Ride a real live train from Boulder City to near Railroad Pass Casino on Saturdays and Sundays. There are indoor and outdoor cars to ride in. The trip takes 40 minutes. At the station there are more real live trains to look at, as well as an extravagant model train display. You can also ride a model train around the station.
$10 adults (use the $1 off coupon from the site)
$5 ages 4-11
Free 3 and under
You can pay extra to ride in the locomotive or be the engineer
601 Yucca Street
Boulder City, Nevada 89006
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
On Saturdays and Sundays at 10, 11:30, 1:00, and 2:30 you can ride an old train on a 40-minute roundtrip on the Nevada Southern Railway. If you go to the website beforehand you can get $1 off each adult ticket. I just showed them my phone.
Don’t be fooled by “The State Railroad Museum” part – it is very cool, but it is not a “museum” in the way that you would usually imagine a museum. It is outdoor, with several real trains parked under a covered pavilion. You walk down a sidewalk between the two rows of parked trains. You are not supposed to climb on or in the trains.
On certain weekends (see link for more info) they have storytime on the train. Ours was not a storytime train ride, so I can’t tell you what it’s like. I hope someone who has done that activity will submit a review about it on the blog!
There is a train car that contains a great model train layout that you can walk through to view. The website indicates that it is not always open, depending on volunteer availability. It is generally open on the 1st and 3rd weekends of the month (except January, July, and August).
You can ride small-scale steam trains for free (donations requested) on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month (except January, July, and August).
WHAT TO TAKE
There are climate controlled cars to ride in, but it’s never a bad idea to dress for the weather.
Bring a camera to snap some photos of your train-lovers with the engines!
We pushed a stroller from our car to the ticket booth, but we weren’t allowed to take it on the train. The nice lady in the ticket booth told us we could leave our stroller in the booth and come get it when we got off. I can’t guarantee this offer will always stand, so you may want to leave strollers in the car. It’s not far from the parking to the train, we had just left the baby in because he was sleeping. So we detached the car seat and took that with us on the train.
We actually made the drive out to Boulder City two weekends in a row. The first time, we had the train schedule mixed up and got there between runs. Luckily for us (we had PROMISED a train ride to the toddler), there is a club that runs small-scale steam trains big enough to ride on near the station. This is on the opposite side of parking as the big trains. You can ride for free and they accept donations. I think we rode 3 times in a row. The funny thing about that was that as we were about to all get on, the volunteer asked me “can he walk?” – about the baby – 6 months old – in my arms – who pretty clearly wasn’t a walker. So you can’t ride on the train if you can’t walk. So Kyler and Dad went by themselves, then we switched.
When we went back a week later to do the big train ride, we went on a day that was a little rainy, so I called ahead to ask about if the train would still run in the rain. They confirmed that it would run, and by the time we got there the rain had stopped anyway. All of the cars are covered to some extent – even the “open” car has a roof and enclosure, so we would have been fine.
My guy Kyler (2) LOVES trains, so this activity was a big hit. He was a little nervous when the whistles started blowing loudly and the train started moving, but got over that super quick. Passengers are free to move around, so we walked between cars during the ride. The open car just has long bench seating running lengthwise of the car. The enclosed cars have regular individual seats. We took a look at the old dining car. The whole thing was fun to see.
After the ride we walked through the car that held the model train setup. People moved a little slowly through there, so either get there first or maybe wait until it’s cleared out if you have fast movers with you. It may also be tricky to keep little hands from touching the display. If you are outnumbered by a lot of mischief-makers, you may want to skip the models.
WHAT WE LIKED
The length of the ride was good, any longer and we would have run into boredom. This really is a must-do activity for all the little train-lovers out there. It was the big hit of our weekend.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE
I liked everything just fine, but there may be some people out there who would want to know that this is a pretty low-key, low-budget, volunteer-run operation. It’s old and it’s not fancy. In my opinion, those aren’t bad things, but just letting yall know!
WILL WE GO AGAIN
Once it cools down a bit, yes.