The Joys of Winter Train Travel

The VIARail Canadian makes a short smoke stop in Hornepayne. The rearmost car on the train is a historic observation lounge dome car, which is for exclusive use of the bedroom passengers.

November is right around the corner, and it’s time to start thinking about a winter getaway. Like most college teachers I know, […]

Staying over at Haunted Places— (or: If the place was really haunted, they probably wouldn’t tell you.)

Living room at the Haunted Chamber–the guest quarters at the House of Trembling Madness, in York (UK). Yes, the taxidermy is real.

A recent stay-over at a purportedly haunted house in York, UK was a disappointment—it was wonderful, cozy and very nice. The place was beautiful in the Morticia Addams-kind of way: taxidermed small […]

A Sixpack of Irish Craft Beer

Ireland’s craft beer industry has been developing quickly (over eighty commercial beer-making sites in a country with a little more than 4 million people). The past three years have witnessed: significant development of the domestic malt industry, which now offers a variety of high-quality pale malts; improved supplies of hops; and improvements in both capacity […]

Private car destination guide– Niagara Falls, NY

Why Go: Niagara Falls’ main attraction is the falls, and there’s a really beautiful historic public park (NY’s oldest state park) that affords views of three of the falls, the cave of the winds, and Goat Island. Perfect for a stroll in early evening, when the falls’ lighting system comes on. Rent a car and […]

The Traveler’s Rest– eight unusual pubs you can take the train to.

Nothing makes a train trip more enjoyable than a nice beer along the way–and here’s a personal list of all-time favorites:


  Upright Brewing, Portland OR 240 N Broadway #2, Portland, OR 97227 (in the basement of the Left Bank Building) Limited hours– various times Thursday to Sunday only From the Portland Amtrak […]

Riding trains, and sampling craft beers in Ireland.

   A very brief compendium of interesting trains, and refreshing stopovers (March 2015).

Trains around Ireland:

Touring Ireland by train presents a transportation dilemma–trains serve the main cities and towns, but much of what makes a trip there interesting (scenery, ancient ruins, craggy coastlines) is way off the train network. On the other hand, driving […]

Private car destination guide– Boston

Why go: Full of history and culture, Boston is in many ways our country’s first city– home to The USS Constitution, Fanueil Hall, The Old State House, and Harvard University. Also home to the oldest subway system in North America, which also happens to be America’s oldest light rail system. Private Car parking in BOS: […]

Two nights under Montreal

The train ride from New York Penn to Montreal on Amtrak’s Adirondack is a perfect private car trip: eleven hours of beautiful New York scenery followed by two nights of subterranean intrigue while parked at a station track at Gare Centrale–literally in the center of a vast underground city that sprawls out for blocks in […]

Railroad History for people who like to acquire things.

Here’s a few shots from the Annual Gaithersburg, MD Railroad Collectible show last weekend. Enjoy!

From Railroad junk, posted by Tom Coughlin on 11/06/2013 (6 items)

The conductor jackets of the Long Island Railroad. A handsome old railroad crossing sign from Maryland. What railroad crews used to use for light in the days before […]

Private Railroad Cars in TV– The Wild, Wild West (1965-1969)

Over the past few evenings, Meg and I have been enjoying binge-watching our way through a DVD reissue set of the 1960s TV Series, “The Wild, Wild West”. We both really liked it as kids, we’re both fans of cheapo western action serials of the 30’s and 40’s, and this series borrows very heavily […]