Sep 30, 2019

Adirondack Railroad trips

Central New York has been blessed with many, many beautiful days these last couple months but it won’t last so don’t waste any of the nice fall days.  The Adirondack Railroad has several fall trips departing from Utica.  Actually, they offer several types of excursions.  I recently took the Wine and Beer Train.  And even though they advertise “Watch the scenic countryside roll by while sipping on the best wines and brews” the
truth is the 7 pm departure was too late to see any scenery.  However, that particular three-hour excursion runs spring, summer, and fall.  It is a fun evening with family and friends.  They feature some local bands but one has to go to the café car to hear them – too bad they don’t pipe it through the
rest of the cars.  There are two prices of tickets.  First class tick
ets include a table with linen tablecloths and flowers plus a wait staff to take the drink orders and serve complimentary hors d’oeuvres. Passengers receive a complimentary beer or wine glass – glass only. Guests can bring food but not alcoholic beverages.  There was a bridesmaid party in one of the cars. The train makes a 30 minute stop in Remsen.

The Fall Foliage train trips leaves at 9:30 a.m. and goes from Utica to Thendara near Old Forge. The train makes its way through colorful forests, over rivers and streams into the heart of the Adirondacks. Spend a full afternoon in Old Forge enjoying the outdoors and visiting local shops and restaurants, and then return to Utica. The train has a café car so you can get something to eat or eat at the historic Thendara’s historic Van Auken Hotel. That is the only place I have been that had puff balls on the menu.   The Adirondack Railroad offers a couple options for the Fall Foliage trips. 

I have ridden on the Adirondack Railroad a couple of times
and loved it each time.  There is something about riding the rails that never gets old.  I actually first took the train in the 80s when it was under different management. The rails follow the same route the Robber Barons took to their summer estates in the mountains.  Take note of Utica Station with its massive marble pillars and heated seats.  It was designed by the same architectural firm that built Grand Central Station.  

The Railroad offer several tours are including the popular Polar Express which books up fast. Some dates are already sold out.  There are two classes of tickets with two time slots on the days that the Polar Express runs.  All are encouraged to wear their pajamas. Years ago I took my grandkids on the Polar Express but in a different location. The Adirondack Railroad also offers a Christmas Train not to be confused with the Polar Express. 

Someday I’d like to take the Loomis Train Robbery excursion. The
Loomis Gang was one of the largest family crime family of outlaws who operated in central New York during the mid-19th century.  They were able to get away with their thievery because they did not steal from the people near them and when their neighbors suffered from thefts they would often enlist the help of the Loomis family in recovering their property.  I think the movie makers missed out on this story.  It leaves from Thendera which makes it a bit difficult for a day trip.