If your travels ever take you to the Green Mountain state you should visit the Hotel Coolidge built in the 1800’s in downtown White River Junction, Vermont. White River Junction is located near the junction of Interstate 91 and 89 in the central eastern part of the state. These two interstates isn’t how the town got its name, it’s because of its railroad history. In WRJ’s heyday it was the home of 5 different railroads. Today it’s the home of two railroads New England Central Railroad and Vermont Railways. The Coolidge is a classic railway hotel where travelers could stay overnight and be only a short walk to the train station. Stepping inside this hotel I felt transported in time with it classic woodworking and a fireplace in the lobby. I could imagine the lobby busy with people coming and going as trains were pulling into town bringing people from all over New England and points beyond.
Over the years I’ve spent a lot of time in WRJ railfanning but I always stay at the Quechee/Pine Valley KOA just outside of downtown. Now that my daughter is a student at the University of Vermont in Burlington I need a place to spend an overnight during the camping off season. This was the ideal location having the ability to do a little railfanning plus breaking up the drive during quick weekend trips.
Railfanning in White River Junction
During the week is the best time to see some freight action. I’ve seen activity at various parts of the day. I would strongly recommend bringing a scanner with you so you can hear the activity. Amtrak’s Vermonter travels thought twice daily with a northbound and southbound train as well.
New England Central Railroad
161.2050 – Road
161.4150 – Yard 1
160.7700 – Yard 3
160.9350 – Yard 4