Rail Explorers RI

Riding the Rails – Rhode Island Rail Explorers

Newport, Rhode Island sure is a happening place during the summer. Vacationers flood the city to such an extent that primetime June reservations at the most in-demand restaurants are best booked in the dead of winter. People come for the food and numerous other attractions, including the Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad, which runs various excursions in and around Newport, and Rail Explorers.

Rail Explorers is a company that allows people to ride custom-built bicycle-like contraptions, which I will henceforth refer to as “bikes” for lack of a better term, along the rails. The opportunity to essentially bike down the tracks sounded like a unique and fun activity so my wife and I jumped at the chance to participate on Saturday, June 24, 2017.

One of the consistencies between all of the train rides I have taken is that I have always been restricted to watching the scenery whiz out the side window of a passenger car. Never do I get to see the tracks straight on, to look up the rails and see what lays ahead. Normally only the engineer enjoys this view, but Rail Explorers gave us the opportunity.

Still, I wondered about the logistics. With only one set of tracks, how do inbound riders return to the point of origin without crashing into those traveling outbound? Without any way to pass, would speed be limited by the slowest rider at any given time like it would on a single-lane road with no passing zones? These are active railroad tracks; would we need to worry about train traffic?

Turns out that Rail Explorers considered these challenges too and figured out solutions. In order to avoid head-on collisions, trips start at specific pre-determined times so that everyone is simultaneously riding in the same direction. Rail Explorers also coordinates with the Newport and Narragansett Bay Railroad, from whom they sublease use of the tracks, to ensure that trains are not on the tracks while people are pedaling down them.

The company website recommends that interested customers make reservations in advance, as the trips oftentimes are sold out. Trips are either booked as one-way excursions, which include a shuttle bus that picks people up at the end and brings them back to the starting point, or round trips. My wife and I booked the one-way trip, which would entail a northbound six-mile journey beginning in Portsmouth, Rhode Island.

Before the excursion began, the staff gathered the riders together for a couple of speeches, the first was a promotion about the company itself, while the latter focused on safety. Rail Explorers has reportedly never had an accident and they emphasized that they wanted to keep it that way. They showed us how to use the braking system and told us over and over again that we must put our right arms up when braking so the riders behind us know that we are slowing down.

Once the speech about safety concluded, we were told to pick our bikes, and this is where the chaos began. Some of the bikes had tags indicating that they had been reserved, but it was unclear who had reservations and who did not. We had booked our trip online ahead of time, so were we to look for a reserved bike or take an open one? To add to the confusion, some of the bikes were clearly four-seaters and some of them were obviously two-seaters, but others looked to be two two-seaters linked together so were those for parties of four, or would they be separated before the trip began? Also, we were told that if we wanted to go faster we should choose bikes towards the front while riders who wanted a more leisurely experience should gravitate towards the back. That sounded good in theory, but all of the confusion led to people just taking whatever bikes they could get instead of organizing themselves by speed. Hopefully Rail Explorers can figure out a way to make the bike selection process more clear and efficient.

Once everyone was in their respective bikes, the trip was ready to begin. The staff let the bikes go one at a time in approximately 30-second intervals in order to intentionally create gaps between riders and minimize the chances of a crash. After a final safety quiz about how to brake and signal, the staff let us go and we were off.

My wife was nervous that we might derail, and honestly I can understand her anxiety, as some of the tracks looked a bit uneven and rickety, but I reassured her that real trains still use these tracks daily without incident, and that if we did derail we would probably simply slip off the tracks and stop, no big deal.

In terms of exertion, these bikes are similar to exercise bikes in that one can peddle as fast or as slow as they want and make the experience anything from a leisurely stroll to an exhausting workout. Some riders were dripping with sweat at the end, but most looked refreshed, not the least bit worn out. We saw little kids, elderly folks, and all ages in between enjoying the experience.

The ride was much more bumpy and louder than I expected. After all, rides in passenger trains tend to be quiet and smooth. In contrast, we could feel every bump in these bikes. Each time our wheels passed over the small space between rail beams – which was quite often – we got a jolt. The shaking of the bike’s frame was so loud that my wife and I were shouting to each other even though our heads were maybe a foot apart. In all seriousness, next time I would bring ear plugs. Maybe something was wrong with our bike, or maybe the noise was an intentional safety feature so other bikers and cars at street crossings would have a better sense of our presence, but I have to believe that if Rail Explorers wanted quieter bikes there would be a way to make that happen.

