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We'd noticed them before, of course, but we first began meditating deeply about tourist trains, or 'road trains', in 2003, when the owner of this one in Gruyères noticed our photos on the Web, mistook our anglo-saxon sarcasm, and invited us to edit the English version of his website, which we were pleased to do.
We'd been visiting Cannobio and Lago Maggiore for a week, and passing back into Switzerland on the scenic route home: here's a rainy market day in Locarno, the Piazza Grande on an April Saturday with the tourist train pulsing through the lethargy. Fifteen years of lunching on the waterfront, and we've been watching eager visitors clambering aboard this Dotto F87 model nearly every summer's day. Chugging up the hill from the Charles Bridge to Hradcany castle, a Dotto Train, apparently a P90 model, though the P90 is supposed to have six wheels on the engine, not four. We were visiting Aix-les-Bains as part of a wetland management study tour of the Lac de Bourget in the Savoie, and we nearly broke our neck trying to get closer for a picture of this little darlin'. This is the homebase of the Colmar tourist train, in the Place d'Unterlinden ("under the linden tree") and in front of the Monoprix supermarket that rambles through that whole city block. Exactly outside our front door in Féchy-Dessus, at our new village's annual wine festival, here comes the P'tit Train to collect the celebrants and cart them down to the lower village for some more wine in the late morning of a broiling hot day. We love these European city tourist buses -- they're all exactly the same (they're Dotto Trains!) except for the paint job. In the cathedral square of Lecce, the Dotto Train is waiting to get up a full load of appreciative tourists. The Piazza del Duomo in Lecce, and its belltower of 70.72 metres built in 1661-82, and its Dotto Train with only one carriage on it because it's October and starting to get pretty chilly in the afternoons. This too is a Muson River model, called the Euro 5, usually with a 4-cylinder diesel engine by Iveco (Fiat) but with an electric version as well. Orta is a lovely town of a thousand-plus residents in a fantastic mountain setting, and it's got a lively small-scale tourist trade in the summers. In fact, it's Dotto model Muson River Euro 5, pausing to load up with eager tourists before pushing off for a rewarding journey past all the most scenic spots. The Muson River Euro 5 making its rounds through the Piazza de Ferrari, by the Ducal Palace. We're parked at the South Porch of the Cathedral of Chartres, and the tourist train is passing by. We're here in Morges for the Belle Epoque steamships' annual naval parade, and here's the tourist train passing by again -- it seems NOT to be a Dotto Train!
Based at Cully near Lausanne, a Dotto Muson River Electric classic with hoardings on it, called the Lavaux Express -- "Tourist train in the land of the 'grands crus'!" -- running one-hour trips along the shore and up through the UNESCO World Heritage vineyards of the villages in the Commune de Bourg en Lavaux. The lovely Dotto Train, an older F87 model, that's been making the rounds of Nyon for many years. The "Hometown Trolley", coursing down the thoroughfares of Ashland, Wisconsin, on Lake Superior, August 2012.
The Door County Trolley -- two of them have just rolled in to Gordon Lodge for group lunches.
I’m sure many of you will have noticed the little tourist train travelling back and forth between Sabinillas and Castillo.

