A round trip on the Vermonter. A scenic gem

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I traveled from NYP to St. Albans on Monday and returned on Tuesday. This route imho is more scenic than the Adirondack. It follows the Connecticut river and then the White river for most of the route. BC was on the rear affording access to the rail fan river. The crew did a fine job both days. The LSA did extras like toasting buns on cheeseburgers and hotdogs. Over all a great trip. Photos are worth a thousand words.
 

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Joined
Mar 5, 2014
Messages
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I traveled from NYP to St. Albans on Monday and returned on Tuesday. This route imho is more scenic than the Adirondack. It follows the Connecticut river and then the White river for most of the route. BC was on the rear affording access to the rail fan river. The crew did a fine job both days. The LSA did extras like toasting buns on cheeseburgers and hotdogs. Over all a great trip. Photos are worth a thousand words.

This is a train trip I would like to take. And, it would get me to Vermont, a state that I have yet to visit.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
3,691
I traveled from NYP to St. Albans on Monday and returned on Tuesday. This route imho is more scenic than the Adirondack. It follows the Connecticut river and then the White river for most of the route. BC was on the rear affording access to the rail fan river. The crew did a fine job both days. The LSA did extras like toasting buns on cheeseburgers and hotdogs. Over all a great trip. Photos are worth a thousand words.

What lovely photos!

I have cousins I’m close to in Connecticut and have taken the Vermonter up and detrained at Windsor Locks many times. That is a magnificent river.

I’ve never gone farther north on the Vermonter, though. I have thought of doing the whole route up to St. Albans but never followed up on it because I was concerned about whether it would be possible to get to a hotel late at night and without a car.

Are there hotels nearby and a way to get to them?
 
Joined
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What lovely photos!

I have cousins I’m close to in Connecticut and have taken the Vermonter up and detrained at Windsor Locks many times. That is a magnificent river.

I’ve never gone farther north on the Vermonter, though. I have thought of doing the whole route up to St. Albans but never followed up on it because I was concerned about whether it would be possible to get to a hotel late at night and without a car.

Are there hotels nearby and a way to get to them?

What lovely photos!

I have cousins I’m close to in Connecticut and have taken the Vermonter up and detrained at Windsor Locks many times. That is a magnificent river.

I’ve never gone farther north on the Vermonter, though. I have thought of doing the whole route up to St. Albans but never followed up on it because I was concerned about whether it would be possible to get to a hotel late at night and without a car.

Are there hotels nearby and a way to get to them?
There's a Hampton Inn practically on the doorstep of the St. Albans station, within a few hundred feet or so. I stayed there in 2017, when I took a New England Amtrak trip, with the Vermonter the focal point of that trip. I too was chasing my dream of visiting all 50 states and Vermont was, if I remember right, state #44. I reached states #45, 46, and 47 (New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Maine later on that same Amtrak vacation, and #48, 49, and 50 (Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Michigan) the next year.
 

AmtrakBlue

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What lovely photos!

I have cousins I’m close to in Connecticut and have taken the Vermonter up and detrained at Windsor Locks many times. That is a magnificent river.

I’ve never gone farther north on the Vermonter, though. I have thought of doing the whole route up to St. Albans but never followed up on it because I was concerned about whether it would be possible to get to a hotel late at night and without a car.

Are there hotels nearby and a way to get to them?
There’s a Hilton hotel about 1-1/2 blocks from the station. I walked to it upon arrival…as did the conductors.
 

CaptPete 43

Train Attendant
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Dec 19, 2021
Messages
21
Location
Cohasset, MA
What lovely photos!

I have cousins I’m close to in Connecticut and have taken the Vermonter up and detrained at Windsor Locks many times. That is a magnificent river.

I’ve never gone farther north on the Vermonter, though. I have thought of doing the whole route up to St. Albans but never followed up on it because I was concerned about whether it would be possible to get to a hotel late at night and without a car.

Are there hotels nearby and a way to get to them?
There’s a Hilton hotel about 1-1/2 blocks from the station. I walked to it upon arrival…as did the conductors.
It's a Hampton Inn which is part of the Hilton group. Google maps states it is a 3 minute walk. However, it is going to cost you WAY MORE than your train ticket.
 