Besides, the issue of street-crossing safety was largely taken care of by the staff, who were stationed at virtually all of the crossings along the route. Like crossing guards in front of elementary schools, the staff stopped the cars so riders could safely traverse the intersections.


When we were not having to keep an eye out for intersections or other riders slowing down in front of us, we were able to enjoy the scenery. We could see Narragansett Bay to the east for much of the ride, while to the west were the back yards of upscale residential properties. During the latter portion of the route, we passed two golf courses and a wildlife sanctuary. The staff met us just north of the Mount Hope Bridge and took pictures of each rider with the bay and bridge in the background. These were not the sort of for-profit photos that get taken at places like the New England Aquarium or Major League Baseball games, where the photographers then try to sell the pictures to you; rather, the staff used the riders’ own cameras so the photos were free and instantaneously available. The pictures were a nice touch and we certainly appreciated it.

Rail Explorers RI

When the excursion concluded, we piled onto a bus with the other riders for a drive back to our starting point six miles south. Along the way, the driver told us some history about the area as well as the railroad. According to him, the tracks we rode down were part of the passenger route that used to connect Boston and Newport. Said passenger service has long since ended, and freight traffic ceased in the 1980s after a storm damaged a portion of the corridor beyond repair. Today, the tracks are used for scenic train rides and Rail Explorers, while the state has their eye on the corridor as the site of a possible light rail system sometime in the future if road traffic becomes overwhelming.

Start to finish, with the exception of the bike selection chaos, we loved our Rail Explorers experience and hope to do it again. They have a southbound route out of Portsmouth in addition to the northern route we rode. Their website shows locations in New York and Delaware as well, and the staff said they are looking to open up new locations in Nevada and Colorado and to expand internationally to France and Ireland.

While the expansion plans sound challenging, I think about all the hurdles Rail Explorers has cleared in order to achieve the level of operation they already maintain. Their perseverance is inspiring and it made me wonder about the other possibilities associated with rail biking. Imagine biking through the Hoosac Tunnel or maybe even from coast to coast. Sure, many logistical challenges exist, but rail biking has already come this far, who knows where its limits lay?

Rail Explorers RI

Forgotten Railroad Lines | Charles River, MA – Ridge Hill, MA

By Jonah Soolman
This blog entry, hopefully, is not a work of historical fiction. Everything I write here is true to the best of my understanding, and if I am off base then I hope that someone will set the record straight.

Growing up in Needham, I had absolutely no idea that an abandoned right of way splintered off the main line through town at Charles River Village and extended northwest to the long-since-gone Baker Estate until I read about it in Ronald Dale Karr’s Lost Railroads of New England this summer. Of the route, labeled 10B in his book, Karr writes, “Built to serve a resort hotel at this obscure branch was operated summers-only from 1879 until about 1885 and was abandoned in 1889.” The rails themselves have long since been ripped up, and much of the two-mile corridor has been landscaped beyond recognition. I wonder how many of the homeowners along that stretch know that a railroad literally used to run through their backyards.

Once I learned of this railroad, I set out to find any trace of it that I could. Over the summer, I found what I believe to be the ruins of the Ridge Hill Farms train station. Locating the right of way, however, proved much more difficult due to the aforementioned construction, my respect for private property that kept me from trespassing, a vague sense of where the rails used to lay, and thick vegetation.

In October, a volunteer at the Needham Historical Society told me that the right of way was still accessible via one of the town’s trails, but he could not remember which one. Upon hearing that, I used the same maps that helped me locate the ruins and a town trails maps to explore the public lands near the Charles River where I believed the right of way existed.

My first couple of trips yielded nothing but uncertainties, but as the tall grass and vegetation receded for the coming winter, I was able to find what I believe is the right of way on my third visit. Following this paragraph, I am sharing a collection of photographs on which I have superimposed yellow lines to show where I believe the tracks were. Nearly 130 years after rails were ripped up, it is amazing that their mark on the land remains.

