The proliferation of overcrowded highways these days means that a majority of people haven’t experienced the bumpy serenity of a train. All that’s about to change, though, thanks to the New Hope Valley Railway, which is offering rides on five excursion trains in celebration of the Fourth of July holiday. The short trips will cover four miles of historic track in Wake and Chatham counties. Adding to the experience is the eclectic music of ESP (Emerson, Smith and Phelps), a Raleigh-based group whose repertoire includes Southern and Delta blues, British Isles fiddle tunes and traditional American folk music. Fares are $8 for adults and $6 for children. 5121 Daisy St., New Hill. (919) 362-5416.