Cass Scenic Railroad (Cass, WVa) http://www.cassrailroad.com If you love geared locomotives, this is the place to go!
Combres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
(Chama, NM & Antonito, CO) http://www.cumbrestoltec.com Spectacular scenery makes this one of my most favorite trips and it's all steam narow gauge. Make sure you ride the entire route!
One of the two best steam train rides in the country! Take either
the roundtrip ride from Chama or the one-way trip from Chama.
Both of these rides take you past the best scenery this railroad
to offer. If you would like to be a part of preserving this railroad,
you can join the Friends of the Cumbres & Toltec Scenic Railroad
Durango & Silverton (Durango, CO) http://www.durangotrain.com This spectacular ride through the Animas Canyon upon a narrow gauge steam train, along with the C&TS, is among the two must ride trains in the United States!
Georgetown Loop Railroad (Georgetown, CO) http://www.georgetownlooprr.com
Great Smoky Mountain Railroad (Bryson City, NC) http://www.gsmr.com Located along the NC side of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. Offers both steam and diesel trips along a picturesque route.
Mount Washington Cog Railway (Bretton Woods, NH)
http://www.thecog.com Have you ever seen a steam locomotive with its boiler pitched 25 degrees so that it is mostly level as it travels uphill? There are no couplers on the locos and cars. Since all trackwork is inclined uphill, the cars always stay firmly pressed against the front of the locomotive.
Nevada Northern Railway (Ely, NV) http://www.nevadanorthernrailway.net This is one of the very few, if not the only, tourist railroads where you can operate a diesel and/or steam locomotives over many miles of their mainline. Way cool!!! Trains do 15 mph and the steam route is easy to chase. Definitely worth the drive from Las Vegas. They also have a web cam where you can watch their trains depart and arrive. Note, there is a 3,000 elevation change from Las Vegas. As such, the temperature was about 20 degrees cooler at the NNRy making a July or August trip pleasant.
Rio Grande Scenic Railroad (Alamosa, CO) https://www.coloradotrain.com/
Camp Railroads (Felton, CA) http://www.roaringcamp.com Geared locos through a redwood forest.
Strasburg Railroad (Strasburg, PA)
Not only do you get to ride behind a steam locomotive, but the railroad is a stone's throw from the
Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania http://www.rrmuseumpa.org and the
National Toy Train Museum. http://www.800padutch.com/y/nationaltoytrainmuseum.html
Also nearby is a motel where you stay in a real caboose! http://www.redcaboosemotel.com
Texas State Railroad (Palistene to Rusk, TX) http://www.texasstaterr.com The most scenic of the Texas steam railroads. Easily chasable.
Virginia and Truckee (Virginia City/Carson City, NV) http://www.virginiatruckee.com Ride behind an operating Prairie - the only one I know of.