The Fraser Train

The Fraser Train is our classic excursion train. Travel round trip from Boone to the once bustling coal mining town of Fraser. Cross the 156′ Bass Point Creek High Bridge on your journey through Iowa’s beautiful Des Moines River Valley.

Looking for a ride with a meal?

Check out these trains:

Click to purchase Weekday Fraser Train tickets
Weekday Fraser Train
Click to purchase Weekend Fraser Train tickets
Weekend Fraser Train

Schedule and Prices

  • Dates of Operation
    • 5/25/24 thru 10/31/24
    • Thursday through Sunday ONLY
    • Steam locomotive scheduled to run on Saturdays only, Memorial Day Weekend through October 31, excluding Day Out With Thomas.
  • Departure Times
    • Thursday, Friday, Sunday at 1:30 PM
    • Saturday at 1:30 PM and 4:00 PM
  • Duration
    • 11 miles – 1 hour and 45 minutes

Levels of Service

  • Adult $25 Child $10
  • Under age 3 free in lap
  • Not heated or cooled
  • Operable window at each seat
  • Most cars feature bench type seating
  • RV-type restroom available
  • Assigned seating
  • Adult $35 Child $18
  • Under age 3 free in lap
  • Heated or cooled
  • Windows do not open
  • Bench seating
  • RV-type restroom available
  • Assigned seating

(aka Valley View Car)

  • Adult $35 Child $18
  • Under age 3 free in lap
  • Entirely open to the elements – chain link fencing around the outer perimeter of the car
  • Outward facing bench seating down the center of the car
  • RV-type restroom available
  • Assigned seating
  • Adult $35 Child $18
  • Under age 3 free in lap
  • Ride as train crews did up until the 1980s
  • Rock Island caboose features a cupola, allowing for a view of the entire train
  • No access to the rest of the train
  • RV-type restroom available

Additional Notes

  • Meal service is not provided on this train
  • Seating is assigned, and you must stay in the class for which you have tickets
  • Only Classic Coach is ADA accessible
  • Prepaid reservations are strongly recommended
  • Please arrive at the depot at least one hour prior to departure time
  • We reserve the right to substitute equipment without prior notice

Frequently Asked Questions (The Fraser Excursion Train)

Tickets and reservations for the Fraser Excursion Train

Q. Are reservations required for the Fraser Train?
A. Prepaid reservations are strongly encouraged, especially for Climate Controlled, Open Air, and Caboose classes of service. Reserve at or by calling (515) 432-4249.

Q. Can I pay with cash when I get there?
A. If walk-up tickets are available, cash is accepted. But again, reservations are strongly recommended. We cannot guarantee that walk-up tickets will be available at the time of departure.

Q. How far ahead do I need to make reservations?
A. The sooner, the better. Generally, we recommend booking your trip a minimum one month in advance. For the months of September through November, we strongly recommend booking at least three months in advance.

Q. Is there a ticket processing fee?
Internet ticket orders incur a 12%, non-refundable handling fee.
Phone orders incur a non-refundable handling fee of 25 cents per ticket.

Q. When will my credit card be charged?
A. Your credit card will be charged at the time you make your reservation.

Q. Will my tickets be mailed to me?
A. No. Train tickets are held at the depot ticket office, and are to be picked-up at the ticket window upon your arrival. You will receive a confirmation e-mail. Occasionally, confirmations are kicked to your junk mail folder.

Q. What if I need to cancel my reservation?
A. Any changes or cancellations must be made a minimum of 7 business days prior to the day of your departure.

Q. Is seating assigned?
A. All of our trains utilize assigned seating. When reserving, indicate if you would like to be seated with a specific party. Passengers under one reservation/order are automatically seated together.

Q. Is museum admission included?
A. Yes

Before you board the Fraser Excursion Train

Q. When do we need to arrive at the depot?
A. Plan to arrive one hour before departure time. Keep in mind that in excess of 60 freight trains pass through Boone on any given day. This frequently leads to travel delays for our customers. Your punctual arrival helps to ensure you won’t be caught on the wrong side of the tracks as your train departs our depot. Reservation or not, trains will not be held for late passengers.

Q. Are all of the train cars ADA accessible?
A. No. Only Classic Coach Class service on The Fraser Train is ADA accessible. Please call (515) 432-4249 to confirm availability.

Q. May I bring my pet on board?
A. No. Only service animals are allowed on our trains and in buildings.

Q. Will the steam engine be pulling our train?
A. The steam engine is scheduled to run Saturdays only, 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm, Memorial Day Weekend through October 31. Unforseen circumstances may require us to substitute equipment without notice.

Q. Are strollers or car seats allowed?
A. No. Stroller or car seat storage is available in the ticket office.

Q. May we bring food and drink on board?
A. Food and non-alcoholic beverages may be brought on board the Fraser Train. However, coolers, backpacks, or other large bags are not allowed. What you bring on board must be held in your lap – aisles must be kept clear. Beverages and snack items are sold in our gift shop.

Q. Will we cross the Kate Shelley High Bridge?
A. The Kate Shelley High Bridge is located on the Union Pacific Railroad’s mainline across Iowa, which is unrelated to our line. However, we do cross the 156′ tall Bass Point Creek High Bridge, which is the highest single-track interurban railroad bridge in the United States.

On board the Fraser Excursion Train

Q. Are restrooms available on the train?
A. RV-type chemical toilets are available on board the train. It is recommended that you use the depot or museum restrooms prior to your trip.

Q. Is smoking allowed?
A. All Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad trains, buildings, and grounds are smoke-free.

Q. Are the coach cars heated and air conditioned?
A. Only Climate Controlled Coach Class is heated or cooled.

Q. How fast does the train go?
A. Trains travel at approximately 10 miles per hour.

Q. How long is the ride?
A. Rides on our basic excursion train are approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes in duration.

Q. Where will the train be going?
A. Trains depart from our depot located at 225 10th Street in Boone, Iowa, wind their way through the Des Moines River Valley, before ending up near Fraser, Iowa. Fraser, once a booming mining town, was the headquarters for the Boone Valley Coal and Railroad Company, a predecessor of the Boone & Scenic Valley Railroad. All rides are round-trip.

Q. Are we allowed off of the train during the trip?
A. No. Once the end of the line is reached, the train will stop, then begin the return trip to Boone.


Q. What if inclement weather is predicted on the day of my trip?
A. Our trains operate rain, snow, or shine. The decision to run is based on weather conditions at the railroad. If the train runs, no refunds will be made. If a train is cancelled, a gift card will be issued – no cash refunds will be made. When making reservations for the open-air car, please keep in mind that you will be exposed to the elements. If there is inclement weather on the day of your trip, no refunds or adjustments will be made. You may, however, ride in our Classic Coach Class accommodations.