railroads and Museums

Adirondack Mountains

Adirondack Railroad – 321 Main Street, Utica
The Adirondack Railroad operates 69 miles of the former New York Central through the scenic, namesake mountains. From Utica, enjoy an all-day excursion to Big Moose or take a shorter train ride to Thendara and Otter Lake. Extended excursion packages are offered to enhance the experience of the Adirondacks, including transportation by the tourist railroad to canoe, kayak and railbike. For the full rail adventure, catch the Adirondack Railroad by way of Amtrak as both services share Utica’s 1914 Union Station.

Catskill Mountains

Catskill Mountain Railroad – 55 Kingston Plaza Road, Kingston
Through the foothills of the Catskill Mountains, this tourist railroad operates a section of the former Ulster & Delaware Railroad, later the ex-Catskill Mountain branch of the NYC. A 1950-built Alco RS1 diesel is the main motive power that pulls open-air cars and Long Island Rail Road coaches. Themed excursions are offered in addition to the regular scenic trips, with a chance to ride behind a steam locomotive that usually visits the railroad annually.

New York City

New York Transit Museum – 99 Schermerhorn Street, Brooklyn
Subways and urban transit have been and always will be vital in keeping both New York City and its citizens bustling. In Brooklyn’s 1936 subway station, the history is preserved and showcased at the New York Transit Museum. Restored equipment is on display, along with exhibits relating to the stories of the elevated rail lines and the construction of the city’s first subway system. Want to get a taste of this living history? Excursions with the museum’s vintage fleet are scheduled year-round on special occasions.

Niagara Frontier

Arcade and Attica Railroad – 278 Main Street, Arcade
Observed as one of the last “common carriers,” the Arcade and Attica Railroad offers both freight and passenger services. The tourist operation uses the short line’s 14 miles of track with World War I-era coaches and diesel locomotives from the 1940s and 50s. Specially-themed events and excursions are provided year-round, including the historical Civil War and World War II reenactments. For those looking to add some steam into the mix, keep an eye on the return of the railroad’s 2-8-0 No. 18 in the near future.

Medina Railroad Museum – 530 West Avenue, Medina
The museum’s former New York Central freight house is massive! The wooden structure is home to the collection of memorabilia, artifacts and a large HO-scale model railroad. On select days throughout the year, visitors can depart from the Medina Railroad Museum aboard a passenger excursion on the Falls River Railroad. Genesee Valley’s Alco Century diesel locomotives pull the museum’s 1947-built Budd coaches along the ex-NYC main line and across the Erie Canal at Lockport.

Other New York railroad sites to consider

During your visit to New York, consider also visiting these railroad sites:

Learn more about tourist railroads in North America.

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