Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad
Your journey begins at Wappocomo Station, situated next to a charming homestead and a sprawling view of the mountains. Enjoy the sounds of vintage diesels as they lead you through beautiful pastures and farms dating back to the 1700s. As you wind along the South Branch of the Potomac River, you’ll enter a visually-striking gorge known as the Trough. One of the most scenic spots along the South Branch, the Trough is home to American bald eagles. All excursions are round-trip and include narration. A concession car is available to purchase snacks and drinks. Sorry, no smoking, pets, or alcoholic beverages permitted.
Duration: More than 3 hours
Suggest edits to improve what we show.
Improve this listing
What is Travelers’ Choice?
Tripadvisor gives a Travelers’ Choice award to accommodations, attractions and restaurants that consistently earn great reviews from travelers and are ranked within the top 10% of properties on Tripadvisor.

Top ways to experience nearby attractions

See what travelers are saying
  • MaryAnn D
    Randleman, North Carolina49 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    If you love train rides, don't miss this one!
    We had a great time on this train ride. The scenery was beautiful and we saw some eagles! The staff was courteous and attentive. The narrator was informative about the area history and was sure to point out key sites. We had superior dining and the food was excellent.
    Visited May 2023
    Written May 29, 2023
  • Mary S
    17 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Thrill of a lifetime
    This was such an enjoyable trip. The staff were all very pleasant and informative. The gentleman who was our guide on the gondola made sure everyone was able to spot eagles. The eagles were so majestic. It was a thrill to see so many. I definitely want to take our children and grandchildren on this trip.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written June 26, 2023
  • William M
    Charleston, West Virginia1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great trip
    First and foremost we saw several eagles. We took the premium dining ing option. The food was excellent and more than generous portions. We were in an air conditioned car. On a very hot day the cars without AC would be uncomfortable when the train was not moving. The staff was very friendly
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 3, 2023
  • Frank H
    1 contribution
    3.0 of 5 bubbles
    Not what we expected by description on website.
    First of all, the exclusive superior level dining car was not at all as pictured on their website. Their website shows luscious couches and nice table for eating and viewing. We sat in a car with very uncomfortable diner style chairs and a simple table. The food was ok but nothing to write home about. The person who was pointing out sites and eagles was up near the engine and by the time our car got there, there was nothing to see. We were required to go to the gondola, a topless car with wood benches so that we could view the eagles. It was on the other end of the train and was very difficult for someone who had trouble walking. I would say that the entire trip was ok, but not worth the price paid. Way to expensive.
    Visited June 2023
    Traveled as a couple
    Written July 4, 2023
  • Stewfoot
    California, Maryland158 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Wonderful birthday gift for two train enthusiasts
    Took the Sunset Trough and booked a dinner as a birthday present for my wife. What a great trip, although we saw several Eagles, the sunset view of the trough on the Potomac River (south branch) trumped everything. The EmCee discussing the history of Virginia, West Virginia and the railroad was great.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 8, 2023
  • Jlee C
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great trip on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad!
    Thanks to all the staff and crew on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad. Everyone was extremely nice and my mom, sister and I enjoyed our 3 hour tour through the mountains. It was amazing to view at least 3 eagle nests and one live eagle who flapped his wings. Also, special thanks to Anthony, who help wheel my mom off the train in a wheelchair. Purchased some keepsake gifts to remember this amazing and enjoyable day!!
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 9, 2023
  • Carol W
    Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Beautiful trip!
    This was a great trip - very scenic! It was really nice to see the eagles and the deer and to hear about the history of the area and the railroad. We got some nice pictures of the scenic river in the trough. The highlight of the trip was the staff on the train. The customer service was excellent. They checked on us frequently and provided additional information to us when they did. They were committed to us having a great experience, making sure we were able to see the aeries and the eagles that were spotted on the trip. They were very friendly and helpful. I wasn't expecting much from the box lunch, but the sandwich was very tasty. Lots of thick turkey in a hoagie roll and the best orange tomato I have had in a long time. I am still yearning for another orange tomato! We didn't go out on the gondola, but the view from the observation car was superb. It was a hot day, but the breeze through the windows was very nice and comfortable.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written July 19, 2023
  • Norma W
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth the Drive!!!
    I had a great time - I was able to sit and read a book. The food was really good. My rail car was a little chilly so bring a sweater or light jacket. But I thoroughly enjoyed it. Will definitely go again.
    Visited July 2023
    Written July 31, 2023
  • Brett L
    1 contribution
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fabulous, Fun, and Fine Food
    Fantastic day, spectacular service and the meal was excellent, a high rating from two Foodies. We have taken two trips and love the club car experience. If you are a train nut or are married to one, definitely go.
    Visited July 2023
    Traveled with family
    Written August 1, 2023
  • Compass29365823049
    2 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Great train experience
    Best train trip ever! Great food. Steak that you cut with a butter knife, red skin mashed potato's, green beans and a piece of peach pie with ice cream. Water, ice tea Train was very clean and comfortable, all the people working the train were very professional and very friendly. Waiting to board the train was not long at all. Boarding went very smoothly Plenty of parking right at the train. Been on several trains near this one, no comparison. Saw about 6 eagles flying or on tree tops. Even saw a Eagles nest. The scenic view is awesome. This is my 3rd time on this train. Love it!
    Visited August 2023
    Traveled with friends
    Written August 6, 2023
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as wait time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

