Free train rides
Planning a trip to Storyland and have some extra time on your hands? Check out the Silver Lake Railroad! It’s about 25 mins from N.Conway, NH and definitely worth the drive. What’s there you ask? Train rides for free!!
After driving to what seemed like the middle of nowhere looking for this so called free train that we read about in the NH daily paper, we started feeling more confident about our destination after seeing the roadside signs advertising the free train. We followed the signs to the end of a long road and sure enough, there was an old school train station (and post office) and a bunch of old open air trains. We entered the restored 1910 train station which is now a train museum and found a conductor inside. He informed us that we were in fact in the right place and that the train would be heading out shortly. He sorta looked like the guy from Monopoly. We arrived there early as there were only a few rides each day and I thought maybe they would sell out, being that it was free. But nope, we were the first ones there. He gave us a cardboard ticket and told us to wait by the tracks.
Being that we were early, we decided to look around a little. There were a lot of old trains around to look at. A few others joined us by the tracks and we were then allowed on to the open air train to take our seats. Essentially cushioned benches facing out to take in the view. The conductor came around to punch holes in our tickets (just for show really) and called “All Aboard.” Then we were off! We were taken on a one hour round trip train ride through a beautiful forest. Halfway through, the conductor gave us a bit of a history about the Silver Lake Railroad and we learned it was run completely by donations and volunteers. Really quite an amazing endeavor.
The kids had an absolute blast kneeling on the cushions, looking out the windows as we chugged along. We came back to the station, supported them with a donation for our ride and checked out the old 1940’s diner in the parking lot which now served as a self serve snack bar. This was one of the best parts of our trip to Maine and NH and I encourage everyone to check it out!
Things to know:
- Bring a light jacket as it gets cold when the train starts moving
- It only operates on the weekend. Check the website before going.
How to get there:
1381 Village Road, Madison, NH