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Aug 30, 2016 2:16 PM

Vintage glass-domed Amtrak car offers riders a panorama of NH scenery

This summer, there’s a rare treat for Amtrak riders taking the Downeaster line between Portland and Boston.

A vintage dome car is giving riders a new perspective like they’ve never had before in New England.

“It’s something special. It’s a novelty for this time of year,” said Bob Hall, an Amtrak Volunteer.

For the first time ever, riders can step back in time to the 1940’s, when these grand train lounges offered riders a 360-degree panorama view of America.

“It’s a nice way to see the country. You can see at the same time both sides of the train, where sitting downstairs you’re getting one side,” said Rick Kaplan, who was traveling from Pennsylvania.

There’s no special reservation needed and no extra cost. The dome car’s padded chairs and benches surround tables to create an environment for visiting and relaxation.

Because of height restrictions, this is the first time Amtrak has used a dome car in New England. It’s running four daily trips until Sept. 18. Then the vintage car will head to the Adirondacks for the fall foliage season.

The goal for Amtrak is to attract new riders for its Downeaster service which is currently under legal threat of stopping its operations in Massachusetts because of unpaid MBTA bills.

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