 

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ridgehillfarms (6)

ridgehillfarms (4)

ridgehillfarms (3)

Ridge Hill Farms

ridgehillfarms (5)

Autumn Express Amtrak

Amtrak Autumn Express 2015

By Jonah Soolman
“If I can’t ride it, I’m not interested,” is how a fellow rider on Amtrak’s 2015 Autumn Express explained the scope of his interest in trains yesterday. He was differentiating himself from other train enthusiasts who took particular interest in the tanker cars parked in the rail yard through which we were riding.
Us train aficionados may all like trains, but the facets of railroad that appeal to each of us widely vary. Unlike many of my fellow riders, I know virtually nothing about engines, railroad politics, or who owns which tracks, and my knowledge of rail history is extremely limited. I enjoy riding trains and like thinking about the places that can be explored through rail travel. That’s all. This preamble is important, as other riders could tell you many more details and stories from yesterday’s Autumn Express, while the following is solely what I experienced through my layman eyes.

Back in 2010, I participated in a bicycle race that began in Westfield, Massachusetts, headed north to Jacksonville, Vermont, and then finished back in Westfield. My favorite part of the event was traveling the stretch of Route 2 from Charlemont to Shelburne Falls. The Deerfield River, a wide, shallow, and rocky swath of water, parallels the road the entire stretch. On the south side of the river, I spotted train tracks. Those rails stuck in my mind, and over the years I occasionally remembered them and imagined what it would be like to ride them. When Amtrak revealed that their 2015 Autumn Express would give me the chance to do it for real, I jumped at the opportunity.

The Express’s point of origin was the Albany-Rensselaer Amtrak station in New York. The departure time was set for 8:00 AM so I arrived at 6:45 AM thinking that I would be at the front of line and have my pick of seats. Nope. Diehards were already there and had been for quite some time. Despite the excitement, everybody was calm and followed the staff’s directives to be safe and proceed slowly down the rain-slicked steps to the train once the gate opened.

Albany Rensselaer

The front of the train as it turned north out of Albany-Rensselaer
The train was nearly a quarter mile long and comprised of 11 cars and two engines. Once I got down to the train, I headed to one of the cars up front and got a window seat on the train’s left. Most of the seats had filled in by the time we departed the station, and more boarded at the train’s only other stop in Schenectady, but the train was not sold out. Later, the conductor said they had 497 people on the train, compared to 550 people on the previous day’s run of the Express.

Autumn Express Amtrak
Autumn Express Amtrak

The two-sided points of interest guide given to all passengers
“Is it hot in here, or is it just me?” I wondered. Then other riders began complaining to the conductor about the building heat in our car. When I returned from visiting the souvenir store at the front of the train, I stepped back into our cabin and realized just how abnormally hot our car was compared to the rest of the train. The air conditioning was not working, the conductor said. The crew attempted to fix it, but they were unable to and said that the train needed to be serviced from the outside. The heat rose. Passengers shed layers of clothing and continued to complain. The crew briefly opened the exterior door to get some air flow, but then shut it. The scent of pickles from the Amtrak-provided lunches mixed with the stench of sweat. The cabin’s smell was a cross between a deli and a high school locker room. I sent Jonathan Higgins a profanity-laced text message.
Autumn Express

No idea where this is. I just thought it looked cool.
Trying to put the ventilation issues aside, I turned my attention back out the window, as we were nearing the Hoosac Tunnel, the Express’s main attraction. Even though I lived in western Massachusetts for years, I never even heard of this 4.75-mile tunnel running under a mountain from North Adams to Florida until Jonathan told me about it last year. Fellow passengers eagerly awaited the underground journey and aimed their cameras out the window as we approached the tunnel’s west entrance.

Hoosac Tunnel

The west entrance to the Hoosac Tunnel. Not everybody is a good photographer.
Shortly after entering the tunnel, however, everything was pitch black and cameras were useless. We could not see anything except a deep, deep darkness. Solitary red signals at two different points in the tunnel were only visible to riders on the train’s left. After seeing riders press their own flashlights against the windows in an effort to view the tunnel’s walls, I did the same. The light cast the dimmest of shadows, but was enough for me to discover that some of the walls are made of brick, which was news to me.

