Adventures in getting to the train station

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Exvalley

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I had a business meeting in Chicago. Living in Vermont, I normally take the Lake Shore Limited out of Albany, New York. But I decided to do something a little different this time - fly from Lebanon, New Hampshire to New York City.

The Lebanon, New Hampshire airport is about a five minute drive from the White River Junction Amtrak station. It's about an hour from my house. Parking is free and you can park extremely close to the terminal. This is a picture looking from the front of my car to the terminal entrance.

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The terminal used to have two car rental counters, but now it has just one - Avis.

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Cape Air is the only commercial airline operating out of Lebanon. They fly to Boston and White Plains, New York. But if you fly to White Plains, you can opt for the shuttle to Penn Station, which is no additional charge.

There is no TSA screening for the flights to White Plains. You can arrive 15 minutes before the flight and have no problems. The terminal is quite small. Here is a photo of the baggage claim next to the exit onto the tarmac.

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Continue to part 2...
 

Exvalley

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We cruised at 8,000 feet and landed in White Plains after about an hour and a quarter. You cannot even have a purse on the flight. Everything is stored in the baggage compartment in the front of the plane. Needless to say, there is no bathroom on the airplane, so I am glad that the flight wasn't longer.

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And here is a picture of the free shuttle that makes the 50 or so minute drive to Penn Station.

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The shuttle drops you off at 34th and 7th - just a short block from Penn Station

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Continued to part 4...
 
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Exvalley

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All of this cost me $115. It allowed me to enjoy some time in the lounge (which is amazing, by the way!) and to enjoy the scenery along the Hudson River on the Lake Shore Limited, which is some of the most beautiful scenery Amtrak has to offer.

The only thing that made me nervous was that there is really no plan B if your arrival into New York is delayed. If there was a problem prior to boarding the plane, I could have driven to Albany and had plenty of time to catch the train there. But everything worked out perfectly, and I am really glad that I used this method to get to Penn Station. The southbound Vermonter gets into Penn Station too late to connect to any same-day overnight trains, so fortunately I had this option.
 

Brian Battuello

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Great trip report! Odd about no TSA though. I flew Cape Air from Rockland Maine to Boston last year, and they had full TSA in Rockland. Didn't take long for the four of us...
 
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Exvalley

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Great trip report! Odd about no TSA though. I flew Cape Air from Rockland Maine to Boston last year, and they had full TSA in Rockland. Didn't take long for the four of us...
The Boston flights all have TSA screening, but the White Plains flight does not. This is because the White Plains flight drops you off at a fixed base operator and not the actual airport terminal. The Boston flights drop you off right into the JetBlue terminal.
 

Trollopian

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The Boston flights all have TSA screening, but the White Plains flight does not. This is because the White Plains flight drops you off at a fixed base operator and not the actual airport terminal.
Fixed base operator! An unfamiliar term to most people, but I know what it is because my dad spent his entire career (except for Army service) as a fixed-base operator at Allegheny County Airport (AGC), the historic general-aviation airport outside Pittsburgh. Here he is in 1955 or 1956 refueling the little replica plane used for filming The Spirit of St. Louis. Dad would have been 25 or 26 at the time. Yeah, I'm biased, but I feel he would have been better-cast for the role of Charles Lindbergh (who was 25 when he made his historic flight) than was the iconic Jimmy Stewart, who was pushing 50.

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Exvalley

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My return trip did not go quite as well thanks to a Nor'easter passing through Boston with steady 25 mph winds and gusts in the 50 mph range. The turbulence was especially pronounced at lower altitudes - right where Cape Air flies.

My flight from Chicago to Boston was fine, albeit rather bumpy. But Cape Air grounded their entire fleet. Fortunately, there is a bus that operates from Logan Airport to Lebanon, New Hampshire. The bus fare was $38. I was able to get a $15 cab ride to the airport. Cape Air is going to refund my flight, so it all worked out fine.
 
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Dakota 400

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Not for too much longer. They are slowly switching to Tecnams.

View attachment 25104
Years ago when Piedmont Airlines was in business, I flew from Dayton to Pittsburgh in a plane like this, a Folker turbo-prop. Never had flown in a plane with the wings mounted so high with the passenger compartment so close to the ground. That was quite an experience for me when we were landing to see the runway so close to where I was sitting!
 

Bob Dylan

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The first Time I flew an Areo Commander it felt really weird on the Takeoff and Landing since I'd mostly flown Cessnas and Pipers before this.
 

John Santos

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All of this cost me $115. It allowed me to enjoy some time in the lounge (which is amazing, by the way!) and to enjoy the scenery along the Hudson River on the Lake Shore Limited, which is some of the most beautiful scenery Amtrak has to offer.

The only thing that made me nervous was that there is really no plan B if your arrival into New York is delayed. If there was a problem prior to boarding the plane, I could have driven to Albany and had plenty of time to catch the train there. But everything worked out perfectly, and I am really glad that I used this method to get to Penn Station. The southbound Vermonter gets into Penn Station too late to connect to any same-day overnight trains, so fortunately I had this option.
I am curious if it would be possible to take the Vermonter to Springfield and catch the LSL (Boston section) there?
 

John Santos

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Great trip report! Odd about no TSA though. I flew Cape Air from Rockland Maine to Boston last year, and they had full TSA in Rockland. Didn't take long for the four of us...
I was staying within walking distance of the Rockland airport last June.. I wonder if I saw you taking off?
 

Exvalley

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I am curious if it would be possible to take the Vermonter to Springfield and catch the LSL (Boston section) there?
Theoretically, yes. The problem is that Amtrak does not recognize this connection. So if something goes wrong, you might be stuck in Springfield.
 
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Theoretically, yes. The problem is that Amtrak does not recognize this connection. So if something goes wrong, you might be stuck in Springfield.
The Vermonter to the LSL looks like an awfully tight connection.

Perhaps take an earlier regional to New Haven, then connect to an Amtrak shuttle to Springfield?

You would also have CTrail as a backup if anything went wrong with the Amtrak shuttles.

(There, I got in a plug for one of my favorite commuter rails!😊)

I have not been up there since the beginning of the pandemic, but before that, I would visit my central Connecticut cousins quite often, and I used to detrain at New Haven, get something to eat and walk up to different platforms to watch the trains, and then take CTrail just to give them some business.

I just realized I’m assuming a northbound trip. If it’s southbound to SPG, none of my enthusiasm for CTrail will be any good.😁

A bit off topic, but has anyone been to NHV recently and can say if any businesses are open again in the station?
 
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daybeers

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The Vermonter to the LSL looks like an awfully tight connection.

Perhaps take an earlier regional to New Haven, then connect to an Amtrak shuttle to Springfield?

You would also have CTrail as a backup if anything went wrong with the Amtrak shuttles.

(There, I got in a plug for one of my favorite commuter rails!😊)

I have not been up there since the beginning of the pandemic, but before that, I would visit my central Connecticut cousins quite often, and I used to detrain at New Haven, get something to eat and walk up to different platforms to watch the trains, and then take CTrail just to give them some business.

I just realized I’m assuming a northbound trip. If it’s southbound to SPG, none of my enthusiasm for CTrail will be any good.😁

A bit off topic, but has anyone been to NHV recently and can say if any businesses are open again in the station?
The Dunkin upstairs and the Sbarro downstairs are open. There's a plan for renovation and bringing in local businesses but we'll see how messed up the incompetent Park New Haven (who manages and operates the complex) and CTDOT make that plan. So far they want to replace the little-used surface parking lot with another garage next to the huge one they already have 🤬
 
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