The Branson Scenic Railway also called the “Mainline through the Ozarks” is a historic and scenic railway tour using restored vintage train cars which where built in the late 1930s until the early 1960s. The scenic train trip departs from Branson, Missouri where the railroad heritage depot and station is located then going to the Ozark mountains.
10 Things That You Don’t know About Branson Scenic Railway
1. When Was it Formed? The White River Railway was founded on 1902 which means that the Branson Scenic Railway started its operation starting that year. It was built until 1905 but the scenic railway tour was only formed in 1993.
2. How the Railway was Built This railroad which brought valuable tourists in Branson and gave the tourists now a classical, refreshing, and interesting excursion was not easy to construct with its route crossing the White River and the rugged Ozark mountain terrains. The crews who built the railway worked non-stop to build the tunnels and construct the tracks and trestles across the mountain valleys.
3. The Owner of the Railroad In 1992, a year before the heritage tour was formed, the Missouri and Northern Arkansas Railroad (MNA) acquired the Branson Railway. The MNA owns the railway until now also determines the direction of the trip whether it will go northbound or southbound depending on the traffic and track conditions as it is still up to now an active commercial railroad.
4. Equipment that make up the Branson Scenic Railroad Operation The railway operation is using diesel locomotive power with several vintage cars being used to transport passenger on the scenic trip -dome cars, dining car, and coaches. The passenger train cars are the Silver garden, Silver Terrace, Westport, Silver lake, Silver Chef, and Silver Island.
5. The Tour Length The regular tour from the Branson depot station takes about one hour and forty-five minutes back and forth while the special vintage dinner tour takes about two hours and fifteen minutes. The Branson Scenic Railway covers 40 mile through the foot of the Ozark Mountains, through tunnels, over trestles, and travelling through the wilderness of Southwest Missouri or Northwest Arkansas.
6. Is there a Tour Guide? A historic tour is never complete without local guides who have the experties and knowledge of the history and interesting facts about the railway, heritage landmarks, mountain side scenery, wildlife, ghost towns, hundred old tracks, and old bridges.
7. Candle Lit Dinner On Board Every year, from April to December, every Saturday, the Branson Scenic Railway has a special offering on board. Passengers can experience a candle lit dinner treat on board the train in a classic setting. It is a special and sumptuous four-course meal. The passengers can select from the menu. The main course comes with extra sidings, and dessert. Imagine riding a vintage train and taking a long ride with the luxury of savory dining which includes, prime ribs, rotisserie chicken, freshly baked fish, vegetarian pasta, mashed potatoes, crisp vegetables, salad and cake. The price all included in the ticket.
8. The Polar Express– The Polar Express is a magical journey on train as depicted in the 1985 Christmas story by Van Allsburg which was brought to life in the animated 2004 movie. Now, the Branson Scenic Railway brings the Polar Express to tourists of all ages, families and kids, every Christmas season. On the ride, Santa visits and tells the story of the Polar Express story. the passengers are encouraged to be in their pajamas to experience the real feel of the magical Christmas tour where Santa visits each train car and gives each passenger a Christmas bell souvenir or gift. Servings of hot chocolate and cookies are also expected depending on the purchased seating. The trip reenacts picking up Santa Claus. Holiday carols by live singers completes the magical Polar Express ride.
9. Anniversary The Branson Scenic Railway celebrates their 27th anniversary in 2020 while the Polar Express Tour will be in its 12th year.
10. The Best Tour Time Tour operations are on all through out the seasons and each season offers a different and extraordinary feel. The spring and summer season feature refreshing blooms, lush scenery of the land scapes, and a lively and bright ambiance. During mid September to November with the autumn season setting are best for the romantics. The fall season offers a ride with sceneries covered in gold and red earth colors which photography enthusiasts will enjoy. The best tour time for families to enjoy is during the Christmas season. Learn the interesting history of the Branson Scenic Railway and how it influenced the heritage of Branson, Missouri as you cross bridges and trestles while on board one of the beautifully restored train cars. For travel lovers and train enthusiasts, enjoy the luxury of rail ride from yesteryears; experience the past without leaving the present.