Fall train ride for all ages

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is offering a variety of train rides this autumn.

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is offering residents a unique trip to take in the sights, sounds and smells of the fall season.

The organization’s fall excursions, which take passengers on leisurely train rides through the rural farm country and wooded areas of Northwest Indiana and across the Kankakee River, will feature a special pumpkin twist this season.

Upon returning to the North Judson area after riding the Pumpkin Trains the first three Saturdays in October, passengers will travel to the HVRM pumpkin patch where everyone may choose a pumpkin for $2.50, before returning to the depot.

“The train ride is mainly through the countryside,” said Loretta Kosloske, marketing specialist for the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum. “If Mother Nature cooperates, there will be plenty of colorful leaves.”

On Oct. 28, the Halloween Train will depart for a 2-1/2- to 3-hour trip beginning at 4 p.m. The trip will include Silly Safari’s “Not So Scary, Scary Animal Show,” and passengers are invited to dress in costume.

The Pumpkin and Halloween train excursions are offered on both coach and open-air cars, Kosloske said.

Many of the special trains have sold out in the past, so get tickets early, Kosloske said.

After the fall season is over, the fun continues with the popular annual Santa Trains, held on the first three Saturdays in December. As part of the event, each child receives a gift bag from Santa.

HVRM is an all-volunteer, nonprofit organization dedicated to the preservation of railroading history. It offers several opportunities for children and adults alike to immerse themselves in railroad culture and history, including the opportunity for anyone older than 18 who holds a valid driver’s license to be an engineer for 30 minutes or 1 hour for a nominal fee.

HVRM is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays, year-round. Reservations for train rides may be made online at hoosiervalley.org or by calling (574) 896-3950 on Saturdays.