This unique New England Train Tour showcases the region's historic rail lines, historic trains, and the possibility of New England fall foliage. Learn how historic railways brought urban Americans to the shores and mountains of Maine and New Hampshire as you experience spectacular views in the heart of New England's famed White Mountains.Omni Mount Washington Resort - 2 nights
Day 1: Arrivals in Boston Arrive into Boston at your leisure and meet the group this evening for orientation to the week ahead. Meals: Dinner Day 2: Amtrak’s Downeaster & Explore Portland This morning, experience America’s intercity passenger-rail renaissance aboard Amtrak’s Downeaster to Portland, Maine. We depart from North Station, located a mile and a half from South Station, Boston’s terminus for trains from outside of New England. The need to transfer across the congested city center led to the demise of intercity passenger trains in Maine and New Hampshire earlier than elsewhere in the Northeast. From 1965 until Downeaster service began in 2001, only commuter trains used North Station. Now five round trips a day link ten communities in three states. The two and a half hour ride winds along the Atlantic Coast through quaint towns in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Our midday arrival provides opportunity for you to discover downtown Portland. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Day 3: Maine’s Rail and Maritime History This morning, we visit a gem of Maine history. In most of America “narrow gauge” meant three feet between the rails. In Maine, a gauge of two feet was adopted for logging railroads in the woods and by five common-carrier railroads that totaled 187 route-miles. The 43-mile Wiscasset Waterville & Farmington operated from 1895 until 1933. The WW&F Railway Museum has recreated 2.5 miles of the original railroad, which we ride on via train powered by a restored steam locomotive. Afterward we visit the Maine Maritime Museum at the historic Percy & Small Shipyard in Bath, ME. Exhibits tell the stories of the shipyard, the neighboring Bath Iron Works, and the place of Maine’s people and vessels in global commerce. Tonight you are free to dine on your own in Portland. Meals: Breakfast & Lunch Day 4: Conway Scenic Railroad in the Mount Washington Valley From the 1870s through the 1920s, multitudes of eastern city-dwellers summered in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and western Maine. They came by train and we will recreate a bit of their experience. A transfer from Portland by vehicle will take us to a midday train on a rail line they traveled. It became part of the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1890, and its passenger trains connected this valley with Boston until 1961. Freight service continued until 1972 and excursion trains began in 1974. After we transfer to the famed Omni Mount Washington Hotel. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner Day 5: Crawford Notch in the heart of the White Mountains In the morning we take another ride on the Conway Scenic Railroad through the White Mountains, this time through Crawford Notch in a historic dome car providing scenic views along this 5.5-hour ride. The Omni Mount Washington Hotel is among the finest of surviving historic resort hotels in the northeastern United States and we spend the afternoon exploring the hotel on a self-guided walking tour or simply relaxing on the wrap-around veranda. Meals: Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner
Day 6: To the Summit of Mount Washington by Cog Railway Ride to the 6,288-foot summit of America’s most topographically prominent peak east of Colorado. After he got lost hiking and spent a freezing night on the mountain, New Hampshire native Sylvester Marsh conceived of a railroad to the top. Though his idea was ridiculed, the New Hampshire legislature gave Marsh a charter to build it in 1858. The Civil War intervened, and the Mount Washington Cog Railway was not completed until 1869. It was the first of its kind in the world and it stimulated hotel expansion and transportation improvements throughout New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. Our train will employ a 19th Century steam locomotive built for the railway by Manchester Locomotive Works. After lunch we return to Boston for travel home. Meals: Breakfast & Lunch
- Lodging as outlined in lodging section above based on double occupancy
- Meals as noted in itinerary above
- Snacks and beverages
- Train tickets and museum admissions for all included activities
- Commentary by rail expert
- Services of professional tour manager
- Ground transportation for all included events during the trip & porterage service
Trip Price Excludes:
- Pre & post tour travel
- Alcoholic beverages
- Gratuities for your BSA guides
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