Just a short jaunt from Brattleboro in southeastern Vermont, the Bellows Falls Union Station is the departure point for a nostalgic trip to a time when rail was king.
This 1850's building houses a restored waiting room and ticket office that echoes the look of the 1940s. Both Amtrak and Green Mountain Railroad trains use this facility.
When you climb aboard the Green Mountain Flyer, a glorious member of the Green Mountain Railroad family, you’ll embark on a journey that takes the restored coaches along the Williams River and the Connecticut River and passes historic covered bridges and the scenic Brockway Mills Gorge.
During your stop at Chester Depot, take time to explore the 1852 train station, which has been restored to its original 19th Century appearance. A restored 1941 bay window caboose is on display adjacent to the parking lot. A pleasant picnic area is available for your fresh-air lunch. There's also a snack bar on the train.
Depot Square Gifts is the perfect place to pick up souvenirs of your visit. Located within the Bellows Falls train station, you will find a large variety of railroad and Vermont items for all ages.
There’s a seasonal schedule to follow, so make your plans accordingly. Try a warm weather ride in the summer, from June to September, or enjoy the spectacular “only in Vermont” foliage season from September to October. Trains operate rain or shine, several times a day.
Plan to ride one of their Special Excursion Trains. These require reservations and include the Mother’s Day Excursion, Bellows Falls Fireworks Special, Rutland Limited, Fall Ludlow Limited, and the Santa Express. For all the details, visit www.rails-vt.com.
On your way home, stop for a meal in nearby Brattleboro, considered one of the “Top Ten Art Towns” (populations under 30,000) in the USA by John Villani, author of THE 100 BEST ART TOWNS IN AMERICA.
With these travel tips, you’re on the right track to enjoy a piece of southeastern Vermont!