Once part of the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, the right of way of the former Richfield Springs branch has been repurposed into a park-like trail. The narrow-gauged Richfield Springs Scenic Railway offers train rides behind a 7-ton Plymouth diesel locomotive along a section of the trail with re-laid track.
Boarding at the South Columbia train shed, passengers can enjoy a 1-hour ride along what is now the Lackawanna Trail Park. Narration is provided on board to highlight the wildlife, scenic features, and the history of the railroad.
When to go
Operations regularly take place from Fridays to Sundays during the summer months with one trip usually operating per day. Special events and themed excursions are also offered year-round, mainly during the Fall and Holiday seasons. Visit the railway’s website and Facebook page for an updated schedule plus news and updates.
Good to know
Originally constructed in 1868 as the Utica, Chenango and Susquehanna Valley Railroad, the approximate 3 miles of the ex-DL&W branch serves as a walking trail with the railroad covering roughly the first mile heading west. Once at the west end of the line, passengers can disembark from the train to walk the remaining 2 miles. Ticket purchases in advance are required to visit as the proceeds go back into the expansion and enhancement of both the Richfield Springs Scenic Railway and Lackawanna Trail Park.
Full Moon Specials offer evening rides through the wildlife of Richfield Springs with the stars above. This excursion operates during select nights of the season and is highly recommended to visit the website and Facebook page for the up-to-date schedule.
Adjacent to the Richfield Springs Scenic Railway is a creamery, constructed in 1930 for the Newark Milk & Cream Co. The building is used for general parking and ticket pick up for the train ride while hosting a museum inside. Down the road at the intersection of Mc Koons Rd. and New York State Route 28 is the Mister Shake restaurant and miniature golf course.
The Richfield Springs Scenic Railway is at the halfway point between Albany and Syracuse, N.Y., roughly an hour-and-a-half drive from each city. Look for Mc Koons Road when traveling along Route 28.