A Train Ride

Current Location: Mt. Rushmore KOA, Hill City, South Dakota

Today we decided to ride the 1880 train. Malcolm purchased tickets online before we headed into Hill City where the train departs. The first run of the day uses their diesel locomotive. However, we signed up for the second run of the day, which leaves Hill City at 10:00 AM.


Filling the water tank

We boarded our train and it pulled out of Hill City at 10:00. The ride over the hill to Keystone takes about an hour. The train chug, chug, chugs over a 4-6% grade on the way out of Hill City.


Inside of our car

We arrived at Keystone and got off the train to do some walking around town and to look for some lunch. We arrived around 11:00 and our return ride departed at 2:30, so we had time for some sightseeing.


Chugging over the pass

After lunch and some shopping, we went back to the train platform to rest our feet by sitting on the last open bench. Our train arrived on time and we got on board. We sat in a fancier car on the way back.


Inside the fancy car

The cars are all nicely refurbished and well-maintained. They were mostly of early 1900’s vintage. The railroad has been in operation here for many years.


Scenic view along the way

Once back in Keystone, we dropped our shopping bag off in the truck and left it in the train station parking lot while we walked around Hill City for a bit. Then we headed back to the campground to eat dinner and relax for the rest of the evening.

Tomorrow we head on up the road to Buffalo, Wyoming.



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