1880 Train

Yesterday Bill and I took a lovely ride on the 1880 Train that travels from Hill City to Keystone, South Dakota.

The information book we purchased on board says “The 1880 Train is an activity like no other in the Black Hills! Our vintage steam trains follow the original route of the Chicago, Burlington, and Quincy Railroad laid down in the late 1880’s to service the mines and mills between Hill City and Keystone.” This year happens to be the 100th Birthday of Engine #7!

This was another free event offered through our VIP Training Cards that every Volunteer Host receives here in Custer State Park.

We picked up our tickets at the Train Depot around 9:00 in the morning.


That allowed us plenty of time to look around in the gift shop, and walk around the grounds outside. We watched the engine take on water for the trip,

and saw lots of fun characters throughout the yard.

Before we knew it, the engine was backing up to the train,

and it was time for us to board.

I love to see the smoke pouring out of the steam engine as we make our way down the tracks.

The 1880 Train trip is just over 9.5 miles one way. It takes about 55 minutes from Hill City eastbound. Westbound from Keystone, it takes a few minutes longer due to the steep inclines.

Each mile on the track gives you something new to see and learn about.

 Like this friendly guy sitting on a bench waving at the train as we rolled by.

And this cowboy out in the field practicing backing his horse up.. I love to watch that!

The old wooden structure in the field was part of the Good Luck Tungsten Mine. Tungsten was used to harden steel during both World Wars.

The White House in the next picture was built from a kit purchased from a Sears catalog.

The young lady in the next picture wasn’t interested in seeing or learning anything. She pretty much kept her head down the entire trip, except for when the snack cart came by, and she got to get candy, popcorn, and a drink. The ticket price for a child her age is $14.00. I would have had her work that off when we got back home, seeing how she didn’t want to participate in enjoying the train trip..!

Lots of beautiful big homes along the train route. I wonder how they feel living so close to a train running all day, especially when the train blows the whistle three times every time it crosses the intersection of a road, which is about 10 times during the two hour round trip…

All the granite cliffs along the route are the same as what Mount Rushmore and Crazy Horse are carved out of.

Bill and I thought the 1880 Train Ride was very relaxing, interesting, and we will definitely recommend it to the folks that come into our Visitor Centers in Custer State Park.

We are so enjoying our time in South Dakota. We work three days, then play for four days… We’re still living the dream!

Up next, Hill City..

Stay Tuned!

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Robin
    Jun 13, 2019 @ 18:48:20

    What beautiful scenery! I especially liked that cowboy, ha! Isn’t it so unfortunate to see young minds be more into their phones than into the country? I feel for the next generation…


    • beyondcinderella
      Jun 14, 2019 @ 12:32:38

      Everywhere we’ve been in South Dakota is just so very beautiful, and we haven’t even scratched the surface of all there is to see and do here. I can’t wait to get to the BadLands and other surrounding areas. Yes, it is unfortunate that young kids would rather have their face in their phones rather than look around and notice all the beautiful scenery all around them, but I’ve seen adults do the same thing… Love and hugs! XoXo


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