All Aboard the Heritage Rum Train That’s Now Chugging Through Barbados

Journey through a 400-acre sugar cane plantation on a 1914 steam locomotive.

rum railway
(Photo: St. Nicholas Abbey/Getty)

(Photo: St. Nicholas Abbey/Getty)

Down in Barbados, there’s one incredibly fun and boozy train ride you should definitely take if you’re on the island: The Heritage Railway, that goes on a tipsy trip through a centuries-old sugar cane plantation and rum distillery.

The St. Nicholas Abbey Heritage Railway was completed in late 2018 and has a restored 1914 steam locomotive that takes visitors around the St. Nicholas Abbey Great House Plantation and Distillery, which is a 400-acre Barbadian rum plant that’s been around for over 350 years.

Barbados is known as the birthplace of rum, so you know you’re getting an authentic rum railway experience that Captain Jack Sparrow would approve of.

For a little back story, rum has been a huge part of the island’s history ever since the first sugar cane crop was planted there in 1640. The first version of rum was called “Kill-Devil” and according to the folks at St. Nicholas Abbey, it was described as “a hot, hellish, and terrible liquor.” Sounds amazing.

Aside from seeing the sugar cane that gets turned into delicious rum, the tour also takes you past the historic St Nicholas Abbey Great House and lush tropical scenery.

“Journey through the plantation’s grounds on our beautiful steam locomotive. Your narrated tour takes you past the historic St Nicholas Abbey Great House, around the lake, home to wild water fowl and migratory birds, and through the mature mahogany woodlands,” the description on the website reads.

“The tour culminates at Cherry Tree Hill, an elevated point offering breathtaking highland views of the island’s rugged east coast. The round trip tour takes approximately one hour; on your return to the main grounds, you can visit our gift shop and cafe, or add on a tour of the Great House.”

Tickets are BDS$60 for adults, which is approximately $30 USD, and you can book a spot here.

The rum railway is similar to the Jose Cuervo Express, otherwise known as the tequila train, that runs from Guadalajara to Tequila in Mexico. 

(Photo: Casa Fayette)

The two-hour train ride on the Platinum Plus wagon is complete with a private bar, bartender, and table seating, and takes you through the agave fields of Tequila, Mexico. 

If you’re looking for a good time, these two trains are way better than Amtrak.