You do not have to be a railroad buff to enjoy this program
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Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.
Activity note: Hotel check-in available from 3:00 p.m.
Afternoon: Program Registration: 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. After you have your room assignment, join us at the Road Scholar table in the main lobby to register with the program staff and get your welcome packet containing the up-to-date schedule that reflects any changes, other important information, and to confirm the time and location of the Orientation session. If you arrive late, please ask for your packet when you check in.
Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet dinner with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: Orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.
Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach; driving approximately 101 miles roundtrip; about 2 hours. Walking approximately 1 mile; about 1.5 hours; uneven ground. Getting on/off train; ride is about 12 miles roundtrip; over 1 hour. Getting on/off riverboat; ride is over 1 hour.
Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll have a buffet that includes a variety of choices including entrées, fruit, and cereal, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: Once aboard our motorcoach, we’ll travel to the Essex Steam Train and Riverboat facility where our Group Leader will provide historical commentary about the area. We’ll then board the steam locomotive train at Essex Station, a historic building dating back to 1892, and enjoy a narrated ride through the beautiful Connecticut River Valley to the town of Deep River. Upon arrival, we’ll get off the train to board the Becky Thatcher riverboat and ride along the Connecticut River, admiring the quintessentially New England scenery. As we travel, we’ll see the impressive sites of Gillette Castle, Goodspeed Opera House, and the Haddam Swing Bridge.
Lunch: On the boat during our field trip, we’ll have our pre-selected boxed lunches featuring an assortment of sandwiches and bottled water.
Afternoon: Our riverboat will navigate back to Deep River Landing where we’ll get back on the steam locomotive and make our way back to Essex Station. Upon conclusion of our boat and steam engine field trip, we’ll then travel to the Connecticut Trolley Museum for a private exploration led by museum staff with accompanying commentary. This museum contains a variety of trolley cars as well as exhibits on the societal impact of the Trolley Era. We will then take a ride on one of the trolley cars that has been returned to service, visit the Fire Truck Museum, and check out the Visitor’s Center that are also on site.
Dinner: At a local restaurant, we’ll have buffet meals with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: We will then be joined at the hotel by a member of the Connecticut Historical Society for a lecture about Connecticut during the period of the American Revolution, during which we will explore the subjects of historical patriotism and loyalty in the age of British occupation. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 241 miles from CT to NH. Getting on/off train; ride is approximately 16 miles one way; about 2 hours. Walking approximately 1 mile; about 1 hour; uneven terrain.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll board our motorcoach for a trip through the Connecticut River Valley to the Lakes Region of New Hampshire and the Lake Winnipesaukee Railroad in Meredith. We’ll arrive at the railway station in time for a short lecture prior to boarding the train given by a local railroad historian about the history of the hoboism and Lake Winnipesaukee Railroads. Following our talk with our historian we board our train for a scenic journey.
Lunch: Aboard the train, we’ll enjoy a delicious plated meal of hot turkey with all the trimmings, plus coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. During our lunch, we’ll enjoy narration about the surrounding sites and a talk about the train with our local historian.
Afternoon: Following the train ride, we will take a short walk to the privately owned Pullman Lounger Car “Cold Harbor” where we will meet with the owner who will talk about the railroad history of his family, the history of the car, and then take us inside for a short exploration of the accommodations. Next, we will head north via motorcoach into the White Mountains and check in at the hotel while being greeted by the staff upon arrival.
Dinner: At the hotel, we will have a choice of plated meals from a select menu with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Evening: At leisure. You may wish to check out the musical entertainment in the lounge, which varies nightly.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 83 miles; about 2.5 hours total. Getting on/off trains; total duration aboard is approximately 2 hours. Walking about 1 mile; approximately 1 hour. Traveling at some high elevations.
Breakfast: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a tasty breakfast buffet that will include eggs, waffles, fruit, yogurt, pastries, and cereal, plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.
Morning: Travel over the Kancamagus highway to North Conway by motorcoach where we will board the Conway Scenic Railroad to take a ride through Crawford Notch. A historian will join us on our trip and present a private narrative lecture on the history of the Conway Scenic Railroad and Crawford Notch.
