Take a Train Ride on the Downeast Scenic Railroad in Ellsworth
Join is for a scenic train ride in Ellsworth! Our round-trip tour travels on the historic Calais Branch Line from Ellsworth to Ellsworth Falls and then to Washington Junction and back to Ellsworth. The eleven-mile trip takes approximately one hour and forty-five minutes, and it’s packed with amazing views and wildlife sightings.
The line was originally built in 1884 as the Maine Shore Line Railroad. The primary purpose of this line was to move passengers from larger northeastern cities such as Philadelphia, New York, and Washington D.C. during the summer months to the then-new vacation area of Mount Desert Island, Bar Harbor, and what would become Acadia National Park.
In 1911, the line was taken over by the Maine Central Railroad, which would operate the Bar Harbor Express, a premier train which would bring thousands of visitors, rusticators, and the wealthy of the gilded age to this area of Maine.
Take a ride through Maine’s history and enjoy the beautiful sites on this fun train excursion!
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.