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 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 fields with mountain views, then hugs the banks of the South Branch of the Potomac River.
During your trip, an on-board expert narrates the journey with stories about the natural and historical sites along the route.
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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. Watching the scenery from plush seating in the climate-controlled vintage car makes your rail journey even more special.
Travel in the Club Car includes a three-course meal. We enjoyed salad, a choice of beef or teriyaki salmon, and a tasty dessert and coffee, all served on vintage dinnerware. That adorable sleeping kitten on your cup and plate is Chessie, the Railroad Kitten.
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
About 45 minutes into your Potomac Eagle journey, the train stops to allow passengers to move to an open-air car for a ride through “The Trough.” The narrow gorge, cut by the river, passes towering limestone cliffs and steep wooded hillsides.
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.
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.
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 mid-May through September, and daily in October. Check the schedule for times and special trips.
- 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. Map it.
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.
Another option for exploring the nearby area is on 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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