There’s just something magical about trains. They’re big. They’re loud. They’re colorful. For nearly 200 years they’ve crisscrossed the country, bringing people and freight quickly to their destinations, rolling across miles of valleys, plains, mountains and waterways. It’s safe to say that kids all of ages are fascinated by trains. Who doesn’t get a little excited when the red lights start flashing at a crossing? Who doesn’t stop to wave at the conductor? Who doesn’t turn in delight when they hear the low rumble of a train coming? Fortunately, historic railroads like the Lebanon Mason Monroe Railroad (LM&M Railroad) keep the story of trains alive with their fleet of engines and passenger cars. Here are some of the rides they offer year-round that generations of families have enjoyed.
The greatest part about riding the LM&M Railroad is the memories that families make all year round. The popular North Pole Express around the holidays sells out quickly, as eager riders sip hot chocolate and meet Santa and his elves in festively decorated train cars. However, you can still take a wintery trip with the Holiday Express train ride. Santa will not be in attendance, but you can still marvel at the beautiful decorations and snowy landscape of Warren County.
Summer brings special events like Mother’s and Father’s Day train rides. Almost yearly, the railroad is fortunate to host a genuine working steam engine. Train enthusiasts of all ages line the platform to watch the massive engines puffing steam as they chug up to the station. After the hot days of summer, guests can feel the cool autumn breezes wafting through the open windows while they gaze on the stunning autumn foliage of Warren County on LM&M Railroad’s Fall Flyer.
Food and Drink Rides
On the Wine & Cheese Train, guests lounge with personal bottles of wines, then snack on complimentary cheese and crackers. For the holiday season, you can indulge in wine, cheese and a complimentary mug of hot spiked apple cider while cruising through southwestern Ohio in the holiday decorated rail cars. The Pizza & Beer Train offers riders a personal pizza and beer samples from a rotating host brewery. There’s a pizza and soda train car for younger passengers. On the Bourbon Tasting Train, travelers can select from different experiences, such as a bourbon tasting with a distillery representative, or a more casual relaxation with bourbon samples and a signature cocktail.
The LM&M Railroad offers historic train rides throughout the year. For many young children, it’s their first experience ever riding on a train. They’re exhilarated at feeling the gentle sway of the train cars and hearing the clickety-clack as they pass by the beautiful scenery of Warren County.
The energy and excitement of everyone involved in the railroad is infectious. The LM&M Railroad is staffed by knowledgeable employees. Dressed in uniforms, they offer a warm welcome the minute you step onto the train. During the ride, they stroll the aisles offering bits of history about the train cars, the route, the stops and the American railroad itself.
Families are enticed to return again and again for themed rides offered throughout the year. The railroad partners with local PBS stations to bring favorite characters to life. Costumed actors stroll the train cars, posing for photos and having fun with their fans. Just imagine feeling the sway of the train cars, seeing the scenery glide past outside the windows – then happily, you’re face-to-face with PBS’ Curious George or Daniel Tiger. Children can also ride like a royal on the Princess Express, where they can arrive dressed in their finest ball gowns or tuxedos and meet with costumed princesses.
For the adults, The Cherry Street Murder Mystery welcomes actors from the Mason Community Players, who interact in character with guests while they follow clues to solve a mystery. The fun starts even before you board the train, beginning with appetizers and drinks at Cherry Street Café where actors mingle with the guests right before a mystery occurs.
Special events are held throughout the year. Pick your style of outing and experience the thrill of riding a train with the LM&M Railroad.