Lunch: Aboard the train on the way to Crawford Notch, we’ll have preselected boxed lunches featuring a choice of sandwich, salad, a cookie, and a drink.
Afternoon: After the train ride, we’ll return to the hotel via motorcoach. The remainder of the afternoon will be free for independent exploration.
Dinner: Aboard the Café Lafayette Dinner Train, we will have an exceptional dining experience over a 4-course plated gourmet meal while watching the ever-changing scenery of the Pemigewasset River and the surrounding area.
Evening: After the conclusion of our dinner, we will get off the train, board our motorcoach, and return to our hotel. The remainder of the evening will be at leisure. You may wish to check out the nightly musical entertainment in the hotel lounge.
Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 60 miles; about 1.5 hours, with stops. Walking up to 1.5 miles during group activities throughout the day. Walking according to personal preference at Mount Washington for about 1 hour; uneven terrain, grass, rocks, dirt, some paved areas. Mount Washington has an elevation of about 6,300 feet. The summit has quite extreme and rapidly changing weather conditions throughout the year, please dress accordingly and bring extra layers.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: Boarding our motorcoach, we will travel to Mount Washington where we will board the Cog Railroad for a scenic ride to the summit as we listen to commentary provided by train staff and our local expert. At the top, take some time to explore independently and enjoy the beautiful views from the tallest mountain peak in the Northeastern United States. We’ll meet at a predetermined time and place for the ride back down via the Cog Railway. Back at the bottom, we’ll board the motorcoach and travel to the historic Mount Washington Hotel.
Lunch: At the historic Mount Washington Hotel, we’ll enjoy a spectacular buffet lunch, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.
Afternoon: This afternoon we enjoy an expert-led exploration of this historic property while enjoying informative commentary as we go. We’ll then return to the hotel.
Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll choose plated meals from a select menu, with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase. Share some of your favorite experiences from the program with new Road Scholar friends.
Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning. Nightly entertainment will be in the lounge if you wish to attend.
Activity note: Hotel check-out by 7:30 a.m. Getting on/off motorcoach; driving approximately 201 miles; about 4 hours. Expected drop-off times of approximately 1:30 p.m. at airport, and about 2:00 p.m. at starting hotel.
Breakfast: Hotel buffet.
Morning: After checking out of the hotel, we’ll transfer via motorcoach for drop-offs at Bradley International Airport in Windsor Locks, Connecticut, and then at our nearby starting hotel. En route, we will make a stop at the Bellows Falls Train Station for a rest break, a short lecture, and an exploration of the station led by a local historian.
Lunch: Aboard the motorcoach during our transfer to the airport, we’ll have our pre-selected boxed lunches featuring a sandwich, chips, cookie and bottled water.
Afternoon: Continuing, we expect to arrive at the airport by approximately 1:30 p.m., and to the hotel by about 2:00 p.m. Booking flights after 3:00 p.m. is recommended. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!
You do not have to be a railroad buff to enjoy this program
If you like trains, beautiful scenery, and wonderful food, give this program a try. 5 different railroads, two trolleys, and a boat trip!
This was the best way to learn about trains and have hands on experience with the history. Lots of childhood memories from previous train rides in my college days.
Our first Road Scholar trip...hope to do several more!
it was delightful riding nine different trains and trolleys in the fall in New England. Seeing the trees in various stages of "color" and seeing a cranberry bog being harvested were highlights. The meal on the Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train was a real treat. All of our speakers were passionate about their subject and wanted to share it with us. The Trip exceeded our expectations.
Lots of history presented by very enthusiastic volunteers of the various rail sites we visited.
The program was organized and well-run. We were given a thorough, printed itinerary at check in and we stuck to the plan. It was a great week of learning and visiting fun and interesting venues. I'm looking forward to another vacation with Road Scholar!
Road Scholar advertizes this trip as History Comes to Life -- and they weren't kidding -- I loved the museums and Historical Society lectures. The train trips (especially the one with the boat) were wildly entertaining. Education and entertainment, combined with good food -- first rate vacation!
Anybody who would like to take a New England Trip would enjoy this one. It includes various interesting areas of New England.
If you enjoy train and trolley rides and their history along with beautiful scenery, this trip is for you. It is especially nice in October with the colorful foliage.