Step aboard Virginia’s newest tourist rail excursion experience, departing from Virginia’s very own Queen City - historic Staunton in the scenic Shenandoah Valley.

Sightseeing Excursions

If you love trains you'll know it's all about the journey. On the Virginia Scenic Railway, sit back and enjoy the modernized ambiance of a 1940s passenger car through some of Virginia's prettiest scenery, including the legendary Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.

This rail tourism experience is hosted by the Buckingham Branch Railroad, the largest short-line railroad in Virginia with four divisions and 280 miles of track. Trains depart twice a day (Thursday - Sunday) from Amtrak's Staunton station in the Wharf district of historic Staunton, Virginia.

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Plan Your Adventure

Trains depart from the historic Amtrak Staunton station in Staunton, Virginia. Since the mid-19th century, three depots have served rail passengers at this site. Each excursion ticket includes a meal and dessert selection, plus a beverage served in a complimentary souvenir glass. Schedule your trip today. Advance reservations are required.

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Discover Staunton

Acclaimed as one of the “Best Small Towns in America” by Smithsonian and one of America's "Favorite Mountain Towns" by Travel + Leisure, Staunton is one of Virginia's most charming downtown vacation destinations. Stroll the city's celebrated historic streets, check out the stunning architecture, and enjoy dozens of gift shops and art galleries. A wide range of restaurants, wine bars, coffee houses, and small-batch breweries serve up plenty of local flavor. Stay for a few days and take in a show at the American Shakespeare Center, or visit the Frontier Culture Museum or the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library & Museum.

Visit Staunton

Virginia Scenic Railway Routes

Blue Ridge Flyer

Climb aboard the Blue Ridge Flyer, and head east for an opportunity to experience the thrill of roaring through the Blue Ridge Tunnel, carved out of rock hundreds of feet below the mountain summit above.

Along the way, you’ll see the communities of Staunton, Fishersville, and Waynesboro from a unique perspective before ascending roughly 1,000 feet up to the entrance of the Blue Ridge Tunnel, nearly a mile long. From Afton east, views beckon around every rock-cut bend. The train will turn around in Ivy for the return journey and make a second pass through the darkness of the Blue Ridge Tunnel.

Each ticket includes a meal and dessert selection, plus a beverage (coffee, soda, tea, and water) that is served in a complimentary souvenir glass. Along the way, you may get to experience the thrill of a passing Amtrak train or freight train. This three-hour round trip departs at 3:30 pm every Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.


Per Person

Alleghany Special

Experience the charm and beauty of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley as the Alleghany Special ventures westward from historic Staunton through beautiful farmland of the Shenandoah Valley, on a destination bound for the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests.

Bounded by the Blue Ridge and Alleghany mountains, the Shenandoah Valley is rich in historic and natural resources. This excursion will take you through the region’s iconic rural landscapes — you’ll pass by working farms with cattle, horses, and sheep. Views of the Alleghany Mountains will unfold as you venture west; it’s a photographer’s dream. The train turns around in the hamlet of Goshen in Rockbridge County.

Along the way, you may get to experience the thrill of a passing Amtrak train or a working freight train. Each ticket includes a meal and dessert selection, plus a beverage (coffee, soda, tea, and water) that is served in a complimentary souvenir glass. This three-hour round excursion departs at 10:30 am Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.


Per Person

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Ready for a relaxing train ride? On the Virginia Scenic Railway, soak in the views and listen to the rhythmic rumble of the train. Join us for a three-hour sightseeing trip by rail and unwind with every passing mile.

Santa Claus is coming to town

Santa Express rides will run between Thanksgiving and Christmas, starting on November 30th. Our round-trip Santa Express train ride lasts about 40 minutes, perfect for our younger railfans. Enjoy sparkly holiday decorations, hot chocolate, a cookie, and best of all — a special appearance from Santa and Mrs. Claus, so don't forget your camera!

* Update: all Santa Express seats are currently sold out for the 2022 season. *

Frequently Asked Questions

Looking for dining info and menu options?

Once you initiate the ticketing process and enter the passenger name, a drop-down menu appears where you’ll be able to customize the meal and dessert for each passenger. Menu options currently include a smoked chicken sandwich, a traditional Greek salad (topped with chicken), a vegetarian burger, a fully loaded Italian sandwich, as well as a child-friendly dining option.

How far in advance do I need to make reservations?