Hoosac Tunnel

Inside Hoosac Tunnel
Although I could not see very much, the trip through the tunnel was still a moving experience, as it made me think about the nearly 200 workers who lost their lives building it, and what an achievement of engineering and manpower it was to design and construct such an ambitious structure at a time when technology was so crude. In that sense, riding through the tunnel had a similar feel to this summer’s trip up the cog railway.
Once we were through the tunnel, we rode along the Deerfield River and I looked across the water at the road where I raced my bike and imagined my five-years-younger self glancing back at the spot I now occupied and hoping that someday I would get a chance to be here. This section of the route carried a personal meaning that was probably unique to me.
Deerfield River

The Deerfield River in Charlemont
After the awe and sentimentality receded, my attention returned to the heat and smell. Without any key points of interest to occupy me, I could not take the lack of air flow any longer and had to do something. I walked the entire length of the train before finally finding an open window seat at the rear of the last cabin. One of the conductors was eating lunch nearby so I asked him if I could switch to this seat and he told me it was fine. The air was cool and scentless, but my serenity was short lived, as the woman across the aisle told me that I had taken her husband’s seat. Ugh.
After having experienced the high life, how could I possibly return to my seat in the sauna car? I told her I understood and would leave as soon as her husband returned, but for the time being I stayed there because I did not know where else to go. Shortly thereafter, he did return so I got up to leave. No, he said, stay. Confused and feeling guilty, I could not take this man’s seat, but he insisted. Turned out that he liked standing most of the trip anyway, as it allowed him to peer out the windows on both sides of the train as well as the rear. It was a win-win situation, and over the next four hours I thanked him numerous times for his generosity.

Sheburne Falls

Sheburne Falls
This kind gentleman and the other riders around me seemed particularly interested in talking with one particular passenger who seemed especially cordial and knowledgeable about the railroad. It took me a while to put two and two together, but eventually I learned his name and discovered that he works for Amtrak and is extremely high up within the company. Upon seeing my iPhone, he became concerned that I was recording him (I wasn’t; I was only taking photos out the window). Nothing he was saying seemed like sensitive information to me, but out of respect for him and his concern, I will not mention his name or the specifics of what he said.

What I will say though is that he was very welcoming and seemed to genuinely appreciate everybody who had come out for the ride and wanted to make sure that we were all having a good time. The train’s rear door window was a particularly popular vantage point for photographers, and this man made sure that everybody who wanted to look out that window or take a picture got a chance. He asked me where I was from, and hours later still remembered the name of my obscure Massachusetts hometown. Not only that, but this DC-based employee who works on a national level was able to have an in-depth discussion about the tracks running through my town as if he was my neighbor.Autumn Express Amtrak

Trolley museum in Shelburne Falls
Turns out that he was not the only high-ranking Amtrak employee on the Autumn Express that day. In fact, the last car on the train was the place to be and was filled with Amtrak employees, their families, and the most diehard of train aficionados. And me. As out of place as I was, they were all so friendly and I will always remember what a welcoming community they comprise.

At the train’s turnaround point in the East Deerfield yard, the crew got outside and fixed the electrical issues that caused the air conditioning problems. One employee explained the temperature woes to me. While the two engines up front were more modern, the passenger cabins themselves were built in the 1970s and use outdated technology. Once the heat comes on, it can only be shut off from the outside, he said. The air conditioning works in a similar way; once it is triggered, it cannot be shut off. Everybody thinks café cars are cold because they do not want passengers to linger, he said, but that is not actually true. The truth is that the café equipment generates heat, which turns out the air conditioner, which remains on for the entire trip.

Autumn Express Amtrak

East Deerfield rail yard
As we began our return trip back to Albany-Rensselaer, I watched rail fans outside who were filming and photographing our train as it passed. Some of them I recognized, as they had been driving to various points along the route all day and stopping to watch us before hopping back in the car and catching up with us again. One man in particular caught my attention because I had spotted him in the crowd in every state through which we traveled.

Autumn Express Amtrak

Rail fans watching our train outside the Hoosac Tunnel
Upon reaching our destination, everybody I overheard was extremely satisfied with the ride and felt it was well worth whatever time and expense they had endured to participate. Having only come from the Boston area, I was a relative local. Others had come from other regions and even other countries, with one couple having come from Australia just for this ride. Despite the temperature issues, I, too, had a great time and feel very lucky that I had a chance to finally ride down those Charlemont tracks and experience the Autumn Express as a whole.

Autumn Express Amtrak

Somewhere in the Massachusetts countryside

Needham - Baker Estate

Forgotten Railroad Lines | Baker Estate Needham, MA

By Jonah Soolman
In Lost Railroads of New England, route 10B is a short spur in Needham that used to serve the Baker Estate. The route was abandoned in 1889 and the tracks have long since been removed. Hardly any traces of that right of way remain, as most of it has been landscaped and built upon by residential developers. One local told me that evidence of the rail bed remains in places, but I have never been able to find it. However, today I found the ruins of the old Ridge Hill railroad station, which was the route’s endpoint at the Baker Estate.

