Take a fun, three-hour vintage train ride on the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railway along the south branch of the Potomac River, through a scenic West Virginia gorge known as the Trough.
Dine in style with full meal service in the restored Club cars, or grab seats in the Coach section. But be sure to walk to the end of the train to enjoy the open-air car. That’s where you’ll catch your best view of the American bald eagles that inhabit the gorge. Once in the open-air car, though, you are there for the duration of either the journey out or the journey back. It is too dangerous to jump between cars while the train is moving.
We divided our time between enjoying a sumptuous meal and hanging our heads out the windows of the baggage car (adjacent to the open-air car). Throughout the ride, an announcer narrated our trip and told us where to look for landmarks and wildlife. In the baggage car, a man was positioned as an eagle spotter. Using his experienced eyes, he scanned the treelines for signs of the resident eagles and pointed them out to all within earshot. I like to feel like we helped find a couple of eagles ourselves.
We saw several bald eagles, river otters, kayakers, the river and gorge views, and farms dating back to the 1700s along the route. Not to mention the breathtaking beauty of the West Virginia gorge itself. Don’t forget your camera!
Three Excursion Offerings
You have the option of taking the three-hour trip or an all-day trip.
Three-Hour Trough Trip
The Potomac Eagle’s regular excursion travels southbound through the Trough to the Sycamore Bridge and back, approximately 35 miles round trip. Passengers stay on board for the duration.
All-Day Trip to Petersburg
On the last Saturday of each month (May-September), the Potomac Eagle offers an eight-hour trip to Petersburg, WV. You travel farther south to the end of the line through Moorefield, approximately 76 miles round trip. Passengers enjoy a 1 ½-hour-to-2 hour layover in Petersburg where they can enjoy the South Side Depot, restaurants and shops.
Green Spring Special
This trip takes travelers northbound on a 1.5-hour round trip tour. You can enjoy river views along the south branch of the Potomac, beautiful farmlands and rock cuts like Hanging Rock. No layover; passengers stay on board.
Two Types of Service Aboard the Potomac Eagle Scenic Railway
You have the choice of Club or Coach service, and the option of a Trough Trip or an All-Day Trip.
Club: Includes three-course meal service on Chesapeake and Ohio Railroad china. Beautifully-restored and climate-controlled lounge cars with loveseats and tables. Entrée chosen at time of reservation.
- Trough trip: $110.
- All-Day Trip: $175 (includes light breakfast, lunch and the three-course meal in late afternoon).
Coach: Great for families or groups. Cushioned, high-back, bench-style seats with reversible backs, in 1920s coaches. Windows may be opened, and limited heat is available.
- Trough trip: Adults: $50; Seniors (60+) $45; Children (4-12) $20; under 4 free, but require a ticket.
- All-Day Trip: $90; Seniors (60+) $80; Children (4-12) $30; under 4 free, but require a ticket.
*Ticket prices do not include processing fees. Reservations required for Club, and highly recommended for Coach.
A concession car offers snacks and drinks—cash only. Small lunch bags or coolers allowed, but no oversize coolers or rolling carts.
Where to Catch the Potomac Eagle
The journey begins and ends at Wappocomo Station, 1.5 miles north of Romney, WV on Route 28, and there is plenty of free parking. Take your time before or after the trip to explore the cute town.
The Potomac Eagle season opens in May and runs through November.
Check the website for specials and discounts!
Potomac Eagle Scenic Railway
149 Eagle Drive, Romney, WV 26757
GPS Coordinates: 39.36065, -78.75195