All Aboard The Branson Scenic Railway!

If you have plans to visit Branson,Missouri anytime soon and you love trains and a relaxing excursion on one that will leave you refreshed and content, then the Branson Scenic Railway is just what the Doctor (or maybe the Conductor) ordered!

Located in Historic Downtown Branson, in an area known as The Landing, right next to the Branson Convention Center and across the street from the Bass Pro Shop and another great excursion venue Ride The Ducks (which our family did years ago), and also next to regular railroad tracks (which a BNSF Train passed by on at one point), your journey starts at the Branson Scenic Railway Station. BSRStn

Here, you can purchase your ticket, browse great collector items from the gift shop and be briefed by your Conductors about some things to expect and rules for your safety and that of other passengers during your 1 hour and 45 minute ride through the Ozark hills and mountains. Though I must tell you, hearing is a bit difficult as this takes place under the canopy where you can see waiting passengers (which was nice being under so the sun was not beating down on us) and next to the Branson Scenic Railway‘s train engine, so there is engine idle noise that interferes quite a bit. Now, they will tell you that it is “open searing” so you can sit wherever you want, and there really is ample seating, so don’t be alarmed when you are then asked to board by ticket number 1-24, 25-48, etc. As you can see, I had Ticket #148.


But soon, you’ll be passing the 1963 16 cylinder Locomotive #98 that produces 2000 horse-power , was refurbished in 1983, purchased by the BSR in 1995 and weighs in at 300,000 lbs as you proceed down the gang-way and board through one of several Chicago, Burlington & Quincy passenger cars (this was a thrill for me since my Paternal Grandfather was a career man with the CB&Q including the 1952 Silver Star, a 1962 buffet dining car, a Silver Terrace, and more.




Here are some interior views that you can expect as you are able to move about through the various cars throughout the trip.


Here are my wife Denise and daughter Cara enjoying the ride on the Branson Scenic Railway.



There is even a concessions area (seen above) where, as we did, you can indulge in things like hot dogs with chili, cheese and onions, cinnamon rolls, candy, chips, water, soda, tea and more! Though I must caution you, unless you are just dead-set on being as close to the concessions as possible for your own convenience, you might not want to sit right near the concessions area. If you do, it will result in almost constantly having fellow passengers standing and lining the isle leading into it, right next to you which can be a bit claustrophobic and make it hard to take in some of the scenic view through the windows on the other side of the isle.

Here is yours truly returning from a concession stand run with goodies for my girls and I.


As your journey begins, a Conductor will tell you via overhead speakers, informational and historical tidbits about the BSR train itself, as well as the various towns the train will pass through (which despite sitting right below one of the speakers (seen below), I had a hard time making out all of.


But one thing that was not hard to make out was some of the great old time music that was played as we enjoyed our our trip. As I mentioned in a previous Legacies On The Rails posting, it was the era of songs that you will often hear by checking out my buddy John Christopher on The Neon Beat by visiting . Songs like the Chattanooga Choo Choo   

Andrews Sisters with Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy 
as well as By The Light Of The Silvery Moon 
. And more!

Of course, there are the exterior scenery you will enjoy along the way from rock and tree covered hillsides to creeks, many homes that line the route (which I was a bit jealous of-would love to have a home right next to such a great railway excursion), the Hollister City Hall and Community Center, and you’ll even pass over Lake Taneycomo.




Photo by Cara Marie’s Photography )

Photo by Cara Marie’s Photography )

You’ll even pass through a couple of mountain tunnels that will quickly but briefly turn the sunny, daytime view through the widows into what seems like the dead of night. BSRInTnl

But altogether, the Branson Scenic Railway is a must-ride for any individual or family looking for a great time of sitting, relaxing, enjoying scenery, getting some history and creating your own memories and Legacies…….On The Rails!


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