Beautiful Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad Trip in West Virginia

Updated on November 1, 2023 by Julie McCool

Step back in time and soak up the scenery on a Potomac Eagle train trip in Romney, West Virginia. The Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad is our top pick for Hampshire County getaway fun. Railroad enthusiasts will love the classic cars and vintage diesel engines. Nature lovers will enjoy gorgeous views and the chance to spot American bald eagles.

The three-hour Trough Trip features a ride on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad out and back through a beautiful gorge known as The Trough. The railroad passes beautiful pastures with mountain views, then hugs the banks of the South Branch of the Potomac River.

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During your excursion, an onboard expert narrates the journey with stories about the natural and historical sites along the route.

Potomac Eagle train takes a curve, Romney WV
Potomac Eagle Train, Romney WV

Dining on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

A fun option is to begin your Potomac Eagle train ride with a catered lunch in the historic, 1903 Chessie Club Car. This optional experience costs more but adds to the vintage feel of your journey.

Classic Chessie dining car on the Potomac Eagle train in Hampshire County WV
Classic Chessie Dining Car, Potomac Eagle Railroad

Watching the scenery from plush seating in the climate-controlled vintage car makes your rail journey even more special.

Club Car table Potomac Eagle train Romney WV
Club Car table Potomac Eagle train Romney WV

Travel in the Club Car includes a three-course meal. We enjoyed salad, a main course choice of beef or teriyaki salmon, and a tasty dessert and coffee.

Salmon lunch Potomac Eagle train Romney WV
Salmon lunch Potomac Eagle train Romney WV

All of the meals in the Club Car are served on vintage dinnerware. That adorable sleeping kitten on your cup and plate is Chessie, the Railroad Kitten.

Cure cup on the 1903 Chessie Club Car, Potomac Eagle train Romney WV
1903 Chessie Club Car Cup, Potomac Eagle Railroad

Once the plates are cleared, you can experience the most scenic part of the ride in an open air car.

What to See on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

Watching for eagles on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Train, Romney WV. Photo credit: Renee Sklarew
Potomac Eagle Scenic Train, Photo credit: Renee Sklarew

About 45 minutes into your Potomac Eagle journey, the train stops to allow passengers to move to an open-air gondola car for a ride through “The Trough.” The narrow canyon, cut by the river, passes towering limestone cliffs and steep wooded hillsides.

Open air car views Potomac Eagle train Romney WV
Open-air Car Views, Potomac Eagle Romney WV

Have your camera ready when you pass over the bridge. You'll have a stunning view of the river cutting through the gorge. Bald eagles live in the gorge, and knowledgeable guides will point out nests and bird sightings as you travel. We saw a bald eagle and its nearby nest during our rail journey.

South Branch Potomac River from Potomac Eagle train Romney WV
South Branch Potomac River, Potomac Eagle

Note that once you are out on the open car you will have to remain there until the Potomac Eagle train stops again for passengers to reenter the cars. Bring your jacket and water bottle!

The open air car was a highlight of our trip, and it's worth any chill for the beautiful views of the river hemmed in by steep mountainsides.

Scenic views, interesting narration, lunch in the Chessie Club Car, and a classic train experience make the Potomac Eagle train a fun family day trip from the Washington DC area.

Potomac Eagle Scenic Train in Romney WV

Essential Information for Your Potomac Eagle Train Ride

  • Find additional information and routes on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad website.
  • The Potomac Eagle Scenic Train operates from late April until early November with daily trips in October.
  • Check the schedule for times and special trips including sunset trips and an all-day trip to Petersburg.
  • Fares vary by trip and dining choice, with discounted tickets for seniors and youth.
  • Coach passengers are allowed to bring a small bagged lunch, and snacks are also sold on board.
  • Board the Potomac Eagle Railroad at the Wappocomo Station, 149 Eagle Drive in Romney, West Virginia.
  • The railroad is about a 3 hour drive from Washington DC.
Potomac Eagle Scenic Train Romney WV
Potomac Eagle Scenic Train Romney West Virginia

Make Your Potomac Eagle Train Ride a Weekend Getaway

Discover more places to play, eat, and stay in Fun Things to Do on a Hampshire County Getaway to West Virginia. We stayed at Capon Springs and the Koolwink Motel during our visit to Hampshire County, and both are close to the railroad.

Winchester Virginia is another great base for exploring the area near the Potomac Eagle Railroad. Winchester has a fun downtown with lots of great places to eat and things to do. Check rates and availability for your Winchester stay.

Old Town Winchester Pedestrian Mall Entrance
Old Town Winchester Pedestrian Mall

Another option for exploring the nearby area is by taking a scenic drive through Northern Shenandoah Valley.

Our ride on the Potomac Eagle Railroad was hosted by the Hampshire County Visitor's Bureau. As always, all opinions, text, and photos are our own.

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West Virginia US travel. Step back in time, soak up nature's beauty, and spot bald eagles on a Potomac Eagle train trip along the Potomac River South Fork in Romney, West Virginia.
Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad