The trip begins in Ione (except over Labor Day Weekend when it runs from Metaline Falls to Ione and return) and runs north through the canyon ten miles to Metaline Falls.
Shortly after leaving Ione, you roll through the countryside. Soon, you cross the highway just outside the town and enter the river canyon. As the train winds along the cliffs and through the cuts more than a 100 feet above the river, take in views of the river not seen from the highway. If you watch closely enough, you might glimpse an eagle catching trout from the river, or an elk grazing on the far bank. The route is sprinkled with apple trees, the result of railroad workers throwing apple cores away as they traveled the tracks.
As the slope drops away to the river, you feel as though the train is floating on air. On your right are sheer rock walls stretching skyward from the water, on your left is a dam completed in 1956 and strung between rock islands rising out of the river.
Ahead is a majestic trestle completed on October 14, 1910. When the train stops on the trestle, you can enjoy a stunning view of Box Canyon Dam. After crossing the river the train climbs up the mountain, rocking along on the twisting tracks to plunge into the first of two tunnels on the line. The 810 foot long Vail tunnel, lined with concrete in 1953, takes you through a spur of the mountain that juts out into the valley.
Since the completion of the railway in the fall of 1910, the forest has grown dense around the tracks, and wildlife abounds. Soon the train crests the grade and begins its decent to Metaline Falls through a bore in a rocky knoll and across a number of wooden trestles spanning numerous gulches and gullies.
As you coast into Metaline Falls, you can see the large cement holding silos of the Inland Portland Cement Plant constructed in 1910. Metaline Falls is a quiet little village tucked away in the mountains just south of the Canadian border.
After the train eases to a halt, the engine cuts away to reconnect to the other end of the train for the return trip. The train has been known to be robbed by Ma Cutter and her gang while waiting for the engine to couple back up. Don't fear as they are only looking for donations for the historic Cutter Theatre in Metaline Falls.
No passengers are allowed off the train until it returns to the ride origination point. You can buy tickets here on our website any time or call 1-877-5ALL-ABOARD (1-877-525-5226) between 6 AM and 5 PM Monday through Friday. For more information, e-mail information here, call us, or explore our website further.