Private Car trip scouting in Vermont

Babs and I are up in Vermont for the weekend attending a conference and doing a little private car destination scouting at the same time in Rutland, Vermont. Rutland is at the end of the line for Amtrak’s Ethan Allen train. The train arrives in the evening, parks overnight and leaves in the morning. I was up here with the Mount Vernon a few years ago for an all-too-short overnight stay, and didn’t get much of an impression of the town. Looks a lot nicer in the daytime–lots to do here.

From Rutland VT, posted by Tom Coughlin on 9/09/2013 (5 items)

Generated by Facebook Photo Fetcher 2

One limiting factor to a Rutland visit–no hotel power is available–a PV would have to run on it’s generator if it were parked here longer than an overnight.

16 comments to Private Car trip scouting in Vermont

  • John DeSantis

    Hi Tom,

    Help understand what “private car destination scouting” is? I love trains and used to take one from Philadelphia to Washington DC back in 1997, on Amtrak.

    Thank you,

    • Tom

      My wife and I are both involved in developing and promoting rail travel using privately owned railroad cars, frequently hauled by Amtrak trains (which is kind of expensive, but with up to a dozen passengers, it’s not so bad.) We’re constantly looking for economic weekend trips out of NYC. Amtrak serves Rutland, VT, and while there are come complications here (lack of a terminal at the end of the line), it’s kind of okay.

  • Andrea

    My one experience on a train’s sleeper car was on a trip in South Africa – overnight from Johannesburg to Cape Town. I loved it. Constant entertainment in the change of scenery, the meditating sway of the train in motion, the “glamour” of the dining car (which was not terribly glamorous, but felt that way), the “forced” relaxation. For all of that I think we paid $60 apiece (yes it was a long time ago – late 90’s, but that was still cheap for train travel). Every now and then I look into train travel as an alternative for me and my kids, and I am always terribly saddened that it costs more to take a train than fly. I’d love any tips you have in finding affordable overnight train travel!

    • Tom

      Overnight train travel is dying hard–can’t imagine there’s going to be much around in twenty year. Have to ride the trains when you can. Next international overnight trip could easily be the Scottish Caledonian train over Christmas break.
      In North America, my favorite long-distance trip is the Canadian. They offer last minute deals of up to 70% off in the wintertime–two adults can travel across Canada, meal included (four nights on the train) for about $1,100 if you play it right. Cheaper than a cruise.

  • Ebtehal Mutawalli

    I have never been on a train before, but reading some of the stories got me really interested. I think it is a whole new experience and different than flying. You get the chance to view the beautiful scenery while the train is moving. Maybe one day I will try it and then I will tell you about my experience. Dr. Tom, I hope you have a great and safe trip.


  • Professor, it seems that you are really diversified in the activities that you do in your life—and it seems that you enjoy doing so. Your personality and work, sometimes remind me of an historical person known as Niccolò Machiavelli! He was a very diversified in his work. A quick search of him on Google, I understand that he was a politician, a humanist, a philosopher, an historian and a diplomat! Although you seem to have somehow different likes, you all two share a similar trait: diversified individuals.

    • Tom

      My interests go all over the map, literally. It’s safe to say that I love industrial history and immersive education. Seems like everything I do is a combination of the two.

  • Hessah

    My experience of train travel was from Philadelphia to Atlantic City. Although it wasn’t long destination but I enjoyed it. If I have a chance to go to another time, I would take it. It’s more relaxing than any other transpiration. I am wondering if I can get the train from Philadelphia to the state of Florida.

  • Ahmed

    It is pretty interesting to travel by train from a state to another. I’ve experienced the railway journeys in the past, they were comfortable and convenient than any other transportation; such as the bus journeys. Besides, I prefer the train the most because it is much cheaper than air flights and more enjoyable due to the passengers and scenes that the train passes by. Also it is accessible to many destinations.

    thank you,

    • Tom

      Air versus rail–it kind of depends on the country, and the size of the cities. In the US and Canada, a trip between two big cities tends to be cheaper by air, but if you’re trying to get between a couple of smaller towns, trains often win the price war. Around Europe: traditionally, rail was cheaper and air was overpriced, but with the coming of discount carriers (RyanAir, Flybe, etc.), air had the edge for a few years. Lately the european rail operators have pushed back with bargain-priced web deals. Getting around Continental Europe is pretty reasonably priced these days.

  • Andrea

    Do you know if there are any good “fall foliage” train adventures? I’ve heard that Vermont is stunning in the fall, but I’ve never been at that time of year…

    • Tom

      Vermont (Amtrak’s Vermonter) and Amtrak’s Adirondack are both excellent fall foliage trains. Right now until November, the Adirondack operates with a full dome car–you’ll be up high and able to see both side of the track. Montreal is a great final weekend family destination–my favorite hotel in Montreal, Le Cartier B&B, typically has rooms for less than $80 a night.

  • well, I took the train once in my live, and i will never ever do it again.

    it was a trip from L.A to San Francisco. and also it was an overnight/morning trip. so you can imagine how exhausted i was.

    but i think my experience was very hard because i wasn’t prepared and the timing was wrong and the train wasn’t clean.

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