Downeast Scenic Railroad Tour
- Adult (Ages 13+)
- Seniors & Active Duty Military
- Child (Ages 3-12)
- Infant (2 & Under)
Take a Train Ride on the Downeast Scenic Railroad in Ellsworth
A trip on the Downeast Scenic Railroad not only takes you back to a time of elegant travel in lovingly restored rail cars but also travels through a truly beautiful part of Maine.
From canopied forest where the light sparkles through the treetops as chickadees and nuthatches bounce from limb to limb to open marshland where beavers, herons, turtles, and moose might be seen, the restored section of the Calais Branch Line gives you a view not seen since the wealthy rusticators traveled from the cities to their summer homes on the line.
Your trip begins at the Washington Junction rail yard and boarding platform located just outside Ellsworth on Washington Junction road in Hancock Maine. Here you can purchase tickets and souvenirs, take pictures of the train. You will also see the heavy equipment that keeps the rail running and pass train components and cars currently being restored for use on the Downeast Scenic Railroad.
You travel over bridges, roll past schools and houses, hear the clack of the rails muffle on the thick woodland moss, and delight in the sound of the horn at the crossing. Watch as the powerful engine moves from the front to the back of the train to return you to the Washington Junction rail yard and boarding platform. where you can see the heavy equipment that keeps the rail running and pass train components and cars currently being restored for use on the Downeast Scenic Railroad, before coming back to the Ellsworth depot.
On the way, be sure to look for the nests of the giant osprey and the big beaver hutches in the wetlands! Enjoy exceptional views of wetland marshes, glacial erratic including massive boulders, and river and stream crossings. While traveling and working on this stretch of the line, we have also observed many forms of wildlife, including blue herons, bald eagles, moose, deer, snapping turtles, and even bears!
The current traveling time is roughly 1 hour and 45 minutes and traverses a 13-mile section of the restored railroad.
At the core of the Downeast Scenic Railroad Project is the rehabilitation of the Washington Junction/Ellsworth to Green Lake section of the Calais Branch Line to create a 24-mile round-trip excursion ride. Other project components include the construction of storage/repair facility at Washington Junction.
The Downeast Scenic Railroad offers two trips per day Saturdays and Sundays from Memorial Day weekend thru the weekend after Columbus Day.
Water and light snacks are available for purchase, and you are welcome to bring your own picnic lunch.
In July of 2012, we began operating through the newly rebuilt wye at our Washington Junction rail yard. The wye was built by the Maine Central in 1931, when they discontinued service to McNeil Point on the old Maine Shore Line tracks. Trains like the Bar Harbor Express then ended their run in Ellsworth. The Maine Central used the wye to turn engines and coaches around so they could be ready to leave Ellsworth westbound. Come ride the Downeast Scenic Railroad now and travel over this historic section of track. All of our rides now use the wye at Washington Junction to reverse directions!
The Downeast Scenic Railroad welcomes charters, groups, and buses!
We offer group rates for groups of 40 or more and require advance payment one week prior to the date of departure.
Private groups may charter the entire train for larger groups or special events. All charters require two weeks’ advance notice.
Buses are welcome at the Downeast Scenic Railroad. The excursion is a wonderful group activity.
Please contact the railroad directly at 1-866-449-RAIL (7245) for more information, reservations, and fares.
NOTICE: Days of operation, schedules, fares, motive power, and cars are subject to change without notice. All fares listed are for round-trip transportation. Advance ticket purchase and confirmation of schedules is recommended.