Black River & Western Railroad: A Fun Trip Back in Time

Wednesday, July 19, 2023
All aboard! It was so exciting to take an authentic diesel-electric train ride right here in New Jersey. The Black River & Western Railroad is located in Flemington, and they offer different excursions for every age to enjoy. It's amazing to have this little piece of nostalgia so close to home! Read on to hear about our ride and why I think you should take one, too. 

Disclosure: I was provided tickets to Black River & Western Railroad but all opinions are my own.

Don't forget to Pin this post for future use! It might come in handy for day trip ideas.
No time to read everything? Scroll to the bottom and be sure to see "Quick Facts About Our Trip" and "A Final Note from The Jersey Momma."

What is Black River & Western Railroad?

You don't really need my words for this, because Black River & Western Railroad describe themselves beautifully on their website: "BR&W is the little-railroad-that-could, serving our community for over 50 years. Our volunteer staff is dedicated to preserving railroad history and offering our guests the opportunity to experience old fashioned steam railroading right here in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. We're proud to offer trains and events for every occasion, from holiday themed events to date night and rail-fan specials, there's something for everyone!" And that really sums it up, doesn't it? 

Black River Railroad Historical Trust (Non-Profit)

Another important thing to note is that The Black River Railroad Historical Trust (BRRHT) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization which manages the public passenger trains and events on the Black River & Western Railroad. While they are independent of the Black River & Western Railroad, they work closely with the railroad in order to fulfill their mission to preserve railroad history and educate the public about railroading. All Black River & Western Railroad passenger trains are staffed by volunteer railroaders of the BRRHT. Every dollar earned is reinvested to meet their goal of preserving railroad history.

Quick Facts About Our Trip

We chose the Black River Limited as our excursion, but they offer different excursions throughout the year (like the Pumpkin Express, North Pole Express, Wine Train, Historic Guided Tour, etc.). Availability and types of excursions are subject to change, so be sure to check their website to see their current offerings.

The Black River Limited was a classic ride through Hunterdon county, It took us from their station in Flemington to their Ringoes station and back to Flemington again. There was a short stop at the Ringoes station where we were able to explore their little museum and gift shop.

The Museum is inside a train car (of course!) and featured fun items, displays and artifacts that told the story of the volunteer railroaders, the railroad and transportation history of Hunterdon County, and much more. I loved looking at the original menus from the dining cars of the 1920's. 

The gift shop was cute and featured fun souvenirs like t-shirts, pottery, glasses, books, toys, and more. There were also snacks and drinks available for purchase. 

The actual train ride was really nostalgic. There's no air conditioning but we were fine with the windows open (even though it was raining during our trip!). It was fun hearing the train whistle blow and driving through Hunterdon county. We saw a mixture of farmland and familiar parts of town. It was nice to be together as a family and just enjoy the ride. 

Also good to note:

-There were no restrooms on board the train (it's authentic, I told ya!)
-Parking is free and plentiful at their Flemington station
-Check-in was easy and fast. Once on board, a conductor comes around and punches a little hole in your ticket, just like the olden days.
-The train is bumpy and does rock about a bit, but nothing awful. 
-Black River & Western Railroad can also hold group outings, charters and parties. Read more about it here or contact them for more info.

A Final Note from The Jersey Momma

It's no secret that we've all been through a lot since the pandemic, especially businesses. The world is changing into something totally different than we once knew, so hanging on to a piece of nostalgia like the Black River & Western Railroad is vital. I think it's so important to step back in time every now and then, to put away our phones and enjoy the ride, literally. I can't tell you how wonderful it was to sit with my little family as the train rocked back and forth, watching the views from the window, listening to the clackety clack of the track. A breeze was blowing, and somewhere in our train car, a little boy was laughing hysterically every time a tree branch brushed the window. It was a joy to see my teenager looking peacefully at the view or pointing at something he saw in a field. 

When you sit in a train like this, it's a connection to those who came before us (and they may have experienced this form of transportation as a luxury, too). I believe that keeping railroad history alive is as important as protecting works of art in a museum. Some things in our past should be held precious. If you gripe about the cost of an excursion ticket, remember that proceeds go back to the railroad preservation, and that the workers you encounter here are volunteers. And most of all, try to appreciate the absolute wonder of a train like this- what it meant to people back in the day, the opportunities it opened up, and how very special it was as a means of transportation. 

Black River & Western Railroad
80 Stangl Rd.
Flemington, NJ 08822
For tickets visit:


  1. This was a great review. My family and I have visited the Black River and Western Railroad many times and have always enjoyed our trip. Another important thing to note is that the Black River and Western also owns a steam locomotive which normallly runs at various times throughout the operating season. It is now down for a repair/inspection that can be quite costly, so ticket prices go to cover this as well.

    1. Thank you, John! And thanks for taking the time to comment, too.


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