With the change in the weather, rain and a drop in temperatures, Indiana may have some nice color this year. For rail fans there are options to enjoy the fall colors from the coach of a train. Some of these lines have a Santa/Polar Express run and now is the time to book those excursions.
Hesston Steam Museum: Between now and the end of October the museum will be open Sundays 1-5 p.m., Chicago time. A train ride on a narrow gauge rail is one of the features of the museum. Steam equipment of various types on the grounds. Family friendly, fee charged. About 2 hours 15 minutes from Lafayette, between LaPorte and New Buffalo. (Link)
Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum: This museum is in North Judson. Between now and the end of October the trains will be running on Saturdays. They offer different routes, prices, length of rides and coaches. About 1 ¾ hours from Lafayette. Museum is on Chicago time. (Link)
Indiana Transportation Museum: Located in Noblesville, this museum features a short caboose ride and longer excursion trips. Lots of rolling stock to explore. Family friendly, fees vary. About an hour drive from Lafayette. (Link)
Whitewater Valley Railroad: Runs a number of excursions, many to Metamora along rural Whiteriver Valley. Family friendly, fees vary. About 2.5 hours drive time from Lafayette. (Link)
French Lick Railway: Located in French Lick, excursions run through parts of the Hoosier National Forest. Many of the excursions are themed, such as the Wild West hold-up or the murder train. About 4 hours from Lafayette. Close to Jasper. (Link)
Spirit of Jasper Train: About 45 minutes from Jasper; 4 hours from Lafayette, the Spirit of Jasper hosts a variety of themed excursions. Family friendly, fees vary. (Link)
Carthage Railway in Knightstown: defunct as of August 2013. It does still show up when you Google Indiana railways.
Ft. Wayne Railroad Historical Society, Inc: The society offers a variety of excursions. On the last weekend of October they will be running an excursion from Ft. Wayne to Lafayette in a revival of the Wabash Cannonball. Family Friendly, fees vary, open weekends. Located in New Haven, about 2.5 hours drive from Lafayette. (Link)