Ride with the Engineer

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Ride with the Engineer Experience

This is the ultimate journey for the train lover in your life.

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Explore The Royal Gorge

There’s nothing like the true beauty and raw power of being up-close-and-personal with a locomotive. Enjoy the ride of a lifetime upfront with our engineer in the cab, a very special place to take in a one-of-a-kind view of the Royal Gorge. Our engineer will share fascinating facts and history about the Royal Gorge and this historic Route through the Colorado Rockies. Guests remain in the Engineers cab throughout the journey.

Please note, minors between the ages of 13-17 need to be accompanied by an adult for the Cab rides. Guests must be able to climb steep stairs (17 inch height per step) comfortably and safely.

Your Cab Ride will be in one of our four locomotives:

  • 601
  • 602
  • 603
  • F-7 on occasion

Your itinerary:

  • Stop at the Happy Endings Caboose Cafe for an espresso drink of your choice
  • Visit the Santa Fe Depot to pick up your VIP Ticket to Ride with the Engineer. Our staff will share the exciting ins and outs of what’s to come, including important safety protocol. At this time, we’ll also share a few special commemorative gifts.
  • We will escort you to meet the engineer and have your photo taken in front of the train.
  • Our engineer will share inside knowledge of the train you’ll be riding, and history of this special route.
  • When the time is right, you’ll board the cab with the engineer and ride approximately 12 miles through the Royal Gorge – enjoying the sites, sounds and raw power of our chosen locomotive.
  • After your Ride with the Engineer but before you depart the grounds, visit the gift shop in the Santa Fe Depot to pick up your special photo.
Book a Ride

Ride with the Engineer

Riding with the Engineer

Pricing Information

All listed prices do not include taxes and fees.

  • Starts at $249 per person
  • Includes journey / ride with the engineer

Please note: Pricing may vary when High Season and/or Holiday Pricing applies. Click Book Now to learn more.


  • Must be at least 12 years of age. If 18 or older, you may ride solo with the engineer. Guests who are 12 – 17 years old must be accompanied by an adult with the engineer in the cab. Must wear closed-toe shoes. Note: No bathroom is available throughout your Ride with the Engineer.

Dates of Service

During All Regularly Scheduled Breakfast & Lunch Train Departures

Please arrive 1 hour prior to departure.

Rules & Regulations

  • No more than two (2) riders in the cab at any one time.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age if riding alone, or a minimum of 12 years of age when accompanied by an adult parent or guardian.
  • All cab riders must be able to stand, walk, sit and climb stairs without assistance and without the aid of an assistive device. Cab riders who are blind or deaf must be accompanied by a companion.
  • Use of a digital camera for photography is permitted.
  • Mobile phones must be OFF or in ‘airplane mode’.
  • No self-contained breathing equipment (oxygen), and no service or emotional support animals.
  • Riders must wear proper clothing (shorts, skirts, and tank tops are not permitted).
  • Full length pants/jeans are required.
  • No open-toed shoes (sandals, flip flops, etc.) or high heels.
  • Cab rides may not be available on some departures, and specifically, exclude Santa Express departures.

For a full list of rules and regulations that are in effect while Riding with the Engineer, please click here.

The Fine Print

Cab Rides cannot be booked online, please call us at: 719.276.4000 to make a reservation!

The Royal Gorge Route has a no refund policy.
Virtually all of our guests understand that together, we engage in a common social contract: we provide a journey and dining experience aboard our train through the Royal Gorge. In exchange, guests pay for their ride aboard the train and the food, beverages and other special packages they order. Unfortunately, the pandemic has created a new phenomenon – guests who have no intention of paying are purchasing and enjoying hospitality, travel and restaurant experiences across the U.S., then, they are reversing charges and scamming businesses.

Please don’t purchase a ticket with this intention. Remember, really good people are working hard to provide a wonderful trip and dining experience for you. We promise to do our best and thank you in advance for being a gracious guest.

We look forward to sharing our slice of Royal Gorge beauty with you. 

For same day booking please call the reservations department at 719.276.4000

Please note that we seat in parties of 4. In the tradition of railroad fine dining, parties of 2 will most likely be seated across from another couple. Most of our guests enjoy meeting fellow rail fans. When seated with another couple, you and your guest will be seated on the same side. Larger groups will be seated in adjacent rows.

Seating is limited and trains sell out quickly, so make your reservations early online or by calling us at: 719.276.4000.

Every effort will be made to accommodate any special dietary or physical needs. For questions about the accessibility of the train, its different classes, or if you would like to be seated with another party, please call the reservations department at 719.276.4000 prior to booking a reservation on our web site.

Wheelchair Accessibility: The train only can accommodate a limited number of wheelchair patrons per each train departure. The Vista Dome is not accessible to wheelchairs. Guests must be able to climb 14 steps themselves in order to sit in the Dome Cars.

Please call Reservations if you have a wheelchair (24″maximum at base), walker, or difficulties climbing stairs. For questions about the accessibility of the train and its different classes, please call prior to booking a reservation on our website. All seating is assigned/reserved and cannot be guaranteed.Please call a representative at 719.276.4000 to book your tickets for the entire party with a wheelchair or movement impaired passenger.

Only licensed, certified service animals are allowed on the train.

The Royal Gorge Route follows restaurant health codes. Only licensed, certified service animals are allowed on the train. Any other animals, including emotional support animals, are not allowed on the train.

Call our Group Sales Line at 719.276.4004 or 719.276.4006 to book the entire car for your special group.

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