Surviving the great train robbery of Arkville

The two-hour train ride from Arkville, NY to Roxbury runs through some of the most beautiful scenery in New York’s Catskills.

Add a dozen passengers in historically accurate attire, reenacting a 19th century train robbery, and you have all the makings of a fun-filled afternoon.

Oh, I know. I should be parked in front of my laptop, obsessing over the hurricane like the rest of my colleagues. But as a Florida resident and as a survivor of multiple storms, I know there’s not much you can do except, 1) get outta Dodge (done); 2) thank your lucky stars you’re not there (yep); and 3) don’t drink too much (roger).

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So the train it was.

The Delaware & Ulster Railroad follows the tracks of the old Ulster & Delaware that ran to Oneonta in 1900. This train ride through the Catskill Mountains is widely considered one of the most scenic ones in New York, if not on the East Coast.

At this time of year, the apple trees bend under the weight of ripening fruit and the cornfields tower high above you. A warm breeze carries the scent of drying hay. The hills in Halcottsville rise up to the Plattekill Ski Area, which is covered in green.

It’s so vintage, you half expect someone in a hat to board your car.

And when he does, the plot begins to unfold. The “bad” guys are planning to steal a lockbox of gold from the Sheriff and his posse. After the train leaves Roxbury, the villains make their move, but are thwarted by the long arm of the law, until the train pulls into the station in Arkville.

And then … well, I don’t want to spoil it for you. Let’s just say my nine-year-old really got into it, to the point where he was trying to tip the authorities off to the whereabouts of the gangsters. (Think Tony n’ Tina’s Wedding — the show, not the movie — on rails. Or something like that.)

The Great Train Robbery runs through Sept. 10. Even if you don’t like reenactments, take this train some other time and enjoy the scenery. It’s definitely worth the drive.

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