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Trails & Rails Program

Heritage Appreciation during Your Train Ride Trails & Rails Logo

Trails & Rails is an innovative partnership program between the National Park Service and Amtrak, providing rail passengers with educational opportunities that foster an appreciation of a selected region's natural and cultural heritage. It also renews the long tradition of connecting railroads with National Parks.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, railroads played an active role in developing America's national parks, encouraging vacationers and long-distance travelers to take the train to these highly sought-after destinations.

Through the program, Amtrak passengers can connect to public lands and engage in a better understanding of the need to preserve and protect these special natural and cultural resources. As an example of this philosophy of stewardship in action, rail travel to parks and protected areas provides a fuel efficient and environmentally friendly way to visit public lands.

Free Amtrak Route Podcasts on Select Train Routes

Free Amtrak Route Podcasts Amtrak, the National Park Service's Trails and Rails Program, and the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University have created audio podcasts to enhance your travel experience on the Sunset Limited (New Orleans - Los Angeles) and Texas Eagle trains (Chicago - San Antonio - Los Angeles). The podcasts, as your trip guide, will provide you with information on the travel experience, points of interest etc. to make your rail journey more enjoyable.

National Trails & Rails Snapshot (Fiscal Year 2013)
Volunteers in Trails & Rails Program 562
Volunteer hours donated to Trails & Rails (NPS) 66,251
Amtrak Passengers Participating in Trails & Rails Programs 470,617
Programs Presented to Passengers 2,563

The Trails & Rails programs are as diverse as the volunteer rangers presenting the programs. On any given route you may hear the stories of the area or have an opportunity to closely examine artifacts that relate to the route. On some programs you may find musical offerings, or rangers dressed in living history costumes or historical attire.

Train Route Segment
Participating National Park Service Area

Croton Harmon, NY - Albany- Rensselaer, NY

Roosevelt - Vanderbilt Mansion National
Historic Site
  Saratoga Springs, NY - Westport, NY Saratoga National Historical Park
Blue Water New Buffalo, MI - Chicago, IL Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
California Zephyr Grand Junction, CO - Denver, CO Intermountain Regional Office
Capitol Limited Cumberland, MD - Washington, DC Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historic Park
City of New Orleans New Orleans, LA - Greenwood, MS New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
Coast Starlight Seattle, WA - Portland, OR Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
  Santa Barbara, CA - San Luis Obispo, CA Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail
  Santa Barbara, CA - San Jose, CA Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail
Crescent Atlanta, GA - New Orleans, LA Martin Luther King National Historical Park
Empire Builder Seattle, WA - Havre, MT Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
  St. Paul-Minneapolis, MN - Columbus, WI Mississippi National River and Recreation Area
  Minot, ND - Havre, MT Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site
Empire Service

Croton Hudson, NY - Harmon, NY

Roosevelt - Vanderbilt Mansion National
Historic Site
Heartland Flyer Norman, OK - Ft. Worth, TX Chickasaw National Recreation Area
Lake Shore Limited Utica, NY - Albany-Rensselaer, NY Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
Lincoln Service St. Louis, MO - Springfield, IL Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
  Springfield, IL - Chicago, IL Lincoln Home National Historical Site
Maple Leaf Albany-Rensselaer, NY - Syracuse, NY Erie Canalway National Heritage Corridor
Missouri River Runner St. Louis, MO - Kansas City, MO Jefferson National Expansion Memorial
Northeast Regional Washington, DC - New York, NY National Mall & Memorial Parks
Pacific Surfliner Santa Barbara, CA - San luis Obispo, CA Juan Bautista De Anza National Historic Trail
Southwest Chief La Junta, CO - Albuquerque, NM Bent's Old Fort National Historic Site
  Chicago, IL - La Plata, MO Texas A&M University  Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Services
Sunset Limited New Orleans, LA - Beaumont, TX New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
Texas Eagle Chicago, IL - Springfield, IL Lincoln Home National Historical Site
  San Antonio, TX - Ft. Worth, TX San Antonio Missions National Historical Park
Wolverine Chicago, IL - Kalamazoo, MI Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore