preserved so you can experience railroad travel as it was over 100 years ago.
4th of July comes only once a year… of course. The 4th of July Firework train
runs only once a year. It is a packed train and tickets sell out months in
advance. Every year the price seems to go up and the reservations lead time
Rides on this train are special any day…but this is a family event that you
should experience once in a lifetime… at least!
The BBQ is a huge old-fashioned event, well attended and well run. The mountain of food is more than anyone could pack on in one sitting. We brought our own table and chairs; as there is limited seating for eating was a problem.
The wait between the BBQ and boarding the train is about 45 min. to 1 hour.
Bring chairs that can be loaded onto the baggage car. Chairs will not be
allowed as carry on, so get in the baggage car line early to stow your gear and
get your baggage ticketed.
The train leaves the station well before sundown, so you will get a full view
of the valley and mountains as you travel on the Hiline route. This line seems
to head mostly north and rises above the town of Ely. The train has a bar,
which serves cold and hot drinks and really good margaritas.
The train ride includes a few guides dressed in overalls and they have a ton of stories and information about the train and Ely. We could smell the smoke from the diesel engine through the open windows. The cars clang and wheels squeal as the locomotive pulled us up the incline and around the long curve.
Just before sunset the train arrives at the firework viewing destination. The
lights of Ely twinkle in the distance under the protection of the mountains.
You can retrieve your chairs now for outdoor seating, or stay on board and
watch from inside the car. Any seat is the best seat in the house for fireworks
viewing. The sunsets in Ely are spectacular, almost every night… but in this location it's a real treat to watch. It was like the curtain going up on a special play, just for the group on the train.
The chatter among all the attendees is vivacious and loud until the fireworks
start. Then of course everyone has just two words in their vocabulary…OHHH and
The coolest thing happened when the fireworks show was finished… we all clapped. Who claps for fireworks?? We did.
Then a quiet, romantic trip home on the train was the real finishing touch. All the kids fell asleep with the rocking of the train and it seemed a shame to break the quiet with loud talk, so everyone whispered. The arrival back to center of town was announced by the train whistle, which gave us all a start and then everyone broke into the giggles. It was as if we all got the same joke.
Make this a must for your summer trip…and bring a camera! All Aboard!
Ely Train Web Site
Tickets for Adults $42
Tickets for Children $25
Tickets for Kids under 3 years - 0
All charges include BBQ and once a year 4th of July Firework Train Ride.
Buy Train Stations posters and prints at Art.com