You’re a commuter on your daily rail trip to work in the city, or maybe you’re a family traveling to spend the day in the “country.” The train car sways, there’s quiet talk among your fellow riders. Sometimes, it’s almost too easy to be lulled to sleep.
But wait — what’s that outside your train window? Is that a castle? It looks like a castle. Maybe you’ll look it up when you get home.
You don’t have to wait until you get home. The Hudson River Train Tour app is a treasure trove of information right at your fingertips. Available to Metro-North and Amtrak passengers, the app advises on parks, trails, historic sites, cultural destinations, and historic downtowns in the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area corridor between Grand Central/Penn Station in Manhattan and the Albany-Rensselaer station.
The app offers five themes to cater to different areas of interest. They include Corridor of Commerce (where you’ll find Bannerman’s Castle), Freedom and Dignity (the American Revolution, the Underground Railroad, the Roosevelts, and civil rights), Nature and Culture, Voices of the Hudson, and What’s Out the Window.
With Voices of the Hudson, you can while away your ride learning about the history of Clermont during the Revolution, discovering pirates and the mythical creatures of the Hudson, uncovering the Hudson Valley’s role in the Underground Railroad, and losing yourself in storyteller Jonathan Kruk’s fable of Mahicanituck, the Native American origin of the Hudson River.
What’s Out the Window, meanwhile, uses GPS location services to alert passengers in real time about sites right outside their train window. Google Maps link those sites to users’ current location. The app’s map function also includes a full GPS with all of the tourism sites marked, so riders can plan visits once they hop off the train.
“It’s exciting to release the Hudson River Train Tour App to coincide with the region’s peak tourist season, because it will introduce visitors to new places to discover throughout the region,” says Scott Keller, Acting Executive Director of Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area. “Part travel guide and part audio tour, the app can be used to identify sites right outside your train window and beyond, hopefully enticing you to step off the train and explore.”
Developed by the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, in partnership with the National Park Service, the Hudson River Train Tour app is now available for free download in the Apple and Google Play stores.