USA TODAY 10 Best Readers’ Choice 2016

Cass Scenic Railroad – Between Cass and Bald Knob, W.V.
10Best readers voted this historic locomotive to the #3 spot

Sometimes the journey is just as important as the destination. Such is the case for passengers who step aboard these 10 American trains – voted as the best in the U.S. by 10Best readers from a pool of 20 nominees hand-picked by a panel of rail travel experts.

Our readers voted daily for their favorite train rides for four weeks. The results are in!

Trevor Hughes/USA TODAY

The top 10 winners in the category Best Train Ride are as follows:

  1. Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad – Between Chama, N.M. and Antonito, Colo.
  2. Durango and Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad – Between Durango and Silverton, Colo.
  3. Cass Scenic Railroad – Between Cass and Bald Knob, W.V.
  4. Napa Valley Wine Train – Between Napa and St. Helena, Calif.
  5. White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad – Between Skagway, Alaska and Whitehorse, Yukon
  6. Great Smoky Mountain Railroad – Round trips from Bryson City, N.C.
  7. Mount Washington Cog Railway – To the top of Mount Washington, N.H.
  8. Western Maryland Scenic Railroad – Between Cumberland and Frostburg, Md.
  9. Grand Canyon Railway – Between Williams and Grand Canyon, Ariz.
  10. Empire Builder – Between Chicago and Portland/Seattle

A panel of experts partnered with 10Best editors to picked the initial 20 nominees, and the top 10 winners were determined by popular vote. Experts Jim Loomis (Trains & Travel), Todd Powell (Vacations By Rail), H. Lawrence Swartz, Ph.D. (America by Rail) and Jim Wrinn (Trains magazine) were chosen based on their knowledge of train travel in the United States.

Additional nominees for Best Train Ride included the Adirondack, California Zephyr, Cardinal, Cascades, Coastal Classic, Coast Starlight, Denali Star, Pikes Peak Cog Railway, Southwest Chief and the Sunset Limited.

Congratulations to all these amazing winning train rides!