This historical steam train experience is narrated and fun for railroad enthusiasts of all ages!
It’s an activity like no other in the Black Hills. The two-hour, narrated 20-mile round trip between Keystone and Hill City gives passengers an authentic steam locomotive experience, breathtaking views of the Black Elk Wilderness and Black Hills National Forest, plus a history of the railroads and mining encampments that dotted the Black Hills at the turn of the last century.
Trains follow the original route of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad laid down in the late 1880s to service the mines and mills of Keystone. The Black Hills Central Railroad is the oldest continuously operating tour railroad in the nation and operates three steam and two diesel engines throughout the season. Multiple daily departure options are available from Keystone or Hill City from early May until mid-October. Passengers may customize their itineraries from either station and choose an extended layover to enjoy the town prior to returning to their original location. One-way trips are also an option.
Special Event departures include weekly Old West Shootout trains, adults-only Wine Express & Oktoberfest trains, and winter Holiday Express rides with Santa.
Frequently Asked Questions
Reservations are highly recommended and seats are assigned at the time of purchase. Booking early ensures your party can sit together. Changes to date or time of departure can be made free of charge, but all purchases are non-refundable.
The shortest option is 2 hours and 15 minutes, with an hour each direction and a 15-minute layover. The 12:45 pm departure from Keystone has a slightly longer due to a 45 minute layover while the crew fuels and services the locomotive in Hill City.
Passengers can customize their itineraries at the time of purchase by choosing an extended layover for lunch or exploration. Tickets purchases are time-specific and tickets must reflect the desired return time. Check website for details or talk to a ticket agent for guidance on your itinerary options.
Absolutely. The ride is perfect for families. Train enthusiasts young and old can get an up close look at the locomotives and talk to the engineer while the locomotive takes on water at either station. Full grab-and-go meals are available at either depot or light concessions.