Branson Scenic Railway is a daytime Excursion Train, March through November.
Branson Scenic Railway is an evening Dinner Train on Saturdays, April through October.
Branson Scenic Railway is "The Polar Express", after dark, November and December.
RESERVATIONS/TICKETS: Make ticket reservations online at bransontrain.com
EXCURSION TRAIN: America's romance with the vintage passenger train lives on through excursions on the Branson Scenic Railway aboard a collection of unique passenger cars that travel through the foothills of the Ozark Mountains. This one hour 45-minute trip takes passengers through tunnels, over trestles, and through the southwest Missouri or northwest Arkansas wilderness that is still home to much wildlife and to the ruins of long-ago communities now named only on railroad maps.
LOCATION: The historic 1905 depot in downtown Branson, just one block west of Lake Taneycomo (formerly the White River) at the intersection of Main Street and Branson Landing Boulevard, is the headquarters for the Branson Scenic Railway. The depot houses the administrative offices, the reservation and ticket office, and a train theme gift shop.
TRAIN OPERATION: Traveling on a working commercial railroad line, the train's direction of travel (depending on freight traffic and/or track work) is determined by the Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad just prior to departure. At that time, the train will go either north or south. (All excursions depart from the old depot.)
ABOUT the TRIP: The northern route goes as far as Galena, Missouri, to the James River Valley; and the southern route extends into Arkansas to the Barren Fork Trestle. With multiple trips daily, depending on the season, Branson Scenic Railway explores territory inaccessible by automobile and offers views that are unattainable by any other means of transportation. A lively narration points out the landmarks, some dating to early 20th century, and a description of the wildlife and landscape and an outline of the railroad's role in shaping the Ozarks. The routes take passengers about 20 miles from Branson before reversing direction and returning on the same tracks.
Although there is plenty to see through the broad windows and the three dome cars with their panoramic views, visiting each car can occupy much of the excursion. Seating is unassigned, and passengers are invited to tour the entire train. (Since boarding numbers are issued in the order the reservation is made, it is suggested that reservations be made as early as possible.) The cars have been restored and refurbished to offer the same first-class experience and ambiance to today's passengers as to those they carried over fifty years ago. There is also a concession area aboard that offers refreshments for purchase.
DINNER TRAIN: April through October on Saturdays at 5:00 PM, a dinner train is offered. A three-course candlelight meal is served, and guests are treated to traditional style dining that was the ultimate experience long ago when riding on the rails. (Seating is limited on the dinner train; reservations are required.)
THE POLAR EXPRESS: With elaborate themed decorations in each railroad car, the train becomes "The Polar Express" with multiple after dark trips during November and December. Santa Claus visits on the train with all children and they receive the "First Gift of Christmas", a silver sleigh bell as we all travel and eat cookies and hot chocolate. (Reservation are required)