Popular mentions

4.0 of 5 bubbles415 reviews
Very good

Sallie M
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022 • Friends
This was our first trip ever with the Potomac Eagle, my wife and I were so excited! Let’s just Say it was far from what we imagined. We did the superior dining…. DO NOT waste your money! The dishes were dirty, prior to us even touching them. The food was horrible! The appetizer was cold meatballs, the “salad” was a half head of lettuce, not cut up, 1 tomato, 2 cucumbers and a piece of bacon maybe 2 inches long! The prime rib we received looked like it was never even cooked, the green beans were like munching on sticks, and the mashed potatoes were just gross! The dessert was the only decent part of the meal, but how had is it to make french silk pie. The “sweet” tea was everything but sweet, the coffee and lemonade were fairly decent. I never expected to pay that much, and walk away hungry because it wasn’t fit to eat. Wasted money for sure! We were seated in the rear of the car where we couldn’t see hardly anything because there was no window close. And what windows we could see out further up the train were filthy! Although they tell you that you can move around to see, there is literally no where to move to because all other tables are being used, one for nothing but the pitchers to refill drinks. And the food comes at a pace where you have no time to walk to observation car, because your food which isn’t the warmest to begin with would be cold for sure till you return. We went on a day, the outdoor temperature was near 65, they had AC on, even though most were complaining of being cold. Although it sounds like a great experience I encourage you to save your $ and do not waste it on what is made to sound like a spectacular dinner experience on a train. If we return which is highly unlikely we will not do any meals and eat elsewhere prior to or after our adventure. Very disappointing!
Written October 17, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Mercersburg, PA45 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021
The car we were in had not been properly prepared for use in my opinion. Light fixtures were broken, windows were dirty and the woodwork had not been cleaned well. A cursory wipe across the window sills leaving black streaks and dirt on your hands. The new website had incomplete info, never mentioning that a separate ticket was needed to ride in the outdoor car. Misleading photos on the site showing 3 girls happily on the train platform, which does not exist. It is in reality a run down wooden deck. Poor signage at the loading/ticket areas. Misleading after viewing Great Railway Journeys of PBS. Lot of editing. Very poor viewing of most of the scenery along the trip. Good info about the sites along the track, which you mostly could not see.
Written June 21, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Judy S
1 contribution
1.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Family
My family went on the 1:00 trip on a very hot day in July. The train cars were nothing like the pictures on the website—they were very old, uncomfortable and lacked upkeep. The bottles of water given on the tables as part of the meal were warm. The sandwiches in the boxed meals were ok, but there were no condiments, so everyone was forced to eat dry sandwiches.
Some of the cars have no air conditioning, which we knew going into it, but we did buy tickets in advance and didn’t realize how hot it would be on our trip day. The train moves much too slowly to create any breeze in the car, so it was pretty uncomfortable.
We did go out to the uncovered gondola car where it was a bit cooler (except when in full sun). WV is a beautiful state, but we didn’t get to see any eagles because we came upon a huge tree blocking the tracks. After being stopped for at least 1/2 hour in the heat with no water, I asked if we could go back on the train so we could get a drink. The conductor said we couldn’t but that he would get us water. After he brought us bottles of water, everyone else wanted water, too. It was well into the 90’s that day and uncomfortable, even in the shade. After an hour, they finally allowed us back on the train. About 20 minutes after that, we were told that we could not complete the trip and would be heading back to the “station.” (It’s not really a station, but that is a whole other thing).
The big issues that we had: the website has misleading images, there is no reason in the world you would have to arrive 1 hour before boarding time as is suggested, the water with the meal was warm, the narration was difficult to hear, when they realized the tree was the biggest they had ever come across and was going to take a lot of time to move, they did not offer us water or any kind of explanation. In fact, none of the train personnel said a thing. Maybe they could have given us all a free bottle of water to be sure we were kept at least somewhat comfortable? Instead they charged us all $2 a bottle, and most of us wanted more than one bottle because we were very thirsty. I felt the train personnel seemed put out by passengers requesting water and wanting to get back on the train. Customer service is not a priority here.
We didn’t get the full experience, and to top it all off, as we were disembarking the train, they were saying “I hope you enjoyed your trip!” Most of us were simply ecstatic to be getting off the train. Not a good experience. Will not recommend.
Written July 30, 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Rick & Carol
13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2020
