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Rail rides are a great time for all ages

Looking for a new idea for a family trip this year? Spice up your weekend plans and take a ride on the railroad. Not the Metro North. There are three railroads that offer pleasure rides at reasonable prices. From special family events to gorgeous scenery along rivers and winding through mountains, the railroads have it all.

The Upper Hudson River Railroad in North Creek in the Adirondacks has lots of special events planned for kids of all ages, including children’s entertainment and music.

The little ones can take a ride with Thomas the Tank Engine when he comes to visit every May. Older kids will have a blast on the Payroll Robbery Trains are great for older kids that want to help catch the bandits before they get away with the loot. Mom and Dad can relax and soak in the breathtaking Adirondack scenery along the Hudson River.

You can make stops along the ride to get out and explore towns and sights along the way. Young ones will have fun exploring the North Creek Depot Museum at the North Creek station, with its working model train inside.

The Upper Hudson River Railroad is open May through October with a special running schedule during the Christmas season. Some special events require reservations. Prices vary depending on embarking and disembarking locations. Visit www.uhrr.com or call 518-251-5334 for details.

The Catskill Mountain Railroad, with stations in Mt. Pleasant and Phoenicia in Ulster County, takes you on a roundtrip journey along the Esopus Creek in the Catskill Mountains. The railroad is open weekends and holidays, May through October. An adult fare is $14, children ages 4-11 are $8, and children under 4 ride for free.

Check out the Leaf Peeper Specials throughout the month of October. They’re a great way to see the fall colors in the Catskills. For more information call 845-688-7400 or visit www.catskillmtrailroad.com.

The Delaware & Ulster Railroad in Arkville in Delaware County offers great views of the Catskill Mountains along the Delaware River. Roundtrip rides are available on weekends, May through October. You can also catch a train ride Thursdays and Fridays during July and August.

If your older kids like a little action, take a ride during the Train Robbery of the Delaware & Ulster Railroad. The guns shoot blanks, so be prepared for some noise!

Regular admission for trains is $12 for adults, and $7 for children ages 3 to 12. Children under 3 ride for free. You can even pick up a Pooch Pass for your well-behaved dog. Call 845-586-DURR or visit www.durr.org for details.

Well, there you have it: a new idea for the family weekend outing. Check out one or all of these rail ride experiences this year. It’s one activity kids from tots to teens will look forward to. Maybe you can start a new family tradition.