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“take a train ride through the Navy base” 3 of 5 bubbles
Review of Old Colony & Newport Railway

Old Colony & Newport Railway
Ranked #76 of 109 things to do in Newport
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Attraction details
Owner description: Enjoy views of beautiful Narragansett Bay as you experience the past in our 1904 Boston & Maine Railroad coach car or our 1884 Inter-Colonial Railroad parlor car. Learn about historic Newport, the Newport Naval station, and the environment of the Bay as your conductor narrates the trip through the Naval Station and along natural rocky beaches. Operated by the non-profit National Railroad Foundation and Museum.
Level Contributor
272 reviews
88 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
“take a train ride through the Navy base”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 June 2012

It's a nice little train ride. The cars are antiques and a little more patched up than renovated, but you can see more of the original details as a result. The ride is not exactly scenic, but it starts from right downtown adjacent to the Visitor's Center and runs along a very old, historic right of way.

Running through the Navy base involves potential delays for security procedures, but you also roll right past a mothballed aircraft carrier. The operators seem like nice folks and are responsive to questions and have positive attitudes.

Visited May 2012
3 Thank greenfeet
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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12 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Brighton, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
164 reviews
48 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 122 helpful votes
“Pleasant Interlude on a Newport Visit”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 17 April 2012

We found a trip on the railway a pleasant interlude during our visit to Newport. It currently runs twice a day, not just on Sunday as another review mentions and the trip takes about an hour and a quarter. The train progresses at a very moderate pace, and the conductor gives a running commentary on what is worth seeing. We also had a very knowledgeable and interesting lady talking about the fauna and flora. These are clearly volunteers.

The more interesting part of the journey is when the train passes the naval yard and you can see the USS Saratoga, an enormous aircraft carrier which is awaiting disposal - her sister ship was scuttled off Florida to produce an artificial reef so a similar fate may await the Saratoga. There are also some nice views across the bay and towards the bridge.

The two carriages date from the early 1900s, and one is First Class and can be travelled on at an additional charge. Not sure if this is worth the extra though. Parking is free and no problem. All in all whilst not the high spot of our visit to the area we found this excursion very pleasant and are certainly glad we went on it.

Visited April 2012
4 Thank pentangle99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Boston, MA
Level Contributor
158 reviews
50 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 64 helpful votes
“For the very young or old-time RR fans”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2011

We took the holiday train ride from downtown Newport out past the Naval Base and there was not much to see. The train passes the backside of some very old homes, but you really can't see anything, then quite a bit of scrub trees and condos and then a bit of the water which was nice. The trip lasted a little over an hour and would be most appropriate for families with small children. The cars are quite old & heated by stoves and might be of interest to railroad buffs.

Visited December 2011
Thank kendrick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Meriden, Connecticut
Level Contributor
26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 27 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 12 July 2011

I went with a group sponsored by a local church.

The train cars were well over 100 years old. Fortunately, the day was perfect weatherwise, so we were able to open the windows a bit. I imagine it is quite warm in midst summer.
As we rode along at about 15 miles an hour..two volunteer conductors pointed out places of interest such as the Aircrft Carrier USS Saragtoga that is now decomissioned and sits on the harbor etc. They were both very informative and anxious to answer any questions we may have had regarding the train or other interesting sights along the way.

Inasmuch as we had all just finished a large lunch..and the train was humming along at a slow speed. I found that many of my "fellow" passengers were having a peaceful nap.

The train only runs on Sundays ...unless you have a group and request a a specific week day..

It was interesting, different and relaxing...However, some people thought it boring.

Visited June 2011
2 Thank 33833Marie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Rhode Island
Level Contributor
10 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Simply not many sights to see along the way besides trees.”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 November 2010

For the price and the time invested this was honestly not as interesting as taking the commuter rail from Providence to Boston. Our group ranged in age from 7 - 87 and the rail ride proved completely uneventful for all ages. Long and a little boring (and I usually can find something interesting in any activity away from home). Spend your time and money elsewhere in Newport.

Thank Coco71
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chuflippo, Marketing Director at Old Colony & Newport Railway, responded to this review, 21 January 2011
Old Colony riders enjoy direct views of beautiful Narragansett Bay along nearly half of the 4.5-mile stretch of track we cover in our tour rides, as can be seen in Railfan photographs linked to our website. At other times we pass by colonial era homes in one of Newport's most historic neighborhoods and go through a portion of Newport Naval Station where our conductors point out features and talk about the Naval Station's role in our nation's defense. Throughout our 80-minute trip, conductors talk about the sights along the way as well as providing interesting insights into the local ecology and the history of Newport, the railroad, and the Naval Station. We also work hard to make the ride fun for children as well as adults. While we strive to make all of our trips as enjoyable as possible for everyone, we realize that weather conditions may sometimes limit views of the Bay and that some riders may find the conductor's narrative of more interest than others do. We always welcome our passengers' suggestions for ways we can make a ride on the Old Colony a more memorable experience. You can always contact the Old Colony directly through our website or our Facebook page.
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