Climb aboard at the Springs Preserve for a Vegas history lesson

Posted by on Jun 18th, 2013 and filed under Attractions, Featured. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

A piece of the Old West is now serving passengers at the Springs Preserve as a train takes them on a 20-minute ride down the Preserve’s 2.2-mile Exploration Loop Trail.

This narrated tour of Las Vegas history rolls past hundreds of native plants, birds and animal species like peregrine falcons, snowy egrets and black-crowned night herons as well as a reconstructed cauldron pool depicting natural springs that once existed beneath the Las Vegas valley. Passengers learn all about the Preserve’s artesian springs, which provided sustenance to the area’s 19th-century explorers and pioneers.

In addition to riding the train, visitors can still hike or bike the Preserve’s 3.65 miles of trails.

“Railroads were instrumental in settling the West,” said Dawn Barraclough, a public relations representative for the Springs Preserve. “Train rides along our trails, accompanied by a narrated tour through the evolution of Las Vegas, are a natural addition to the historic offerings at the Springs Preserve.”

The propane-fueled trackless train is a 3/4-scale replica of trains from early 1900s, such as the San Pedro, Los Angeles and Salt Lake Railroad line that stopped in the Las Vegas valley. Like trains of that era, it is painted in a vibrant green with black and gold-tone accents.

Railroad cottages representing the early settlement of Las Vegas are being restored on site and will eventually be part of the train route.

The train runs daily, including weekends and school holidays (schedule is subject to change). Cost is $5 per ride (with paid general admission).

Children 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult.

Aleza Freeman

Yes, I’m from Las Vegas. But I’d like to clarify a few things: I don’t live in a hotel and I’m not a showgirl. I put my pasties on one nipple at a time, just like everyone else. I’m a regular girl who plunges off the side of ridiculously tall Las Vegas landmarks and writes about it for a living. I also ride roller coasters, hang at hotel spas, shoot zombies in the face and take art lessons from bottlenose dolphins. You know, normal stuff. My career as a journalist and copywriter has led me out of Vegas and around the world, but the 24/7 normality of Vegas sucks me back in every time. Am I oblivious to the plethora of slot machines everywhere I go? Sure. But that’s because I’m distracted by all the pretty lights. Follow me on Facebook, Google+ and Twitter.

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