Arrived around 11am waited for Souvenir Shop to open, got a few things, put in our car then boarded the Train. We bought 1class tickets for $100.00 each and found our table. Once train started we were listening to a guide that showed all the interesting things form the area along with Historic events that happened. Our meal was great, Roast Turkey, mixed veggies , baked potato and Ice tea or lemoniid. A very nice train trip , we might come next year for the longer trip.. For desert we had Cheesecake and coffee. Along the way our guide pointed out Eagle nests and an occasional Eagle
Written October 17, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Culpeper, VA209 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2021 • Couples
We purchased Superior Dining tickets and on the trip to Petersburg we were in the last car or first car on the return trip. I mention this because location has everything to do with hearing the narration and responding. The train probably has 8 cars and 2 engines. I have no idea where the lady was sitting who pointed out eagles in flight or eagle nests on the mountainside on the trains PA. . By the time she mentioned an eagle in flight and those in our car on the wrong side of the train got up to look out a window, we saw nothing. We were either too early or to late to benefit from the announcements. Plus she is trained to spot these things easily while the passengers are not. I don’t know if there is a way short of having a trained employee in each car pointing out the eagles and nests so passengers appreciate the view, having said that, much of the history narrated is extremely interesting. The service for our Superior dining was exceptional. The young women were most attentive and efficient. The food was not exceptional. The shrimp cocktail snd Caesar salad were good. My main course of”tender roast beef” was anything but tender. Is was somewhat dried out and in need of AU jus or gravy, the mashed potatoes were lukewarm. My significant other ordered the Italian chicken but was disappointed at the small size of the chicken breast. A couple beside us ordered pasta dishes, which they barely ate and described as “bland.” The dessert - cheesecake and/or chocolate peanut butter cake - was good. The trip was relaxing and we enjoyed the renovated Pullman car. The “conductor” Richard was great. He has a super personality. Overall, we enjoyed the ride but now that I have done it once, a return trip is not in the offing.
Written June 27, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sherri C
Raleigh, NC7 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022
We were underwhelmed by the polar express train ride. We purchased tickets for the first class cabin. While the host in our cabin was very nice (as were the folks in the ticket office), the performers were subpar, and the experience did not feel worth the expense. One performer was chewing gum and walked through the car looking like she had no desire to be there. Santa buzzed through our car very quickly and didn't even say anything to my daughter while handing her a peppermint stick. We also had to wait a while outside before boarding (lots of whining young children on line). The chocolate milk and cookies were just okay.
Written December 18, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Thom H
4 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Aug 2022
Back on August 28th, my wife and I had a chance to take the Potomac Eagle’s “Trough Trip”. It was a three hour trip that followed the south branch of the Potomac River from Romney, WVA to the Sycamore Bridge and return. The motive power was Potomac Eagle’s 8250. It is a GP9 and ex- CP 8516. At the opposite end of the train was EMD F7A 722, ex-Bessemer & Lake Erie 722A. In 2010, it was repainted into the B&O paint scheme.
Regarding the excursion, it was awesome! Running almost parallel to the Potomac River we saw kayakers and canoeists paddling north on the river. There was also a narrator on board to mention the history associated with various sights that we passed along the way. Also visible from time to time was the sight of bald eagles. We were fortunate to have spotted four of them and two eagle nests. It was said that the eagles return to their same nest year after year.
As for the meal we were served, the salmon was quite tasty. My wife had chicken along with mashed potatoes and green beans. For me, I had rice pilaf and green beans. The green beans were the real deal and not the soggy kind one gets out of a can. For dessert it was cheesecake for her and apple cobbler for myself. I will say that this was most likely the best meal we have had on board one of these excursion trains.
The service was nice and car attendants were both cordial and efficient in doing what needed to be done and fulfill passenger’s requests. It was also a smooth and scenic ride while traveling at a leisurely pace. It proved to be a well-coordinated operation and one we would probably do again in the future.
Written September 7, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Lori S
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Oct 2022
It was a 6 hour drive for us to get to Romney. We missed an exit, which caused a 40 minute delayed arrival, and we pulled in to the station just in time to see the train begin to move away.
I found an employee and they kindly said they would see if they could get us on another trip. Ultimately, they did have a spot for us on a later departure, same day, and I happily accepted the substitution, even tho' we had paid for Superior Dining, and they could offer us Coach seats.

