Few travel experiences can impart a sense of history as strongly as
a ride aboard a vintage train. Train rides also provide the
opportunity to see a region's landscape, plus they're great family
In five of New England's six states (Rhode Island is the
exception), vintage and scenic train rides now operate during the
summer and fall months. Many feature special themed and holiday
excursions and are available for charter.
Following is a state-by-state roundup.
Danbury Railway Museum. In addition to train rides that last
from 20 minutes to a full day, the museum features a restored 1902
station, vintage locomotives, model railroads and other displays.
Essex Steam Train & Riverboat Ride. A steam locomotive pulls
1920s coaches north from Essex along the Connecticut River on a
one-hour ride to Deep River, where passengers board a riverboat for
a cruise. (800) ESSEX-TRAIN.
Naugatuck Railroad Company/Railroad Museum of New England,
Thomaston. Eighteen-mile ride on a restored trail along the
Naugatuck River offers views of a state forest and historic mills.
Belfast & Moosehead Lake Railroads, Belfast. Two tourist
excursions include a 90-minute roundtrip train ride along the coast
between Belfast and Waldo and a slightly longer inland ride between
Unity and Burnham Junction. (800) 392-5500.
Maine Coast Railroad, Wiscasset. Restored 1930s coaches travel
the 90-minute roundtrip route between Wiscasset and Bath. (800)
Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad, Portland. Half-hour train rides
provide views of the islands of Casco Bay, Portland's working
harbor and lighthouses, and a museum displays an exceptional
collection of narrow-gauge railroad equipment. (207) 828-0814.
New Cape Cod Central Railroad Dinner Train, Hyannis. This scenic
dinner-train excursion on Cape Cod is now under new ownership.
Conway Scenic Railway, North Conway. Diesel, electric and
steam-powered locomotives pull trains through spectacular Crawford
Notch and Mount Washington Valley. A dining
car operates on selected departures. (800) 232-5251.
Hobo Railroad, Lincoln. Mountain View Dinner Train offers
five-course meals aboard a restored 1952 Pullman dome car. (603)
Mount Washington Cog Railway. Three-hour roundtrip train
excursions, pulled by coal-fired steam engines, travel up one of
the world's steepest train tracks to the 6,288-foot summit of Mount
Washington. (800) 922-8825.
White Mountain Central Railroad, Lincoln. Thirty-minute
excursions along the Pemigewasset River, pulled by a standard-gauge
wood-burning steam locomotive. (603) 745-8913.
Green Mountain Railroad Corp., Bellows Falls. Three excursions
aboard restored coaches are now offered by this firm. The Green
Mountain Flyer travels roundtrip along the Connecticut and Williams
rivers from Bellows Falls to Chester Depot; the Champlain Valley
Weekender links Burlington and Middlebury, and the Vermont Valley
Flyer operates between Manchester, Arlington and North Bennington.
(800) 707-3530. n