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The St. Kitts Scenic Railway - Riding the Rails

If you're looking for a fun and exhilarating experience, consider a train trip around St. Kitts.

By Lisa Mullins Bishop, Caribbean Edge Staff Writer

The St. Kitts Scenic Railway takes passengers on a tour around the beautiful and unspoiled island of St. Kitts. The train with its double-decker passenger cars travels around along the narrow-gauge railway built between 1912 and 1926 to transport sugar cane from the island's sugar plantations to the sugar mill in the city of Basseterre.

Passengers have two seats reserved for them: one on the upper level open-air observation car and one below in the air-conditioned cars. The lower deck is furnished with rattan chairs pulled around tables, where passengers can enjoy refreshments. Restrooms are located at either end of the cars.

As the train travels along, visitors are treated to a colorful narrative history of the Caribbean and St. Kitts as they take in the beauty of their surroundings--ocean views on one side, mountains on the other. As the train makes its way through the lush green interior, it passes many of the island's sugar plantations--some of which have fallen into disrepair and some of which have been transformed into luxurious plantation inns like Otteley Plantation.

The train passes many of the island's sugar plantations--some of which have fallen into disrepair and some of which have been transformed into luxurious inns like Ottley Plantation Inn and Rawlins Plantation Inn. The train also makes its way over more than 20 bridges--most of which are over deep canyons or "ghuts" and one of which is above the canopy of the rain forest. Passengers can see the fortress at Brimstone Hill, known as the Gibraltar of the Caribbean, the Black Rocks, old volcanic lava that has been transformed into eerie shapes by the pounding of the sea, the neighboring island of Nevis, the birthplace of Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, and the island's extinct volcano, the 3,792-foot Mt. Liamuiga. Watch closely for the green monkeys as you pass through the sugarcane fields. The train makes its way past the first English settlement, Old Road Town, as well as past the island's small towns and villages.

The train departs from the Needsmuch Station near the airport. Two tours are offered: The Scenic Railway Tour, a 30-mile trip that takes about 4 hours and the Rail/Bus combo tour that includes an 18-mile train trip (which lasts 2 _ hours) and a 12-mile bus trip (which lasts 1 hour). Since its maiden trip in 2003, the St. Kitts Scenic Railway Tour has become a popular attraction on the islands. Island hoppers also come for the day to ride the train.

St. Kitts Scenic Railway National Tour
The narrow gauge St. Kitts Railway offers visitors to the two-island Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis one of the most beautiful train rides in the world... more

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