While we waited, we drove through Romney, and ultimately ended up at Crystal Valley Restaurant and Saloon for some food and drinks. It was a nice place to just relax and hang out, with WiFi for a couple hours. Be aware that you may lose cell service in that valley.

Romney is nestled in the mountains of WVa. We were not expecting a high comfort ride with excellent amenities, based on this alone. It is a bit more primitive an experience than that, and if your expectations are in line with a country ride, I think you'll really enjoy your time. The train is old - but it seems to be in good repair, and it is clean inside. I think it maintains it's charm as an old train, without the modern updates. It is still well-maintained, just not updated.

The excursion itself is the reason to go. We did, unfortunately have seats on the mountain side, so we just got up and went to the viewing car and spent more time there, and then took advantage of the gondola. The views are great, and the numerous eagle sightings were impressive. It is a relaxing, nice way to spend a few hours.

I would prefer the overhead narration was just stopped, although it seemed like many people were appreciating it. It was barely audible and when I could hear it, couldn't understand it, so for me, it really just turns into noise pollution when surrounded by so much beauty. Perhaps an info sheet for interested guests would be more appropriate. An app may work for those who can get service out there.

Overall, it is a great time. There is a snack car on the train, which I don't think I saw on the site when booking. It has your expected snacks, water and soft drinks.

I have to reiterate, after reading some of these negative reviews, that it seems like expectations easily get out of line with what's provided here, and presented at the time of booking. This is not an upscale, modern kind of event. It has some historical points and it is a scenic excursion. If that's what you're looking for, I think you'll appreciate this trip.
Written October 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

5 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2022 • Family
We were disappointed with the whole experience. Our party was 2 adults and two kids 5 and. 8. The Potomac Eagle seemed to be very unorganized. Boarding was to be at 2:30 and yet it didn’t start until almost 3:00. Asking small children to stand in line before boarding for that amount of time is not a good thing. We got on the train in First class and waited again for everyone to board. More waiting meant more tears. They offered chocolate chip and sugar cookies and milk (white and chocolate). We asked for a sugar cookie as our 8 year old has a nut allergy. They didn’t have any sugar cookies. Not fair for a little one. They offered non lactose milk but no plain cookie. The train program started with multiple actors coming thru the car. The majority come thru so quickly, you barely see them much less take pictures. The “beautiful scenery” was homes more than forestry. Santa arrived and gave each child a candy cane, but again, it was all so fast. I understand that they generally have 600 people for each ride. I would have expected more organization, a better show and some sugar cookies! We won’t go again and I certainly wouldn’t recommend it.
Written December 4, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Big Al Rebel
Forest, VA13 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2022 • Couples
Hats off to the great state of West Virginia for providing this unique and beautiful experience. This was my first time on a scenic railroad and I did take the day long trip to Petersburg, West Virginia. This is a 50s-60s vintage full size train that is still doing its job well. I rode coach, no A/C and it was a hot day but comfortable once it gets moving. If you want A/C and dining you can pay more. There was full available at a snack shop on the train- similar to a movie theater lobby with popcorn, soft drinks, ice cream, hot dogs, etc.I enjoyed the observation car where anyone can go, you can stand, look out both sides of the train and there is some seating. I couldn’t sit long in the coach seas as it is cramped for taller people and some seats ride backwards which I can’t do. The 2 hour stopover in Petersburg was a nice time to stretch your legs, walk, and have a meal, ice cream, etc. or shop at a couple of shops. The live music was a great touch in one of the gift shops with dulcimer and hammered dulcimer- a real treat if you’ve never heard a hammered dulcimer. The beautiful back countryside of West Virginia is beautiful. The best part of the trip is what they call “the trough” a narrow valley where the train is on one side and river on the other and about 1500’ up on each side. You can see the eagles nest and sometimes the eagles flying and they are an inspiring sight. My only complaints is that once the train pulls out and there are empty seats they should let you take instead of being crowded when there are available ones. However the trip is well worth the price and a once (or several times) in a lifetime experience. I will be back for some other trips.
Written July 6, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Showing results 1-10 of 412
Is this your Tripadvisor listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim your listing

Potomac Eagle Scenic Railroad - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024)

RestaurantsFlightsVacation RentalsTravel StoriesCruisesRental Cars