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Home » PEOPLE AND PLACES in VT » VERMONT (all topics) » Sightseeing Trains Along the Connecticut River
An Antique Engine in Union Depot
Sightseeing Trains Along the Connecticut River

White River Junction, Vermont

By Allison Flint | September 09, 2011

Modern motorized travel in Vermont is primarily accomplished by driving in cars and busses today. With only one commercial airport, we can’t fly within the state, but we can still ride the trains.

The Damaged Bridge Across the White River

The sightseeing trains of the Vermont Rail System can carry us from place to place and entertain us along the way.

On August 28, 2011, Hurricane Irene brought eleven inches of rain to Vermont, causing rivers and creek to rise and disabling many bridges.   The railway bridge that crosses the White River north out of Union Depot (the main hub) in White River Junction, Vermont was amongst those damaged.

Within days, a team of engineers and railroad personnel were assessing damage and establishing a repair plan.   Every rail line in the state was damaged in some way, but crews are working to re-establish service as quickly as possible. Updates are available at railvermont.org.

The White River Flyer runs spring, summer and fall, giving any traveler the unique vantage point of following the Connecticut River.   The train departs from Union Depot, and heads north to East Thetford and turns at Pompanoosuc Mills for the return journey.   This furniture manufacturing center and showroom offers Vermont made goods with a long-standing green business model.   Their furniture is simple with clean lines and made from sustainable North American forest wood. Riders can also alight at the Montshire Museum of Science in Norwich, VT.

A View of one of the Antique Trains

In summer the train runs Thursday through Sunday with two trips daily, and extends its runs in the fall, running Tuesday through Sunday until October 23, 2011.

The fall foliage along the Connecticut River valley is spectacular, usually peeking in the first two weeks of October depending on the conditions.   A special foliage train ride to Cedar Circle Farm’s Pumpkin Fest on October 9, 2011, will put you in the perfect autumnal harvest mood.

Visitors can celebrate the Glory Days of Railroad on the White River Flyer, September 9 and 10, 2011.   The festival begins on the Friday, with presentations, food and entertainment ($3 admission). It continues on the Saturday with hourly train runs all day, beginning at 10AM.   On this special weekend for train enthusiasts, tickets are just $10 per person for the ride to Norwich and back.

Throughout its operating season, the Vermont Rail System offers special themed train rides. Click here for the full schedule.   The regular sightseeing tickets are $21 for adults, and $17 for children (ages 3-12).   Special trains have varying costs, depending on the event.

A Reflection of Union Depot in a Train's Window

As an example the “Tea Train” complete with teas and nibbles is $35 per person, while the “Connecticut River Dinner Train” is $80 per person, $140 per couple.

Other themed trips offer the train ticket at regular price but will charge extra for participation in their offerings, such as an additional $15 for the Father’s Day breakfast, or $10 for Wine Tasting.

In addition to the White River Flyer’s regular runs, the Vermont Rail System also oversees the Champlain Valley Flyer and the Green Mountain Flyer.   These trains are used for special occasions throughout the season but do not have a regular operating schedule.

The train schedule and offerings are diverse and will entertain and intrigue both visitors and locals alike.

On any regular day, you can make a themed event of your own as you can book a group package and bring your own food and beverage.   Snacks are also available onboard the train.

Take advantage of the fall season, and look ahead to plan your spring train travels.


Vermont Rail System


Union Depot

102 Railroad Row, White River Junction, VT 05001


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