4 Beautiful Train Rides to See the True Wonder of Winter

In Anti-Icing Deicing, Glidex®, Rail, Rail Lubrication, Zero Gravity Third Rail® by Eric Vantiegham

Whether you’re looking for a family-friendly holiday adventure or just a way to escape the chaos of the city for a few days, a scenic train ride is just what you need to take in amazing landscapes across the country and make the most of another long winter.

Nothing gives us cabin fever like the wintertime. After months and months cooped up in our homes and workplaces, spending as little time in the brutal cold as humanly possible, we all start fantasizing about a vacation in some tropical climate, far away from the biting winds of winter. But what if you could take a trip to somewhere far closer — one that didn’t take you away from the season, but showed you all of its natural beauty, instead?

A scenic train ride through the ice and snow may be just what you need to break out of the winter doldrums and see another side of this beautiful time of year. Hot on the heels of our list of beautiful autumn train rides, here are four wintertime trips that showcase all of the season’s charm.

1. Great Smoky Mountains Railroad (Bryson City, NC)


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All aboard the Polar Express! Running through December 31, the Great Smoky Mountains Railroad offers seasonal round trips all the way up to the North Pole — and thanks to a bit of holiday magic, it only takes just over an hour! Kids are treated to hot cocoa and other Christmas goodies during a reading of the classic “Polar Express” holiday story, while parents are left to enjoy the full splendor of the Smoky Mountains. Don’t let your kids leave before they get their present from Santa Claus himself!

2. Ethan Allen Express (Rutland, VT)


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This Amtrak route may be a commuter trip for many, but make no mistake — it can just as easily be your ticket out of work-a-day life and into a pastoral winter wonderland! Embarking from New York’s Penn Station, the Ethan Allen Express makes stops in Yonkers, Albany, and Sarasota Springs before finally arriving in Rutland, Vermont. Passengers are treated to views of the Hudson River Valley, made all the more majestic by a blanket of snow. Once in beautiful Rutland, you can experience more natural beauty on foot while traveling through Pine Hill Park.

3. Aurora Winter Train (Fairbanks, AS)


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If you’re truly dedicated to seeing the full majesty of winter, there’s no place in this country that will have more to offer than Alaska. There are plenty of ways to see the aurora borealis, but none of them are as picturesque as the Aurora Winter Train. Let the striking sights of Denali National Park take your breath away, catching everything from wild grizzlies to the peaks of Mount Denali on your way to the northern lights.

Tickets for this trip from Fairbanks to Anchorage with several stops along the way are available for every weekend this winter. (Buy tickets this February if you’re looking to catch the Iditarod.)

4. Winter Park Express (Denver, CO)


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Another Amtrak route, the Winter Park Express is so named because it takes riders to the beautiful Winter Park Resort, one of Colorado’s most popular destinations for skiers and snowboarders. If you’re just onboard for the views of the mountains and ski hills, then catch a round trip back to Denver — if you’re a lover of winter sports, than just disembark on your skis or snowboard and head for the resort once you reach your destination.

Midwest Keeps the Trains Running Through Winter

We hope this list has helped lovers of train travel find ideal winter destinations, but for those who are operating the trains and not riding them, the question isn’t where to go to see beautiful winter weather — it’s how to ensure that weather doesn’t slow you down. Rail operators hoping to help passengers see the best of winter can partner with Midwest Industrial Supply, Inc. to protect them from the worst of it.

With over four decades of experience providing rail switch lubrication, deicing, and anti-icing solutions, rail operators across the country trust Midwest’s patented products and innovative technologies to prevent the danger and delays posed by ice on rails.

Developed in collaboration with NASA, our Zero Gravity Third Rail® solution is engineered to prevent ice from forming and accumulating on electrified third rails. If you’re looking for a rail switch lubrication solution, Glidex® is a high-tech product that builds a nearly impenetrable wall to keep winter weather from damaging the infrastructure on which your train lines rely.

Want to get your passengers to their destinations during the holiday season and beyond? Reach out to Midwest today to find the solution that’s right for your railway or transit system.

Eric Vantiegham is Midwest’s Rail & Transit Specialist. Skilled in product development, new business development, and strategic planning, he enjoys playing ice hockey and coaching his boys' youth teams.