Experience New England's breathtaking fall foliage, weathered mountains, rocky coastlines, and charming towns aboard historic train lines during the height of autumn. 

Starting at: $4,795 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
Credit: Jen Slowey  Travel through New England aboard the Conway Scenic Railway. Credit: Debbe Hill  Summer at the WW&Fry. Credit: Stephen Hussar  The Conway Scenic Railway travels through Crawford Notch in New Hampshire's White Mountains. Credit: Debbe Hill  Mount Washington Cog train.  Credit: Mount Washington Cog Railway  Admiring New England's fall foliage. Credit: Jen Slowey

Railroading in New England

A Fall Foliage Adventure

6 days from $4,795

Experience New England's breathtaking fall foliage, weathered mountains, rocky coastlines, and charming towns aboard historic train lines during the height of autumn. 

or Call 855-330-1542

Overview

This unique tour of New England showcases two special themes: the region’s breathtaking fall foliage and its historic train lines. Learn how historic railways brought urban Americans to the shores and mountains of Maine and New Hampshire as you experience spectacular views of New England.

Highlights Include

  • Boston and Beyond: Tour the historic city of Boston, then journey further into New England by train from Boston’s North Station.
  • Maine and New Hampshire: Experience the unique two-foot gauge railroads that were essential to Maine’s lumber industry for half a century. In New Hampshire’s Mt. Washington Valley ride a former Boston & Maine railroad line, tracing the route of late 19th-century summer resort travelers to the White Mountains.
  • Mountain Summit: Travel aboard the Conway Scenic Railroad to the White Mountains, ascending 18 miles to reach Crawford Notch, which provides incredible views of the famous New England foliage. Journey on a cog railway to the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington and enjoy the stunning vistas. 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

Itinerary

Day 1 – Boston, Massachusetts

Arrive in Boston and get settled at your hotel. Enjoy opening remarks by Frank Ackerman, your Smithsonian Journeys Expert and a group dinner this evening. (D)

Day 2 – Boston, Amtrak Downeaster to Portland, Maine

This morning take in the sights of historic downtown Boston on a private coach bus tour. After the tour, experience America’s intercity passenger-rail renaissance aboard Amtrak’s Downeaster to Portland, Maine. We depart from North Station, located a mile and a half from South Station, Boston’s terminus for trains from outside of New England. The need to transfer across the congested city center led to the demise of intercity passenger trains in Maine and New Hampshire earlier than elsewhere in the Northeast. From 1965 until Downeaster service began in 2001, only commuter trains used North Station. Now five round trips a day link ten communities in three states. The two and a half hour ride winds along the Atlantic Coast through quaint towns in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine. Our afternoon arrival provides opportunity for you to discover downtown Portland before dinner. (B,D)

Day 3 – Portland to The Wiscasset, Waterville & Farmington Railway

This morning, we visit a gem of Maine history. In most of American railroading “narrow gauge” meant three feet between the rails. In Maine, however, a gauge of two feet was adopted for logging railroads in the woods and by five common-carrier railroads that totaled 187 route-miles. The 43-mile Wiscasset Waterville & Farrmington operated from 1895 until 1933. The WW&F Railway Museum has reconstructed 2.5 miles of original track on which we will ride a special train powered by newly restored steam locomotive No. 9. Afterward we will learn about the museum’s restoration program during a behind-the-scenes tour. Following a lunch stop in Wiscasset we will arrive in Portland in time for you to learn more about the “Maine two-footers” at the Maine Narrow Gauge Railroad Co. and Museum, or to see the renowned collection of paintings and other works by Winslow Homer at the Portland Art Museum. (B)

Day 4 – Conway Scenic Railroad in the Mount Washington Valley

From the 1870s through the 1920s, multitudes of eastern city-dwellers summered in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and western Maine. They came by train and we will recreate a bit of their experience. A transfer from Portland by bus will take us to a midday train on a rail line they traveled. It became part of the Boston and Maine Railroad in 1890, and its passenger trains connected this valley with Boston until 1961. Freight service continued until 1972 and excursion trains began in 1974. We will enjoy lunch in the dining car while passing Mount Chocorua, Mount Kearsarge, and Mount Washington. (B,L,D)

Day 5 – Conway Scenic Railroad to Bretton Woods, New Hampshire

After a leisurely morning in North Conway you will depart on the Conway Scenic Railroad for a trip into the White Mountains, ascending 18 miles of 2.2 percent grade to reach Crawford Notch. This railroad, intended as a link between Lake Ontario and the Atlantic Ocean, became part of the Maine Central Railway in 1888. Built across the picturesque White Mountains instead of around them, it provided the shortest route by rail between Portland and Canada. Our trip begins at the landmark North Conway passenger station on the Boston & Maine railroad. The B&M interchanged freight cars with the Maine Central at Intervale, NH, two miles farther north. Passenger trains on this line diverged from the Boston – Portland main line at Dover (a stop on the train we rode Friday) connecting North Conway with Boston until 1961. Boston & Maine freight service continued here until 1972. The Conway Scenic Railroad came into being soon thereafter and providing an intimate experience with the stunning mountain scenery of New Hampshire. (B,L,D)

Day 6 – Mount Washington Cog Railway

This morning you will ride the world’s first mountain climbing cog train. Aboard the cog railway, you will venture to the 6,288-foot summit of Mount Washington, the most topographically prominent peak east of Colorado on the only cog railway east of the Mississippi. In 1852 New Hampshire native Sylvester Marsh lost his way while ascending Mount Washington and conceived of building a railroad up the mountain. Although the endeavor was regarded as impossible, the New Hampshire legislature granted Marsh a charter to build it in 1858. The Civil War delayed its construction and the Mount Washington Cog Railway, the first of its kind in the world, was not completed until 1869. Atop the mountain, you will experience the incredible panoramic view with sights that include the mountains of New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont and on spectacularly clear days, vistas of the Atlantic Ocean and Canada. After the exhilarating summit, you will return to Boston in the afternoon. (B,L)

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)