Last revised: December 30, 2023
By: Adam Burns
When one thinks of New England, Massachusetts is usually one of the first, if not the first, most folks think of. Not surprisingly, the fall season attracts tens of thousands of visitors annually.
There are currently two heritage railroads in Massachusetts hosting excursions for the public that run through the fall season; the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum and the Cape Cod Central Railroad. More information about each of these may be found below.
Finally, if you are interested in viewing the fall colors through Massachusetts some of the state's popular locations to do so include:
(Hyannis): The Cape Cod Scenic is an upscale heritage railroad which offers a wide range of dinner trains and specials throughout the year.
While it does not host an official fall foliage excursion its schedule runs through October, allowing passenger to enjoy a train ride at the height of a New England autumn.
Few other places in America offer such vibrant colors of reds, yellows, and burgundies. The railroad operates just over 24 miles of an old New York, New Haven & Hartford branch between Hyannis and Buzzards Bay.
Trains depart from the former town at the preserved, two-story wooden NYNH&H depot built in the early 1900's (located at 252 Main Street).
Your trip takes you north out of town near the Barnstable Municipal Airport and past the Cummaquid Golf Club before turning west through a mixture of woodland and suburban homes.
You will briefly pass the Great Marshes and continue northwest before reaching the Cape Cod Canal which connects Cape Cod Bay with Buzzards Bay.
The trip concludes at another preserved New Haven depot, this one in Buzzards Bay, a one-story brick/stucco structure completed in 1912.
One of New England's most popular excursions is the Berkshire Scenic Railway Museum based in Adams. This all-volunteer organization has been in service since 1984 and until 2011 used the tracks of freight carrier Housatonic Railroad.
That changed after the company no longer wanted train rides hosted over its rails so the museum worked out an agreement to operate about 5 miles of the former New York Central between Adams and North Adams in 2016.
The museum's operating season lasts from May through October; during this time they host several special events, including during the fall. The line follows the scenic Hoosic River as well as small farms along the way. All trips depart from Adams where the former NYC line has been partially rebuilt to reach the town.