Read more about the Baker Estate
– Once Upon a Time at the Baker Estate
– A lost estate
 The forgotten Baker estate (Ridge Hill Farms) Needham, MA

Needham ROW 1

Needham ROW 2

Mount Washington Cog Railway

Riding the Rails | Cog Railway – Mount Washington, NH

Written and photographs by Jonah Soolman

Upon reaching the finish line of the Mount Washington Road Race, I looked to my right to where the Cog Railway’s tracks dead end at the summit and wearily thought to myself, “You mean I could have just taken the train up here?” Since that day in 2009, I hoped to eventually ride the cog railway back to the top of Mount Washington. After years of logistical obstacles getting in the way, I finally had an opportunity to take the train earlier this summer.

Hurdles presented themselves up until the very last minute, when bad weather at both the base and the summit made us rethink our plans. As it turned out, the rain and cold were blessings in that they kept the crowds away. Approximately 10 people, far less than capacity, rode our train, allowing everybody to have a window seat.

Hefty ticket prices may also have played a role with the small crowd. At $68.00 per person for adults ($73.00 if you want to take the steam train, which is the first run of the morning, compared to the biodiesel engines that run the rest of the day) the outing is certainly not cheap. Prices for the day’s last run are discounted, which probably explained why reservations for that train were all booked while the others were wide open.

Still, one must pay a price – literally and/or figuratively – to reach the summit one way or another. Driving up the auto road costs $28.00 for the first adult and $8.00 for each additional adult, and passengers must be able to stomach the steep and narrow road that winds its way up the mountain with precipitous cliff drops to virtually-certain death inches from your wheels. (Did I mention there are no guardrails?) And if you want to go up on foot, well, at best you are in for a tough workout and at worst your outing could legitimately turn fatal.

Upon boarding the train, I asked the conductor if he recommended one side of the train or the other. He was new and in training, so his more seasoned supervisor strongly recommended that we sit on the train’s left side, as that offers the best views up the mountain.

Cog-002

The tracks ahead looked steep, intimidatingly steep, and the seats themselves, which pitch forward significantly when the train is on flat ground, offered a further clue to the sharp grade in front of us. Indeed, just a few minutes into the ride and we were leaning back so far that it felt like we were ascending a roller coaster.

Cog-007

Along the way, the conductor took to a microphone and told us about the railway’s construction as well as the sights as we passed them. The section of the trestle known as Jacob’s Ladder is the steepest part of the tracks, close to a 40% grade, and highlights what an achievement of engineering it was to construct such an ambitious route in such harsh wilderness.

Cog-008

The conductor pointed out to us that the engine and the passenger car are not actually attached to each other. Rather, they rub up against each other, with the engine always further downhill than the passengers and either pushing them up or acting as a brake on the way down. The main reason that he cited for this setup is that if something should happen to the engine’s brakes and it hurtles down the tracks uncontrollably, better that the passenger compartment be free to stop itself with its own set of brakes rather than face certain catastrophe along with the engine.

In response to a passenger’s question about safety, the novice conductor let slip that he was trained not to talk about accidents, but in reality two fatal train accidents, one in 1929 and the other in 1967, killed a total of nine people on the cog railway.

Cog-003

Upon reaching the summit, passengers disembark the train and are allowed approximately one hour to explore the top of the mountain before reboarding for the descent. Mount Washington’s summit is a mix of contradictions. Some of the most severe weather in the world takes place there and books have been written about the various misfortunes and deaths that have taken place on the mountain, yet you will find a snack bar with fresh pizza and clam chowder, souvenir stands selling shirts and refrigerator magnets, and a post office from which you can impress your friends by sending a mailing with a novelty Mount Washington post mark.

Cog-004

The weather can change in an instant. Paying no attention to the calendar, the rain and cold that greeted us cared not that it was the summer and instead demanded our heaviest winter jackets. However, the harsh weather quickly gave way to sunshine and warmth. A recently-renovated weather museum next to the cafeteria delves more deeply into the mountain’s quirky and rapidly-changing weather.

Cog-005

Some of the passengers who wished to spend longer at the summit were disappointed to learn that they were required to take their regularly-scheduled train back to the base, as opposed to waiting for a later train, but at least the descent began with clearing skies and a look down at the clouds.

