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“Got steam..uh, no!” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Rio Grande Scenic Railroad

Rio Grande Scenic Railroad
601 State Ave, Alamosa, CO 81101
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Ranked #4 of 11 things to do in Alamosa
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Attraction details
Owner description: The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is Colorado's newest train offering steam engine rides through breathtaking mountain valleys and over legendary La Veta pass on hundreds of miles of historic rail. Daily and weekend excursions offer riders a trip back in time on restored passenger cars that stop at historic towns, Great Sand Dunes National Park and connect with the Cumbres & Toltec Railroad.
Charlotte, United States
15 reviews 15 reviews
5 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Got steam..uh, no!”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

According the their website steam was to run starting June 26 on weekends. We visited on July 12th and they had only fired the steamer for the first time the day before and there were issues so it wasn't running. Very disappointed.
The ride through La Veta pass was pretty, but the rest was just OK. We had first class seats in the dome car and did enjoy the hosts. We ate a late lunch and it was pretty good and was decently priced. Would have thought a first class ticket would include at least a soft drink or water.
Not much to La Veta other than some art galleries, Did get an ice cream at the little grocery. Glad it wasn't a long layover.

Visited July 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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120 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
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English first
Lecanto, Florida
15 reviews 15 reviews
8 attraction reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“great ride and great concerts”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 18, 2013

This train ride is very nice and you can go to the town of LaVeta which is cute. It has restaurants and shops. You can also take the train to the concert pavillion half way on certain days and enjoy a wonderful outdoor concert. Good food is available as well as beer and wine. The scenery is spectacular as are the entertainers.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Rio Grande Scenic Railroad”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2013

I booked this a couple of months in advance. We have done the Durango train ride 4 times & the Chama once in the past. This ride does not begin to compare with either of these rides in terms of customer service & getting what you expect. You are told that Sat & Sunday trips are by steam engine so we drove 800 miles for a Sunday ride only to find that it was being pulled by a diesel engine! Apparently the steam engine hasn't run this year. When we went to pick up tickets Saturday night they were not available & had to be picked up Sunday before the trip. Not a big deal but just another example of failure on their part to live up to what they claim. Upon boarding the train the gal comes through & announces that they are short handed today so they will not be seen much. This was a 2 car train! One open car & one domed car.We rode the train to LaVeta & did the 2 hour layover. Upon returning to the train we found a LOT of people setting in the open car. Come to find out the generator in the domed car had broke down & we had an additional hour wait until they got it fixed. Ended up being the fuel filter was plugged up even though it had recently been serviced. Makes you wonder what else may have been missed! Not a good experience. Durango or Chama are better deals in my opinion. Later, Jay

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pasadena, California
1 review
“Rails and Ales - Alamosa, CO”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 15, 2013

This review is for the June 2013 event. Overall, the beer festival experience was great....lots of very good breweries were there providing more than generous sized samples of their tasty beverages. No complaints there! HOWEVER, the train ride experience is another story. My friends and I paid for "first class" seating and we would have been just as well with the much cheaper coach fare. As far as I could see, there were no advantages to being "first class". There was only 1 bartender for our entire car, and by the time she serviced all rows during her first round, they were out of everything! In addition, there were no food items to purchase...we had to wait the 2.5 hours to get to the event site. The train ride back was even worse. Not surprisingly, there was no alcohol offered (probably a good thing since most everyone had already consumed plenty at the event), but there should have been non-alcoholic beverages sold. Also, the train traveled at a painfully slow speed...made even worse when some drunk idiot decided to climb on top of one of the cars...causing the whole train to have to stop, get him off the roof, and hold him until the closest sheriff's office could come respond, arrest hiim and cart him away (we sat there for 45 minutes). While some of the scenary we passed on the train was beautiful, most of it was not...so that made the 3.5+hour ride home excrutiating. Overall, the event seemed to lack organization...which is hard to justify given I believe this was at least the 4th or 5th year of putting the event on. If I could drive to the festival, I would go again, but would definitely not take the train next time!

Visited June 2013
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Castle Rock, Colorado
11 reviews 11 reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“A fun way to spend the day”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2013

The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is one of those attractions that runs a bit under the radar, but it really shouldn't. They have several trains that run often, including some pulled by an old steam locomotive. They also have some of the rail cars from the Illinois Central made famous by Arlo Guthrie in Steve Goodman's song "City of New Orleans". We've ridden the trains several times, and over the 4th of July weekend we rode from LaVeta to Fir to see Suzy Bogguss. The concert venue that they've built is something that you have to see. The only way you can get there is by train, and they have some pretty good entertainers there. They have great entertainment each summer weekend, all listed on their web site. I'd go pretty much every weekend if I could. Be forewarned that they aren't the most efficiently run company when it comes to ticket sales, customer service, etc., but the people are very friendly and the trains are run very professionally; they're safe, and mostly on schedule. Enjoy the atmosphere and the scenery, ride the train, and hear some great music too! All in all, it's a weekend excursion that's really a bargain. By the way, Suzy Bogguss was great!

Visited July 2013
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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