All aboard! Whether you have a little engineer or you’re the train addict, Georgia is home to plenty of great train rides and museums.
From steam engines you can ride on through the mountains or plains, to kiddie adventures in the park and mall, and from steam engines on display to life size replicas we hold dear, it’s our goal to create a COMPLETE list of trains throughout the state of Georgia.
Ready to learn more? Here are 28 of the absolute best train rides in Georgia that we know you and your crew will love!
PASSENGER TRAIN RIDES IN GEORGIA
BLUE RIDGE SCENIC RAILWAY
Don’t miss this adventure! If you are in Blue Ridge, or anywhere near the area, you cannot skip a train ride on the Blue Ridge Scenic Railway.
Kids and adults will love the train rides on the BRSR. In addition to their year-round rides, they also offer amazing special events (like their Holiday Express train ride). Take a four-hour, 26-mile roundtrip journey through the North Georgia countryside. Enjoy a visit to the sister towns of McCaysville, Georgia and Copperhill, Tennessee before returning back to the historic depot in Blue Ridge, Georgia.
We highly recommend a ride in the open-air car — especially during the Fall Foliage train rides.
SCENIC RAILROAD AT STONE MOUNTAIN PARK
Ride around the base of Stone Mountain in a 1940s full size locomotive on the Scenic Railroad at Stone Mountain Park. The ride is 5 miles and lasts about 30 minutes, leaving multiple times daily.
A ride on the Scenic Railroad is included in your Attractions Pass purchase. Make time to ride it during one of Stone Mountain Park’s special events — like their Pumpkin Festival or Stone Mountain Christmas.
SWAMP PARK TRAIN
Guests who visit Okefenokee Swamp Park in Waycross, Georgia can step back in time with a ride on the Okefenokee Railroad.
The 45-minute scenic train tour will take you on the adventure of a lifetime. Many points of interest will be featured on your journey, including a stop at Pioneer Island — which is rich in history — and a visit to the wetlands.
The train tour is included with the price of admission.
SAM SHORTLINE TRAIN
Riding in air-conditioned, 1949 vintage cars, you’ll enjoy a mix of romantic yesteryear with the excitement of today’s south. The SAM Shortline stops in small towns filled with fun attractions, restaurants and shopping.
Known as Georgia’s “rolling state park,” the SAM Shortline excursion train will take you to the town of Plains, GA — home of President Jimmy Carter — along with other great cities too. The SAM Shortline also hosts special events throughout the year — like their Murder Mystery Dinner Train, the Halloween Express, the Candy Cane Express, and more.
GEORGIA COASTAL RAILWAY
Taking a short ride on the Georgia Coastal Railway in St. Mary’s, GA is a great way to explore the coast! Immerse yourself in history and adventure as you take a 1 hour and 15 minute ride from Historic St. Marys through woodlands and marshlands.
Take a ride in a vintage 1950s passenger car, an open-air rail car, or experience an authentic caboose ride! They also offer themed rides throughout the year.
MINIATURE RAILS FOR KIDS
All aboard! Hop on for a ride on one of Zoo Atlanta’s family favorites – The Zoo Train! A handcrafted replica of an original 1863 locomotive, the train is one of the Zoo’s most popular attractions, carrying up to 100 adults or 140 children.
Take a journey through the town of Critter Crossing to experience a day in the life of its inhabitants. The train is equipped with wide, comfortable seats, and covered passenger coaches. One parent rides free with any child under 42” tall.
Get Your Guide is a great place to get your General Admission Zoo Atlanta tickets!
PEACHTREE EXPRESS AT NORTH POINT MALL
Your little one will adore riding the Peachtree Express train around North Point Mall. Catch it near the soft play area, near Dillards.
Runs on weekends only, from Noon – 6 p.m. on Friday and Sunday and from Noon – 7 p.m. on Saturday.
PINE MOUNTAIN GOLD MUSEUM
This small train at the Pine Mountain Gold Museum (which reminds me of the train at Zoo Atlanta, if you’ve ever been) rides around the perimeter of the park, showing off a few places like the petting zoo.
It leaves every half-hour, and is a great way to start your adventure at the museum.
THE LINGER LONGER EXPRESS AT REYNOLDS LAKE OCONEE
The littlest hotel guests of Georgia’s best family resort, the Ritz-Carlton Reynolds, Lake Oconee will enjoy a 10 minute ride around the property aboard the Linger Longer Express train.
Kids will adore this fun hotel amenity, which leaves the lobby at certain times during the day.
COW TRAIN AT SOUTHERN BELLE FARMS
Pick berries, enjoy the strawberry ice cream, see the pig races and take a ride on the cow train at Southern Belle Farm in McDonough, GA.
There is always something to do at this 330-acre working farm, located just south of Atlanta.
At Tiny Towne in Norcross, usually the car tracks are the big draw — but they have a kiddie train for your little engineers too!
The Tiny Towne Express takes rounds every 15-30 minutes around the entire town. The conductor has some of the best train songs to sing along to, as well as a surprise tunnel at the end of the round.
TOUR TRAIN AT LAKE WINNEPESAUKAH AMUSEUMENT PARK
When it’s time to relax from a day of excitement, Lake Winnepesaukah guests get to do it in style. Climb aboard the Tour Train and enjoy the scenic views, wooded areas, and beautiful waters that are Lake Winnepesaukah. Give your feet a break and enjoy a few quiet moments with family and friends aboard the Tour Train.
(Children under one year of age may ride free of charge on an adult’s lap.)
TRAIN MUSEUMS IN GEORGIA
AUGUSTA MUSEUM OF HISTORY
Visit the Transportation Corridor at the Augusta Museum of History to see a 1917 steam locomotive. Be sure to watch for the train tracks outside the museum…this is where they drove the train to its current position, building the museum around it!
You’ll also see artifacts and images from the railroad, and more.
GEORGIA STATE RAILROAD MUSEUM
Located at the old Central of Georgia Railway Savannah Shops and Terminal Facilities, the Georgia State Railroad Museum is a stunning National Historic Landmark that is part of a National Historic Landmark District in Savannah.
Tour private rail cars and freight cars, visit the model train room, watch a short film, and get an up-close look at some historically significant locomotives.
SOUTHEASTERN RAILWAY MUSEUM
If you ask us, it’s one of the BEST places in the Southeast for train lovers. At the Southeast Railway Museum in Duluth, you’ll see over 90 pieces of equipment, many of which you can climb on and enjoy. You’ll see cabooses, freight cars, passenger cars, and many other great train-related objects and vehicles.
Your regular admission price also includes one train ride on either their Historic Train or Park Train.
SOUTHERN MUSEUM OF CIVIL WAR AND LOCOMOTIVE HISTORY
The Southern Museum in Kennesaw is dedicated to the strategy implored by the railroad during, through and after the Civil War. You’ll see The General (think The Great Locomotive Chase) and a belt-driven locomotive assembly line. Don’t miss the caboose outside, too.
Regular programs include interpretive tours, the Mommy & Me for young children, and a Homeschool Workshop Series.
GEORGIA MUSEUM OF AGRICULTURE & HISTORIC VILLAGE
The Georgia Museum of Agriculture & Historic Village is located right off I-75 in Tifton and features a Vulcan Ironworks 0-4-0 engine that has 11 x 16 inch cylinders, 30-inch drivers, and weighs about 20 tons! Climb aboard the only steam-powered train in regular operation in Georgia!
Every Saturday, you can enjoy a ride on one of the open air wooden rail cars pulled by the Vulcan #5. Spend the day at the museum, taking in the many exhibits and displays.
TUNNEL HILL HERITAGE CENTER
Dalton is often called The Gateway To The Civil War, and it’s the Western & Atlantic Railroad that allows for such a name. The boys and I visited the Tunnel Hill Heritage Center in order to tour the W&A Railroad Tunnel. This is a fun, educational adventure for adults and older children, especially if you enjoy Civil War history.
You’ll experience more than 160 years of railroad and Civil War history here. Take the guided tour to see original drill marks made during the construction of the tunnel and see where the Civil War’s “Great Locomotive Chase” came through in 1862.
TRAINS TO VISIT
Make your way to the museum at the Brasstown Bald summit to visit a full size replica steam engine. The kids will absolutely love this huge replica. (Make sure to get them the scavenger hunt when you arrive!)