Joined
Jan 26, 2020
Messages
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Location
Oregon Coast
I traveled from NYP to St. Albans on Monday and returned on Tuesday. This route imho is more scenic than the Adirondack. It follows the Connecticut river and then the White river for most of the route. BC was on the rear affording access to the rail fan river. The crew did a fine job both days. The LSA did extras like toasting buns on cheeseburgers and hotdogs. Over all a great trip. Photos are worth a thousand words.
Nice pics! I took this trip two December's ago... unfortunately no snow! Everyone was crabbin... including me. But still very scenic and a great trip!
 

MontanaJim

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Messages
183
great to hear. I live in St Albans and take the Vermonter on almost a weekly basis, often just day trips to southern locations in Vermont and catch the NB train back home same day. Ive been on 95 percent of Amtrak trackage across the country. I agree the route of the Vermonter, esp in Vermont, is incredible and is one of most scenic in US. May not have jawdropping beauty like the CZ but its very nice. In fall its incredible too when seeing the fall colors. Im surprised it doesnt get mentioned more amongst most scenic Amtrak routes. And the crews are great too!
 

Trollopian

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I agree the route of the Vermonter, esp in Vermont, is incredible and is one of most scenic in US. May not have jawdropping beauty like the CZ but its very nice. In fall its incredible too when seeing the fall colors.

I feel the same way about the Capitol Limited between Harper's Ferry and Pittsburgh. A very, very pretty ride with much natural beauty and glimpses of (what I think another thread called) "decayed industrial grandeur."

The Vermonter will definitely go on my bucket list.
 

MontanaJim

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Messages
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been on the CL between Harpers Ferry and Pittsburgh many a time. Stayed in Harpers Ferry too. Yes its a nice stretch.

Re the Vermonter--a fantastic day trip would be (assuming one is from out of state) to come to Burlington (Essex Jct stop if coming on Vermonter) by car or plane if not by train. Then take a day trip to a point south--my suggestion is Bellows Falls or Brattleboro. Do it in summer when daylight is longest, or in fall to see fall colors. You take the NB train back to Essex Jct. Or stay in St Albans at beginning/end of the line. St Albans is a nice little town.
 
Joined
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I'll add on to this thread since we are currently planning a bucket list round trip on the Vermonter, probably early December 2022. People (above) are saying the Hampton Inn in St. Albans is expensive but I see $135 for a Sunday night, double with two queens, fridge, and hot breakfast. Good! No doubt a weekend or Xmas vacay ski time would be much higher, but we can go any day.

We chose winter to go, to get longer views, as we did with the Cardinal last year. Some snow would be, um, icing on the cake. We both went to school in Putney VT and it will feel like home, only on a train we've never ridden! (In those days we took the bus.) In June I stayed at the old Putney Depot airbnb and photographed this train zooming by.

We live in RI so we'll drive 20 minutes to Kingston, park for free, ride to New Haven, change to the Vermonter, go all the way up to St. Albans, walk to the Hampton Inn, get up super early and walk around town (very nice, I've been there), and take the train back in full daylight all the way.

Any advice? New Haven train station eats? Worth getting BC for rear view? We usually sit in the cafe car.
 
Joined
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People (above) are saying the Hampton Inn in St. Albans is expensive but I see $135 for a Sunday night, double with two queens, fridge, and hot breakfast. Good! No doubt a weekend or Xmas vacay ski time would be much higher, but we can go any day.
Oops, when I entered the date we want to go, and selected refundable, it became $197. Expensive. You all are right. But the train is really cheap!

We chose a day with a full moon, so maybe the view will be brightly lit going NB.
 

AmtrakBlue

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Delaware
I'll add on to this thread since we are currently planning a bucket list round trip on the Vermonter, probably early December 2022. People (above) are saying the Hampton Inn in St. Albans is expensive but I see $135 for a Sunday night, double with two queens, fridge, and hot breakfast. Good! No doubt a weekend or Xmas vacay ski time would be much higher, but we can go any day.

We chose winter to go, to get longer views, as we did with the Cardinal last year. Some snow would be, um, icing on the cake. We both went to school in Putney VT and it will feel like home, only on a train we've never ridden! (In those days we took the bus.) In June I stayed at the old Putney Depot airbnb and photographed this train zooming by.

We live in RI so we'll drive 20 minutes to Kingston, park for free, ride to New Haven, change to the Vermonter, go all the way up to St. Albans, walk to the Hampton Inn, get up super early and walk around town (very nice, I've been there), and take the train back in full daylight all the way.

Any advice? New Haven train station eats? Worth getting BC for rear view? We usually sit in the cafe car.
BC is in the back half of the last car and the cafe is in the front half. So not as many tables and the crew takes up one of them.
 
Joined
Dec 26, 2014
Messages
3,691
I'll add on to this thread since we are currently planning a bucket list round trip on the Vermonter, probably early December 2022. People (above) are saying the Hampton Inn in St. Albans is expensive but I see $135 for a Sunday night, double with two queens, fridge, and hot breakfast. Good! No doubt a weekend or Xmas vacay ski time would be much higher, but we can go any day.

We chose winter to go, to get longer views, as we did with the Cardinal last year. Some snow would be, um, icing on the cake. We both went to school in Putney VT and it will feel like home, only on a train we've never ridden! (In those days we took the bus.) In June I stayed at the old Putney Depot airbnb and photographed this train zooming by.

We live in RI so we'll drive 20 minutes to Kingston, park for free, ride to New Haven, change to the Vermonter, go all the way up to St. Albans, walk to the Hampton Inn, get up super early and walk around town (very nice, I've been there), and take the train back in full daylight all the way.

Any advice? New Haven train station eats? Worth getting BC for rear view? We usually sit in the cafe car.

The New Haven train station is very nice.
I haven’t been there for several years, so I don’t know what the food situation is now. They used to have two Dunkin’ Donuts—one upstairs in the main hall and one downstairs. I used to go to the one downstairs because it was much less crowded. There was also a Sbarros I think and a nice convenience store with snacks.

What still should be there, though, and worth seeing, are the model classic trains — one on the back of each bench seat— with printed information about that train’s history.

Also when you’re on the platform, if you’re lucky you might see a CTrail consist resting before it goes on its way back up the Hartford Line to Springfield.

Last time I was there, off a corner of the main waiting room was an information center shared by Amtrak and CTrail.

One hint for getting up to the platforms—there are daunting-looking staircases to each platform. However, tucked coyly away are elevators for all platforms—just check carefully that the elevator you’re taking is the one for your platform.

Also, after detraining in New Haven, you’ll go down a long hall that eventually comes to fast escalators and a staircase to the main hall. But tucked even more coyly away is a tiny elevator right in front of you—it’s small but worth taking if you can fit your luggage in it.

Lots of information from me that nobody asked for—hopefully some of it useful and still accurate after several years—but someone who has been there more recently maybe can give an update on the food and also on whether the other things I mentioned are still there.
 
Joined
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BC is in the back half of the last car and the cafe is in the front half. So not as many tables and the crew takes up one of them.

The New Haven train station is very nice.
I haven’t been there for several years, so I don’t know what the food situation is now. They used to have two Dunkin’ Donuts—one upstairs in the main hall and one downstairs. I used to go to the one downstairs because it was much less crowded. There was also a Sbarros I think and a nice convenience store with snacks.

What still should be there, though, and worth seeing, are the model classic trains — one on the back of each bench seat— with printed information about that train’s history.

Also when you’re on the platform, if you’re lucky you might see a CTrail consist resting before it goes on its way back up the Hartford Line to Springfield.

Last time I was there, off a corner of the main waiting room was an information center shared by Amtrak and CTrail.

One hint for getting up to the platforms—there are daunting-looking staircases to each platform. However, tucked coyly away are elevators for all platforms—just check carefully that the elevator you’re taking is the one for your platform.

Also, after detraining in New Haven, you’ll go down a long hall that eventually comes to fast escalators and a staircase to the main hall. But tucked even more coyly away is a tiny elevator right in front of you—it’s small but worth taking if you can fit your luggage in it.

Lots of information from me that nobody asked for—hopefully some of it useful and still accurate after several years—but someone who has been there more recently maybe can give an update on the food and also on whether the other things I mentioned are still there.
Thanks! All useful information. Coy elevators, good to know about.
I went to a page for the station, and it does look like a handsome classic station. It seems there's a Subway and a Dunkin, at least. On the return trip we have a 3-hr layover if the train is on time (ha) so may take an Uber to a real restaurant. I see Yelp's "best restaurant in CT" Zeneli Pizzeria is very close.
 

daybeers

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1,704
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NHV
crew takes up one of them
Only one?!? Please share which train so I can document this rarity!

