Amtrak’s Great Dome observation car takes leaf peeping to great heights
It’s a sure sign of Autumn when Amtrak’s beloved Great Dome hits the tracks. The return of the 50s era classic — a panorama car dubbed Ocean View — heralds the arrival of leaf peeping season in Northeast hamlets and woodlands from the mountains of Upstate New York to the scenic Maine Shore.
The Great Northern Railway’s Budd-built observation car first drew mid-century travelers as a popular attraction of the legendary Empire Builder’s Chicago-to-Pacific Northwest journey. These days, Amtrak’s celebrated Dome Car does double duty as the star of two line-ups of scenic fall foliage excursions.
First up, the Amtrak Downeaster plays host to the vintage streamliner-with-a view on selected runs through September 24th. The ride offers wide-angle glimpses of New England villages and coastline arrayed in the region’s world-famous autumn hues. The train operates between Boston and Portland, Maine which means there are plenty of great stopover destinations along the way.
Beginning September 28th, Amtrak’s Great Dome casts its gaze upon a different range of vistas. The Amtrak Adirondack treats leaf peepers to stunning views of its namesake New York mountains and the Hudson Valley through which it rolls along the Albany to Montréal portion of what many consider
to be Amtrak’s most beautiful route. The Dome Car will be in service on selected trips through October 29th.