A trip on a train, whether for a week, a day or a few hours will remind you of a time when travel was civilized. No need to weigh your luggage, take off your shoes or go through a body search. It is still secure however since specially trained dogs make sure that the public trains are safe.
There are even more perks on private railcars, whether traveling on the Amtrak system or on a special train. These vintage cars feature large windows, comfortable seats scattered about, chefs and stewards and five star cuisine served on linen table cloths with china and silver.
My most recent trip through New York and Vermont was as part of a special train of 18 vintage private railroad cars. It was planned so that we used freight rails where few passenger trains go. Some of the tracks we traversed however you can experience without chartering a private car.
Our first stop was The Adirondack Scenic Railroad. The tourist railroad is run by volunteers for the not-for-profit Adirondack Railroad Preservation Society. It has grown from a four-mile excursion in the Old Forge area to a business that carries over 74,000 passengers annually on hundreds of trains in Utica, Thendara, Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.
The railroad uses several historic engines and coaches for day excursions and operates over trackage of the former New York Central Railroad between Utica and Lake Placid. You can relive the golden age of railroading traveling through remote forests into the magnificent beauty of the six million acre Adirondack Park. The Adirondack Scenic offers regularly scheduled trains or groups can charter the entire train on a chosen date. The vintage equipment includes coach, VIP, cafe and table (dining) cars. The train is able to accommodate sporting equipment on board such as bicycles, kayaks, canoes, and camping equipment.
The railroad runs special fall foliage trips and the Christmas Polar Express excursions as well as wine and beer trips, dinner trains and regular day long scenic adventures.
The Special train that used the track in September was unique since it was powered by Amtrak locomotives rather than the engines normally used. The roughly 150 passengers aboard agreed the that scenery, bordering on the explosion of fall colors, was among the top scenic vistas on the two week trip.