The clouds then soon enveloped us, and while they limited the view, they offered a reminder of the conditions facing those who dared to imagine and make real a railroad through this terrain and weather system.

Cog-006

Despite the dodgy weather and costly tickets, I was very happy and satisfied with my cog railway experience. Compared to driving or running, riding the train was by far my favorite and most relaxing mode of reaching the summit, taking in the views, and enjoying Mount Washington as a whole. If you have been considering a visit to Mount Washington or you are just looking to take unique train ride in New England, I highly recommend the cog railway.

Vermonter pulls into Amherst station

Amtrak’s Vermonter – Amherst Station

By Jonah Soolman 

Taking the day off to drive from Boston to Waterbury, Vermont, ride Amtrak’s Vermonter south to Amherst, Massachusetts, and then disembark the train only to board its northbound counterpart and retrace my steps all the way back home may strike you as odd.

You have to understand who I am though. When I lived in Amherst about 50 yards from the tracks, I watched the Vermonter pass from one window on my townhouse’s top floor and then excitedly ran to the opposite-facing windows in time to get a second glimpse at the train as it curved around the bend. Getting “stuck” at the crossing gates on North Whitney Street always struck me as fortunate timing despite whatever rush I may have been in at the time.

My favorite bicycle route took me north from Amherst along route 63 to Northfield. The eastern part of the rail trail connecting Northampton to Belchertown, on which I frequently jogged, runs parallel to the train tracks through the rivers, swamps, and farmlands of the Brickyard Conservation Area.

Oftentimes, I thought about how fantastic it must be to take in the same scenery through the lens of a train window. In 2007, I got a chance to do just that when I took the Vermonter south from Amherst to New York City and back. Points north of Amherst though? That was a different story, that is, until a few weeks ago when I learned of Amtrak’s plans to alter the Vermonter’s route through Massachusetts by utilizing tracks along the west side of the Connecticut River while abandoning the Amherst station and the stretches of track so far mentioned.

Although I wished that the route remained east of the river for the sake of nostalgia and scenery, nothing could stop the inevitable change that was about to occur. Amtrak and the other transportation organizations involved with the switch have their valid reasons. Besides, truth be told, going from Brattleboro to Springfield via Amherst and Palmer makes just about as much sense as driving from Philadelphia to Boston by passing through Pittsburgh. Instead of fighting, I made immediate plans to ride those northern rails before the opportunity dissolved.

The ride did not disappoint. Some of the views of the Northfield farmlands and Sunderland forests were spectacular, even in the dead of winter, while my favorite spots were crossing the Miller’s River high above the water and passing over the Mill River Conservation Area gorge. Although I have many pictures from the trip, my amateur photography skills are an injustice to what I saw with my own eyes. If you ever had the experience yourself, you know exactly what I mean.

The Boston suburbs in which I now live are home to many stretches of track that are no longer in use, such as the rails that stretch from Needham Junction to Medfield and from Newton Highlands to Needham Heights. Whenever I see these tracks, I think about what it must have been like to ride them. Now those who see the Vermonter’s old tracks east of the Connecticut River are destined for the same fate: to only ride those rails in their imaginations. For me and for everybody else who was able to ride the Vermonter before the switch, I am grateful that we got a chance to do it for real.

Train crossing on North Whitney Street in Amherst, Massachusetts
Train crossing on North Whitney Street in Amherst, Massachusetts
Passengers awaiting northbound Vermonter at Amherst Station
Passengers awaiting northbound Vermonter at Amherst Station
Crossing the Mill River in Miller's Falls, Massachusetts
Crossing the Mill River in Miller’s Falls, Massachusetts
Waterbury, Vermont
Waterbury, Vermont
Looking northeast at the North Whitney Street train crossing in Amherst, Massachusetts
Looking northeast at the North Whitney Street train crossing in Amherst, Massachusetts
Amherst Station, Amherst, Massachusetts
Amherst Station, Amherst, Massachusetts
Vermonter approaching Waterbury station
Vermonter approaching Waterbury station
Crossing the Connecticut River in Northfield, Massachusetts
Crossing the Connecticut River in Northfield, Massachusetts
Snow-covered farmland in Northfield, Massachusetts
Snow-covered farmland in Northfield, Massachusetts
Bellows Falls, Vermont
Bellows Falls, Vermont