2021 Wolf Picnic Train

Our picnic train has become an extremely popular option for families near and far! Pack a lunch, and travel aboard the historic “City of San Francisco” or “City of Los Angeles” cars on a ride through the Des Moines River Valley. We provide the table and the beautiful views, you provide the rest; food is not provided. The rear of the train features a large observation platform, providing unparalleled views of the Des Moines River Valley.

Per Federal Railroad Administration regulations, masks are required at all times.

Wolf Picnic Train Schedule and Prices

Operates Sundays, Memorial Day Weekend through October 31

Does not operate during our Day Out With Thomas event

Ticket price: $32 per adult, $14 for children ages 3-12, Free for children under age 3

Boarding time:  11:45 AM

Arrives back in Boone:  2:45 PM

Wolf Picnic Train FAQs

Tickets and Reservations

Q. Are reservations required?

A. Prepaid reservations are required. Reserve at bsvrr.com/tickets or by calling (515) 432-4249.

Q. Can I pay with cash when I get there?

A. Prepaid reservations are required. We accept Visa, MasterCard, or Discover. Reserve at bsvrr.com/tickets or by calling (515) 432-4249.

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. Trains for the 2021 season seem to be selling out much more quickly. Again, the sooner, the better.

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.

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. The Wolf Picnic Train utilizes assigned seating. Passengers are seated at tables of up to four people. When reserving, indicate if you would like to be seated with a specific party. Requests to be seated with a specific party must be made a minimum of 5 business days prior to the day of your trip.

Q. Do I have to be seated with another party?

A. For those wishing a more intimate dining experience, a private compartment may be available ($50 fee). Only two compartments are available on any given train. Compartments must be reserved at the time you make your reservation.

Q. Is museum admission included?

A. Yes

Q. Is there a discount for toddlers on the picnic train?

A. Discounted toddler tickets are available for Wolf Picnic and Fraser Trains.

Q. Is food provided?

A. No. We provide the table and the ride, you bring your own picnic lunch.

Before You Board

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. Is the picnic train ADA accessible?

A. Due to the age and the history of these cars, stairs, narrow hallways, and other limitations make them inaccessible to persons utilizing walkers, wheelchairs, motorized scooters, etc.

Q. May I bring wine?

A. Wine, or other alcoholic beverages, may not be brought on board the Wolf Picnic Train.

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. No. All picnic trains are diesel powered.

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?

WOLF PICNIC: Food and non-alcoholic beverages may be brought on board the Wolf Picnic Train, as we do not provide food or beverage service on that train. However, large coolers, backpacks, or other large bags are not allowed. Aisles must be kept clear.

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

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 dining cars heated and air conditioned?

A. Yes, the dining cars are climate controlled.

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 picnic train are approximately 2 hours and 30 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.

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.