It may be hard to think about plans for fall at the height of summer, but Amtrak just announced the return of a beloved scenic (and super affordable) route that’s worth planning a little ahead for.
The Great Dome Car will be running along the Adirondack line from September 27 through November 2 this year, giving lucky passengers some extra sightseeing bang for their train travel buck. The vintage car, with seats operating on a first-come, first-serve basis, features an upper level with windows on all sides that provide panoramic views of the magnificent fall foliage of upstate New York. It’s kind of like if Robert Altman directed a sedate prequel to Snowpiercer called Leafpeeper.
Originally built in 1955, the Great Dome Car originally ran along the Chicago–Seattle Empire Builder. Renovated in 1985 (thankfully without the addition of any glass bricks or neon), the car is now the last of its kind in service in the US making this a pretty rare opportunity to engage in some fun, throwback travel. Or potentially an intricate closed door murder mystery.
A ticket from Albany across the border to Montreal will take you past gorgeous river vistas, plenty of colorful leaves and sweeping views of Lake Champlain. The car will be attached to trains running north on the Adirondack route on Thursdays, Saturdays and Mondays and southbound on Fridays, Sundays and Tuesdays.
The gorgeous trip lasts about 10 hours and tickets start as low as $53 for the full trip. There are also tickets available from Albany to Saratoga Springs for $19, from Albany to Port Henry for $32, from Saratoga Springs to Montreal for $46 and from Port Henry to Montreal for $27, making this not only a far more relaxed option to catch some fall leaves than your usual mountain hike, but a pretty cheap one, too.