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Elderhostel 2006

New England Railroads: History and Heritage

June 25 - 30, 2006

It has been several years since I last went to an Elderhostel program,

I recently found one that was of great interest to me. 

I also recruited my friends Sue and Jack Cranney to join me on

this week long adventure in New England.  Our program began

with dinner on Sunday, June 25th and ended in the

late morning on June 30th.  Our first two nights were at Hyannis,

Massachusetts where we took our first train ride on the Cape Cod Central Railroad. 

This was our headquarters motel in Hyannis.  We had lectures about

Cape Cod and the Cape Cod Central Railroad before going a

board for our first train ride of the week.

Waiting for the train to pull in! 

At last, here's the train!  Our group is 41 persons was from all over the USA. 

We traveled from Hyannis to Bourne on the train.  Part of the trip

followed the Cape Cod Canal.  This was around trip ride so

we returned to the station across the street from our motel.

Do I look like the engineer?

After a two night stay in Hyannis, it was off to Meredith, New Hampshire

and a ride on the Lake Winnipesaukee Railroad.  We traveled on a very

comfortable bus as we ventured around this part of New England. 

Above is the engine that pulled our train along the lake.

Our train ride took us from Meredith to Weirs Beach, New Hampshire and

included the first of several box lunches we had during the week. 

There was a running commentary provided on the train as we traveled along.

This sigh greeted us as we rolled into Weirs beach.

The Lake Winnipesaukee mail boat was sailing out for its

afternoon delivery run as we were leaving the train.

There goes our train back to Meredith.

At our next stop of the day we learned that the host for our

visit was not at the Hobo Railroad Station, so we ventured to a nearby

New Hampshire State Park where the famous Flume was located. 

Unfortunately, we were to late in the day to hike up to the Flume. 

There was a good sized moose in the park headquarters building.

We are staying at the new Inn Seasons Resort in Lincoln, New Hampshire. 

It was a first class resort in every way.  We had a very interesting lecture in the evening

about our next day railroad ride on the Notch Train of the Conway Scenic Railroad.

North Conway station of the Conway Scenic Railroad.

The round house at the North Conway station.

Our train at the Crawford Depot.  We traveled on this rainy morning up to

and through the Crawford Notch.  We had a great narrative of the trip by

Ben English who was a retired local teacher. 

Our second activity of the day was a ride up the Mount Washington Cog Railway. 

In spite of the rainy weather it was a great ride.  We rode on this engine and car. 

The Peppersass one of the original cog locomotives.

The railway track to the top of the mountain.

As you can see the weather at the top of the mountain was awful

as we prepared to descent back to the lower station.

On Thursday morning, we were on the bus early for a long morning drive to Essex,

Connecticut for our last train ride of the week.  We were booked on the

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat ride.  Above is the station for

the train in Essex.  It was fun to finally ride behind a vintage steam locomotive. 

This the trackside museum that was the bottling plant for the

local Witch Hazel company.  The railroad yards around the station were

loaded with railroad cars, old locomotives and related machinery and

included a large shop where they were rebuilding a vintage steam engine.

Our tour group is listening to a lecture about the Essex Steam Train. 

We had finished another of those famous Elderhostel box lunches!

This is the steam locomotive that pulled our train over the twelve mile plus route. 

We have stopped at the Deep River Station where we left the train to

board the river boat Becky Thatcher.

The Becky Thatcher awaits our boarding.  The combined train and

boat ride lasted about 3 hours and was a great way to end our

week of riding on the trains of New England.  Friday morning,

we returned to Hyannis to pick up my car and then headed for home

with many fond memories of the weeks adventure.