About the Charlie Russell Chew Choo!
About the Charlie Russell Chew Choo
Join us for a spectacular evening as we travel through the awe-inspiring mountains and prairies of the Judith Basin and central Montana. Experience the beauty of the rolling hills, vast ranchlands and breathtaking sunsets of Big Sky Country. Wildlife abounds on this scenic 56-mile round trip journey, with a plentiful supply of antelope, eagles, deer, hawks and coyotes.
During your trip, the western musicians and saloon girls will keep you entertained while you enjoy a full course savory brisket dinner, complete with drinks and dessert (vegetarian options are also available). A no-host cash bar is available as you travel in the climate-controlled, non-smoking dinner train coaches.
Be sure to watch out for the masked bandits, though - rumor has it hold-ups can occur when you least expect them!!
Crossing three historic trestles and passing through a half mile long tunnel, your dinner train journey begins northwest of Lewistown following the route of the old Chicago, Milwaukee, St. Paul, and Pacific railroad to Denton, MT and back again. The train travels on a spur track that was built between 1912-1913, connecting Lewistown and Great Falls through the rough terrain of the upper Missouri River Breaks. The line was fully operational and carrying passengers daily by September of 1914.
The Charlie Russell Chew Choo Dinner Train made its first run with 2 leased train cars on July 4, 1994. In 1996 the Chamber bought the five cars still in use today. The train cars used by the Charlie Russell Chew Choo are 1950s vintage stainless steel Budd-built Rail Diesel Cars (RDCs). The cars weigh approximately 60 tons each and were originally self-powered, meaning they could run independently of one another. The rail cars are currently powered by the diesel locomotives owned by Central Montana Rail.
This unique experience would not be complete without the beautiful backdrop of the island mountain ranges which surround you on your train ride. The mountain ranges and the accompanying views of the vast Judith Basin were the inspiration for many of the paintings done by the famous western artist Charles M Russell, the namesake of the dinner train.
Train rides are available on scheduled weekends and may also be chartered for special events. Regular or VIP rates are available for both children and adults. Passengers should allow approximately 20-25 minutes of travel time to reach the loading station.
A true Montana experience, the Charlie Russell Chew Choo Dinner Train is a once-in-a-lifetime adventure that you’ll remember for years to come.