Brasstown Bald is located in the Chattahoochee-Oconee National Forest, and is a great place for a day trip.
HERITAGE PARK LOCOMOTIVE
Heritage Park in McDonough, GA is home to the Veterans Wall of Honor, Heritage Park Veterans Museum and historic village, a 1934 steam engine locomotive, a garden, library, playgrounds, and more.
Heritage Park is home to the Veterans Wall of Honor, Heritage Park Veterans Museum and historic village, featuring a 1934 steam engine locomotive, among many other exciting historic things to see.
The locomotive here was built in 1933 and operated at the Western Pennsylvania Yards in Connellsville, Pennsylvania until the 1950s. It was one of the last of its kind to be built that operated off of steam.
LOCUST GROVE TRAIN WATCHING PLATFORM
Watch the more than 40 trains that pass through Locust Grove each day from the comfort of the Train Watching Platform. Located in historic downtown, the platform is just steps away from unique shops and restaurants.
The Platform is equipped with a scanner radio, lighting, picnic tables, and plenty of seating. Ample parking is available onsite and is handicap accessible. There isn’t a train schedule, but it’s very active and you’re pretty much guaranteed to see a train if you spend just a little bit of time here.
OKEFENOKEE HERITAGE CENTER
Head to the Okefenokee Heritage Center in Waycross, GA to see one of their most well-known exhibits — ‘Ol Nine. This restored 1912 Baldwin steam engine is fun to see throughout the year. You can also see a baggage car, an express car, a passenger car, and a caboose.
The Okefenokee Heritage Center is full of exhibits, special events, and displays. It’s open Tuesday-Saturday.
SMYRNA COMMUNITY CENTER
Thanks to Smyrna Parent for the heads up on this one. According to them, there is a small “train” playground near the Smyrna Community Center and library. It’s not too big, but your little ones will love it, and it is shaded too!
MODEL TRAIN AT ATLANTA BOTANICAL GARDEN GAINESVILLE
At the Atlanta Botanical Garden’s Gainesville location, you can see a model train tucked into the Gainesville Garden’s trail. It’s the perfect way to get your kids to go with you on a fun walk through the flowers — just be prepared to stop and watch awhile!
THE GENERAL AT GLOVER PARK MARIETTA SQUARE
Kids will adore playing on the miniature version of The General while listening for the real train whistle as it makes its way through Marietta Square. Bring pennies for the fountain!
THE SPIRIT OF CAMILLA
Located in the south Georgia community of Camilla, GA, The Spirit of Camilla, formerly known as Engine #9, was refurbished thanks to the efforts of the citizens in the community.
You can see the locomotive engine and the tender car too.
THRONATEESKA HERITAGE CENTER
The Thronateeska Heritage Center in Albany, GA features a Science Museum, a History Museum, and more. On the property, you’ll find an old Union Station Depot with several train cars and a coal steam engine. Watch the model railway, which is housed within one of the train cars! It’s an HO-scale model with multiple trains that wind through towns and forests.
There’s also a steam locomotive, a red caboose, a baggage car, and a mail car that made trips to New Orleans and Jacksonville.
Read More: ALBANY GA: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO FAMILY FUN
TROOP TRAIN AT THE NATIONAL INFANTRY MUSEUM
Enjoy interactive galleries, immersive attractions, combat simulators, and more at the National Infantry Museum in Columbus, GA. The locomotive Number 1902 and an observation car can also be seen at the NIM. They were part of a narrow gauge system used to shuttle soldiers, and later VIPs, around Fort Benning.
The locomotive is out in the open, but sheltered, and it’s located between the museum and World War II Company Street. Admission to the museum is free, but a $5 donation is recommended.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO GEORGIA
- YOUR GEORGIA VACATION
- HORSEBACK RIDING: 20+ Unforgettable Georgia Trail Rides
- WATERFALLS: 33+ Best Georgia Waterfalls You’ve Just Got To See
- AMUSEMENT PARKS: The Lowdown On The Best Amusement Parks In Georgia
- WINERIES: 13+ Sensational North Georgia Wineries Begging You To Indulge
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