Throughout the feria , from tomorrow until Sunday, the train will be running an additional route between the bus stop by Supersol in Sabinillas and the fairground from 10pm until 4am for a special price of €1 per person. Tourist railways feature historic train rides and scenic routes to provide memorable day trips that are fun for the whole family! Canada tourist train attractions and heritage railway museums offer steam train rides, gourmet dinner train rides, and scenic railway day trips from British Columbia to Ontario and beyond.
Downtown Historic RailwayVancouver, British ColumbiaOperating between Granville Street and Olympic Village Station, this vintage trolley combines a touch of nostalgia with stunning views of the downtown skyline. The Nelson Electric Tramway SocietyNelson, British ColumbiaThis restored 100+ year old electric tramway follows the Queen City's Kootenay Lake waterfront from the Prestige Lakeside Resort to Lakeside Rotary Park.
Kettle Valley Steam RailwaySummerland, British ColumbiaPast orchards and vineyards and across a 73 m (238 ft) high canyon trestle, this authentic steam train makes its way on a 16 km (10 mi) journey through the Okanagan Valley. Underground Mining RailwayKimberley, British ColumbiaAfter tackling the steep slopes and sharp curves of the narrow Mark Creek Valley, the railway tunnels through a 750 m (2475 ft) underground interpretive area, before proceeding to the base of the Kimberley Alpine Resort. Prairie Dog Central RailwayWinnipeg, ManitobaVintage steam and heritage diesel engines alternate along a historic prairie line, transporting guests on a variety of theme runs.
Credit Valley Explorer Tour TrainOrangeville, OntarioExcursions edge the Precambrian Niagara Escarpment along a 70 km (44 mi) route that takes in the beautiful Hills of Headwaters and features a 349 m (1146 ft) trestle bridge crossing.
Halton County Radial RailwayMilton, OntarioThis streetcar and electric railway museum commemorates Toronto's radial railroads (1917-1948) along a preserved 2 km (1.25 mi) stretch of the original Guelph Line. Port Stanley Terminal RailPort Stanley, OntarioFrom the Lake Erie resort village of Port Stanley, heritage diesel locomotives haul open and closed cars on a 11 km (7 mi) round trip through the scenic Kettle Creek Valley. The Portage FlyerMuskoka Heritage Place, Huntsville, OntarioAlong the scenic Muskoka River, this classic steam train hauls a pair of vintage open-sided coaches.
South Simcoe RailwayTottenham, OntarioThrough the Beeton Creek valley, heritage locomotives haul restored vintage coaches along a picturesque 6.5 km (4 mi) stretch of century-old branchline.
Waterloo Central RailwayWaterloo, OntarioAttractions along the historic line between Waterloo and St.
York Durham Heritage RailwayStouffville & Uxbridge, OntarioThe Toronto area's only heritage railway tracks 20 km (12 mi) through the rolling hills and river valleys of Ontario's beautiful Oak Ridges Moraine.
Copperbelt Railway & Mining MuseumWhitehorse, YukonAmid boreal forests, deisel mining trains give visitors a close-up of the boreal woodland site of Whitehorse's 1898 copper rush. Whitehorse Waterfront TrolleyWhitehorse, YukonThis circa 1925 yellow streetcar makes a series of stops along downtown's Yukon River shore. A long, green Tourist Train with a glum driver and a freezing Japanese couple sitting at the back of the last car.
Dotto (founded by Ivo Dotto in 1962) is based in the Treviso region near Venice and makes most of the neat tourist trains in European cities; only Germany's Tschu-Tschu is a serious rival.
Under the Sopraelevata Aldo Moro, the elevated highway in the port of Genova -- it's another wonderful Dotto Train. It's a Dotto Train Euro 5, the Muson River 1894, with about 50 passengers in a group at 7 euros a head.

They do look better when they're filled up with Japanese tourists or Old Folks Outings, but probably that's the nature of the business.
Someday, perhaps, we will pay the money and ride in one of them, and penetrate closer to the core meaning of the thing, but probably not. The Cavourese company operates nearly 200 buses in the region, with a variety of Mercedes, Iveco, Scania, and Setra models, but this one is not shown on their website. That's the brand name (like Dotto and Tschu-Tschu in Europe), based in Crandon, Wisconsin, but with nationwide sales, and this is the Mainstreet model.
The company, out of Egg Harbor, Wisconsin, USA, sponsors Scenic Tours, Lighthouse Tours, Wine Tours, Beer Tours, Culinary Tours, 'Ghost Tours' (whoo), Spring Blossom Tours, and perhaps best of all, the Bloody Mary and Brunch Tour ('a Sunday morning eye opener').
Marie, OntarioThe "One Day Rail Adventure into the Heart of the Canadian Wilderness" takes passenger on a 100-plus mile journey across the Canadian Shield. Highlights include Dinner and Sunday Brunch runs; complimentary refreshments on all trains. At Fairy Lake, passengers watch as a manual turntable reverses the engine or the return trip.
Highlights include Tottenham Conservation Area (picnicing, camping, hiking, swimming) adjacent to the railway station. Jacobs include glimpses of the area's Mennonite community and a 600-vendor farmers' market. Its picturesque 40mi (64km) round trip follows the Gatineau River that separates Quebec and Ontario provinces. You may not find this terribly rewarding unless you're included here, so this is a good time for casual and random browsers to turn back before they get too caught up in the sweep and majesty of the proceedings and can't let go.
We hadn't learnt enough about these little wonders to appreciate what we were seeing at the time; except that it was empty. Now (in April 2013) beginning its third season, the whole enterprise has been judged to be successful, with more than 4,000 passengers in 2012, and there are plans to expand its routes up into the villages nearby. Dense north woods part to make way for Agawa's far-flung railway and to reveal rushing waters, remarkable rock formations and a wide variety of native wildlife. The train runs the route several times a day and you can hop on and hop off at many of the stops along the way. The train's final plunge to the canyon floor is followed by a two-hour layover during which one may explore a wilderness trail or enjoy a picnic.

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Comments to “Tourist trains guidebook”

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