Last updated: 11:00 AM ET, Mon March 28 2016

Experience the Wild West on the Rails

Car Rental & Rail | Janeen Christoff | March 28, 2016

Experience the Wild West on the Rails

April 9 will mark the beginning of the Nevada Northern Rail season and this year, there will be new programs and special excursions. The railway is a National Historic Landmark and provides a window into the days when the steam engine ruled the Wild West.

This year, the season begins on April 9 at 1 p.m. in Ely, Nevada. Rides are scheduled every weekend through the fall and daily during the summer months, between June and September. Adding to the experience are popular packages that include stays in the historic caboose or the railroad bunkhouse.

Train rides are 90 minutes long and usually head toward the Ruth Copper Mining District from Ely, Nev. There are two tunnels and the journey also climbs up real mountain grades. Trips can be upgraded to ride in the locomotive with the engineer or to ride in the caboose. These options often sell out, so make sure to book these experiences in advance.

Tours of the train yard are also included with the purchase of a train ticket, but guests don’t have to buy a train excursion to tour the railway. Guests can choose between a self-guided tour or a guided tour.

There are also a variety of special train trips that truly give guests a feel for the Wild West. This year, there is a new engineer experience that gives visitors the chance to be the engineer of a small locomotive for just $55.

There is also a new mini photo shoot opportunity for rail fans. The Mixed Photo Freight Experience will be offered on select weekends throughout the summer.

Fans of the Wild West will want to take the Wild West Limited on May 21. The ride to Keystone Gulch comes in the wake of reports that there may be desperados in the area and, if you are lucky, you may catch sight of them.

Memorial Day weekend will feature the Star Train, where guests can see the wonders of the galaxy with expert “dark rangers” on a train ride through Great Basin National Park. The train heads out on May 27.

On May 28, there is the Rockin’ and Rollin’ geology-themed train that leaves the station at 4:30 p.m.

On the Fourth of July, the train sets out to for a journey to see the fireworks over Ely. Visitors can ride the train or set up chairs at the station with friends.

At Halloween time, visitors can take the haunted train for a scary trip on select weekend dates in October. Ghost stories come to life as you never know where zombies, ghosts, ghouls and aliens may be lurking.

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