The sooner the better!  We recommend booking your trip at first opportunity for availability as seats are filling up fast and we anticipate strong demand for this new and exciting experience!

Are reservations required?

Yes, prepaid reservations are required for all our trains. We accept Visa, MasterCard or Discover.

Are restrooms available on the train?

A bathroom is available on board the train.

How does the seating work?

During the ticket booking process, guests will be able to select their table size based on the size of their party and the layout of the passenger car.  Should you wish to have a seating arrangement larger than our tables permit, we suggest looking for a day where neighboring seats can be selected during the time of a single booking.  Seats already selected by other passengers will not be available or able to be moved as we want to accommodate their selected seating location.

Is the car heated or air conditioned?

Yes, the passenger car is climate controlled.

Are guests allowed off the train at any point during the trip?

This trip does not offer any deboarding during the trip.  When the train reaches its designated town, the car will stop only for purposes of the locomotive to change ends of the car.  The train will then be ready to begin back towards Staunton.

How fast does the train go?

The train will be traveling on average 25-30 mph.  These speeds may fluctuate as our train is on an active rail line handling other train traffic including Amtrak commuter trains and freight trains.  Our train crews will do their best to ensure you get the full length of experience and may need to adjust as needed.

How long is the ride?

Our excursion experiences are approximately 3-hours.  Train speed and duration may fluctuate during your adventure as our train operates on an active rail line handling other train traffic including Amtrak trains and freight trains.   While we cannot guarantee an exact 3-hour ride on our active rail line, our train crews will do their best to ensure you get the full duration of experience.

How will we get back to the Staunton train depot?

All trains are round-trips, meaning you will enjoy our accommodations to and from the Amtrak station.

Is seating assigned?

Yes. Our ticketing software utilizes customized seating; you will choose your seat selection during the booking process.  We sell tickets in groups of 1-2 or 3-4 due to our table size.  Should you wish to reserve tables for a larger party, we encourage one purchase of multiple selected tables so you know where your party will be located in the passenger car.   The sooner you can book, the better chance of being able to select multiple tables in close proximity.

Are strollers or car seats allowed?

At this time, no stroller or car seat storage is available.

Is smoking allowed?

Smoking is permitted at a distance from other passengers at the Amtrak station.  Once onboard, no smoking is permitted onboard the train.

Is there a discount for toddler tickets?

Train tickets are per person, regardless of age.  Children ages 2 and under whom can be held for the duration of the trip are free.

Is there a dress code?

There is no dress code, but please dress in a way that will not make others uncomfortable.  This is a chance to sit back, relax, and unwind.

Is there a ticket processing fee?

Ticket processing fee is 1.5% and subject to a 5.3% Virginia Sales tax fee.

Is this train ADA accessible?

Due to the age and the history of our car, stairs, narrow hallways, and other limitations make them inaccessible to persons utilizing walkers, wheelchairs, motorized scooters, etc.  We apologize for this inconvenience, but we are making strides to improve and allow for improved accessibility in other passenger cars coming in 2023.

May I bring alcohol or any other food aboard this train?

Alcohol and or any other food/ beverage may not be brought on board this car.

What if I need to cancel my reservation?

Any changes or cancellations must be made a minimum of 7 business days prior to the day of your departure.  Special event tickets such as Santa Express are final sales – no refunds or exchanges are available.

What if inclement weather is predicted on the day of my trip?

Our trains operate rain, snow, or shine. The decision to run is based on weather conditions at the railroad. If the train runs, no refunds will be made. If a train is cancelled, a gift card will be issued – no cash refunds will be made.

When and where do I board the train?

The train departs from the Staunton Amtrak Station located at 12 Middlebrook Ave., Staunton, Virginia 24401. Plan to arrive at the Staunton platform 30 minutes before your selected train schedule. Boarding begins 10 minutes prior to departure time. Parking is often challenging in the downtown area so leave plenty of time to walk to the loading platform from a parking lot or parking structure. Our train cannot be held for late passengers.

Where should I park?

Our train excursions are three-hour round trips, and street parking in downtown Staunton is provided free of charge for only two hours. The City of Staunton offers several reasonably-priced downtown parking locations; we recommend parking in nearby parking garages or parking lots.

Will my tickets be mailed to me?

You should receive e-mail confirmation of your order at the e-mail address you provide.  Please bring a copy of this email or have your email available on your mobile device so we can scan your ticket confirmation upon boarding.