@Mystic River Dragon great info. Both Dunkins are operational again, the Sbarro is still there (though it's sacreligious to New Haven to eat there), the convenience store, and a Subway upstairs. There are ticket offices as well as Red Caps, but no luggage storage unfortunately.


3-hr layover if the train is on time (ha) so may take an Uber to a real restaurant
I would recommend this. The Vermonter has been plagued by slow orders in VT and CSX in Springfield so it may be late just FYI. There's a free shuttle to downtown that runs every twenty minutes at :00, :20, & :40 daily. New Haven pizza is a different take on New York style; the char is not for everyone but there are NY style places as well. Plenty of other good food from many cuisines too. Let me know if you'd like specific recommendations.
 

MontanaJim

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Messages
183
Oops, when I entered the date we want to go, and selected refundable, it became $197. Expensive. You all are right. But the train is really cheap!

We chose a day with a full moon, so maybe the view will be brightly lit going NB.
197 is a bargain compared to summer rates at the st albans hampton inn. Summer rates regularly go for 300-400 a night. Vermont hotels and motels are through the roof in summer. you picked a good time to go for cheaper rates. but what did you mean by "longer views"? if referring to daylight, it will be dark most of the time in VT going north. Youll see things going south though.
 

MontanaJim

Service Attendant
Joined
Nov 14, 2011
Messages
183
Only one?!? Please share which train so I can document this rarity!

@Mystic River Dragon great info. Both Dunkins are operational again, the Sbarro is still there (though it's sacreligious to New Haven to eat there), the convenience store, and a Subway upstairs. There are ticket offices as well as Red Caps, but no luggage storage unfortunately.



I would recommend this. The Vermonter has been plagued by slow orders in VT and CSX in Springfield so it may be late just FYI. There's a free shuttle to downtown that runs every twenty minutes at :00, :20, & :40 daily. New Haven pizza is a different take on New York style; the char is not for everyone but there are NY style places as well. Plenty of other good food from many cuisines too. Let me know if you'd like specific recommendations.
i believe the slow orders in southern VT/MA are finished. the train has been arriving in St Albans no more than 30 minutes late the last week. Tonight it was only 7 minutes late.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2008
Messages
583
Location
San Francisco
We chose a day with a full moon, so maybe the view will be brightly lit going NB.
I am confident you will have a wonderful ride.

"Pennies in a stream, falling leaves of sycamore,
Moonlight in Vermont.
Icy finger waves
Ski trails on a mountain side,
Snow light in Vermont.
Telegraph cables, they sing down the railway,
And travel each bend in the road.
People who meet in this romantic setting
Are so hypnotized by
Moonlight in Vermont.
You and I and moonlight in Vermont."

With apologies to John Blackburn and his beautiful song..................
 
Joined
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Messages
216
Location
Rhode Island and Philadelphia
197 is a bargain compared to summer rates at the st albans hampton inn. Summer rates regularly go for 300-400 a night. Vermont hotels and motels are through the roof in summer. you picked a good time to go for cheaper rates. but what did you mean by "longer views"? if referring to daylight, it will be dark most of the time in VT going north. Youll see things going south though.
By "longer views" I mean we would be able to see farther across the landscape, since there will be much less foliage. Often trees and bushes right next to the ROW block all views in places! You're right we'll be in darkness in Vermont NB but here's hoping the full moon will be clear and bright for us. When we travel in sleepers, we turn off the room lights so we can see out. Not an option on the Vermonter though, we expect brightly lit cars. Coach seats might be better than the cafe in that regard, but then we get cricks in our necks. My hubby with Parkinson's really can't turn his neck very well.

Thanks very much for the update on the slow orders! I had read about that in summer, so good news now.
 
Joined
Nov 7, 2021
Messages
216
Location
Rhode Island and Philadelphia
I am confident you will have a wonderful ride.

"Pennies in a stream, falling leaves of sycamore,
Moonlight in Vermont.
Icy finger waves
Ski trails on a mountain side,
Snow light in Vermont.
Telegraph cables, they sing down the railway,
And travel each bend in the road.
People who meet in this romantic setting
Are so hypnotized by
Moonlight in Vermont.
You and I and moonlight in Vermont."

With apologies to John Blackburn and his beautiful song..................

Awesome, it mentions a railway! Didn't realize that before. Thank you.
 
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