Green Mountain Flyer excursions extended two weeks, adds Fireworks train Aug. 1

The Vermont Rail System has ramped up its tourism train service in Chester this year, coordinating with the Chester Rotary to begin its Green Mountain Flyer Fall Foliage excursions a week earlier than last year then extending the excursions one week longer.

It has also decided to restart its Fireworks Train on Aug. 1 to the Rockingham Old Home Days. You can buy tickets online for the Fireworks Train and the Fall Excursion by clicking here.

Inside one car of the cars of the Green Mountain Flyer. Chester Telegraph photos.

Inside one car of the cars of the Green Mountain Flyer. Chester Telegraph photos.

This year, the Fall Foliage trains will start on the weekend of the Chester Fall Festival — Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 19 and 20 — and run through Sunday, Oct. 18. The Fall Festival — the annual arts and crafts fair sponsored by the Chester Rotary — is held on the Green in Chester, about a 10 minute walk from the Depot. It’s open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days.

The Green Mountain Flyer Fireworks Train will depart Chester Depot on the evening of Aug. 1 so that riders can enjoy the annual Rockingham event without the hassle of finding a place to park in Bellows Falls. The train leaves at 7 p.m., arrives in Bellows Falls at 9, then departs Bellows Falls at 10:15 for an 11:15 arrival back in Chester.

The Flyer will stand at the Waypoint Center, offering passengers a perfect seat for the fireworks. Organizers say food and drink vendors will be on hand.  The cost of the roundtrip fare is $15 although those under 3 will ride free.

The Fall Foliage Excursion trains run Saturdays, Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from Saturday, Sept. 19 to Sunday, Oct. 18.  Trains depart Chester Depot at 10 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. for either Ludlow or Rockingham and return to Chester Depot at noon, 2:15 p.m. and 5 p.m., although there is a possibility for some layover time in Ludlow before catching a later train to return to Chester. Adult roundtrip tickets run $25; $20 for those 3 to 12.

Last year, the Vermont Rail System revamped the parking area around the Chester Depot, adding space for lots of cars and tourist buses. It also upgraded and repaired many of the Green Mountain Flyer cars.

— Cynthia Prairie

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About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor for 30 years, having worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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  1. Jim Mitchell says:

    This is wonderful it brings the rails back alive.

    Caveat Emptor unlike the Olden days of Yesteryear lock you cars at the Depot in Chester thieves hard at work dampen the events even when it might not rain.