Hitch a ride on Houston’s railroads

Hermann Park Train photo credit: Patrick Feller via CC

Get the kids all aboard as Houston has several great options for the emerging conductor and train enthusiasts.

From the Hermann Park Train to the Houston Area Live Steamers to the Railroad Museum, budding engineers can toot their horns all over town.

Hermann Park Train

The Hermann Park Train main ticket office is adjacent to the Houston Zoo at the Conservancy Gift Shop at Kinder Station in Lake Plaza. You can load up here and chug all the way around. The complete loop will take about 20 minutes.

The Hermann Park train stops at Rice University, the Natural History Museum, and the Buddy Carruth playground. Riders can hop on at these locations. Everyone exits at the main stop and the riders from the additional stops will pay for their rides. If you boarded from one of the off site stations, you can ride back to your original station.

Need more than 20 minutes on the rails? Be an engineer for the day. Blow the whistle, check the track, and greet the passengers during this four-hour behind-the-scenes glimpse into the duties of the conductor. They also offer a shorter version for those who want all the fun of an extended ride but none of the responsibility. Ride for an hour in the front row with the Ride the Railroad pass.

Houston Area Live Steamers

If your little engineer has ridden to the end of the line of this train and still needs more, then head out to Hockley for a special day at the Houston Area Live Steamers. These life sized model trains are open for public rides on the third Saturday of the month from March through November. Their tracks provide space for up 25 locomotives plus plenty of smaller versions of the choo-choos to entertain the enthusiasts.

Photo courtesy of Houston Area Live Steamers

The train rides are free to those who make the drive to Hockley, but they only run in nice weather so be sure to check their website before you drive out. They have trains that are accessible to wheelchairs for those who use them and loading platforms to help everyone get on board safely. Pack a lunch to enjoy at the pic-nic facilities in the park.

Rosenberg Railroad Museum

If the weather has the Houston Area Live Steams shut down but your little one is already in his/her conductor hat, check out the historic Rosenberg Railroad Museum instead.

Herman Park Train

Houston Area Live Steamers

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