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Old 06-12-2013, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Murphy, TX
641 posts, read 2,602,980 times
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I planning on taking a scenic train tour while in CO this summer. But there so MANY choices for scenic train rides, I can't figure out which one worth it. Anyone got first hand experience to say which one would be best?

FYI, here is list of train rides I found the website: Colorado Trains
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:00 PM
 
20,840 posts, read 39,059,222 times
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I've been on just about all of them. Here's my list, in sequence from the top choices:

1. Durango & Silverton. Simply THE granddaddy of tourist trains. Stunning scenery. Pay a bit extra so you can ride in the last car and thus stand on the platform at the outside rear of the car. Stay in Durango at the General Palmer Hotel right next to the tracks and station. Hotel is attached to an eatery and I recommend you eat dinner on their platform next to the tracks while they're moving the engines around; the smell of stack exhaust, mixed with dinner and wine is not to be missed.

2. Cumbres and Toltec. Also excellent scenery of a different sort. Near enough to Durango that you should do both rides if in the region. It's a full day for each trip. If it's still there, stay in Chama, NM at the Gandy Dancer B&B which caters to train fans. The C&T lets you walk the yards and take all the pix you want, the D&S won't allow people to do that.

3. Rio Grand Scenic in Alamosa. Pretty much an all-day event, and these folks put on some special events.

4. Georgetown Loop, west of Denver. Short ride but really cool stuff.

5. Leadville & Southern, in Leadville. More stunning scenery, neat town.

6. Pike Peak Cog Railway in Manitou Springs, about a 3 hour roundtrip to 14,115 feet. Be sure to eat some of the donuts at the top. The A-B-C seats are the best window seats, the D-E seats are across the aisle. It's always 30-degrees colder at the top and usually blowing a gale. If it's 80 in Manitou it's 50 up top and the wind chill makes it feel like freezing. Manitou is cool, tons of eateries and shops, spend the day.
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Last edited by Mike from back east; 06-13-2013 at 09:02 AM..
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Old 06-13-2013, 10:26 AM
 
473 posts, read 693,457 times
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If I had to do one it would be #1, way down in Durango. Have yet to do that and the Rio Grand (which would be second choice).

I've done the Georgetown Loop; personally not really worth the effort. Too short, to crowded and don't see anything you wouldn't see on a solitary hike.

In addition to the perfect list above is the Amtrak from Denver to Glenwood Springs (for one overnight) About 5-6 hours each way. Great views along cliffs, canyons and the Colorado River. Takes you through the Moffat Tunnel and Glenwood Canyon.

it's a longer event, and definitely need an overnight (plenty of hotels, brewpubs and nice downtown in Glenwood Springs close to the station), but also more space to spread out, chat, read and relax.
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Old 06-13-2013, 11:36 AM
 
Location: 80904 West siiiiiide!
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Silverton to Durango hands down. Royal Gorge route USED to be pretty.....
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Old 06-13-2013, 12:35 PM
 
Location: Bellingham, WA
1,082 posts, read 1,059,345 times
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Totally agree with Mike's list, though I definitely feel that there's something really appealing about a destination train ride that's part of an actual transportation route, so I would certainly consider the Denver>Glenwood Springs route of the California Zephyr on AMTRAK. It feels like a throwback to the past to be able to disembark at a station in a pedestrian-friendly town and walk to the hot springs and stay at historical hotels like the Hotel Colorado and Hotel Denver. The trip will be even cooler when the Union Station rehab is done next spring.
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Old 06-13-2013, 06:47 PM
 
8,317 posts, read 25,783,192 times
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Cumbres & Toltec, no contest. Great scenery, much more friendly and relaxed than the Durango & Silverton. Great lunch included in ticket price, too.
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Old 06-17-2013, 06:17 PM
 
1,316 posts, read 1,177,725 times
Reputation: 1932
Quote:
Originally Posted by unseengundam View Post
I planning on taking a scenic train tour while in CO this summer. But there so MANY choices for scenic train rides, I can't figure out which one worth it. Anyone got first hand experience to say which one would be best?

FYI, here is list of train rides I found the website: Colorado Trains
Why not ask the gals for their opinion also...The gals I know love train rides and are quite opinionated.
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