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Historic Railcar on Beautiful Skaneateles Lake at Glen Haven refreshed for 2016

Bedrooms 3
Property type cottage


About the property

Cottage, 3 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 1.5 Baths, (Sleeps 8)

A family setting. Enjoy morning coffee and evening barbecues on deck overlooking the lake! Historic railcar built in 1936 by Budd and located on Skaneateles in 1976 has been completely refurbished-including charming oak and cherry hand cut and placed paneling from local Glen Haven forest. Property features large 20' X 40' dock on 198' of private lakefront. Pebbled beach at lakefront allows for easy wading into the lake. Enjoy time in the most unique rental property that Skaneateles has to offer!

Keywords: Railcar, Skaneateles, rental, lake, fishing, boating, family, cabin, house

More Details

Ian DeSouza
Member since: 2008
Speaks English, Swahili
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
23 July, 2017

About Ian DeSouza

We are local residents with a property further up the lake. My children have all grown up on and around the lake, and regard it as a special place. The railcar was our lake cottage for the better part of ten years, and very much a part of us now.

Ian DeSouza purchased this cottage in 2000

Why Ian DeSouza chose New York

Its unique and rustic. Comfortable for a longer stay, we have had visitors who lived there for six months and loved it, and easy for a short one or two night novelty stay at the end or beginning of a longer holiday elsewhere. Fishing, boating, swimming are fantastic in this notably pristine glacial lake; in fact, we drink from it untreated.

What makes this cottage unique

The views, sounds, ambiance around the property are soothing and lovely. Its a relaxing place, with most of the comforts of home out in the woods, by a lake....and what is there not to love about sleeping in an authentic railway carriage with history. A fire in the pit on the lawn outside the car just makes for the perfect way to unwind and end the day. The setting is rustic, after all it is a setting in the woods with many of the sounds and feel of a nature based setting that has included a nesting pair of Bald Eagles nearby, deer, foxes, different varieties of water fowl and the other creatures you would expect in such a setting.


Accommodation and facilities for this holiday cottage in Homer in Cortland County

Property Type:
  • cottage
  • Self-catering
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM / Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • pets considered
  • Events Allowed
  • children welcome
  • non smoking only
Location Type:
  • Lake View ...
  • Lakefront ...
  • Mountain View ...
  • rural ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Spa
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Parking Off Street ...
  • Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Hob
  • Toaster
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Bath with Shower , Bath (no shower) , Small but practical
    Bathroom 1 - Toilet , Shower Enclosure
  • Both bathrooms are small, but practical, with some original railcar fixtures and features.
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 Large Double Bed , Cherry pannelled walls milled from the property
    Bedroom 3 - 1 Bunk Bed , Single upper and a queen lower, converts to couch
    Bedroom 2 - 2 Single Bed , Second bed pulls out from under the first
    Convertible bed(s) - 2 Sofa bed/Futon , in living room
  • Queen size Beds (1), Double Beds (1), Twin or Single Beds (1), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1), Bunk Beds (1)
  • Balcony
  • Terrace ...
  • Kayak / Canoe ...
  • Garden ...
  • Barbecue ...
  • Long-term Renters Welcome
  • wheelchair inaccessible
  • festivals
  • Health/Beauty Spa
  • library
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antique hunting
  • bird watching
  • Boating
  • eco tourism
  • outlet shopping
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • Shopping
  • sledding
  • walking
  • Wildlife Viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness centre
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundrette - serviced
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • Cross Country Skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • jet skiing
  • Kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • pier fishing
  • sailing
  • diving
  • ski
  • snorkelling
  • Snorkeling/Diving
  • Snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • tennis
  • water skiing
  • water tubing
  • wind-surfing


Very Good! 4.1/5 -
(19 traveller reviews)

42% Complete
42% Complete
5% Complete
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Historic Railcar on Beautiful Skaneateles Lake at Glen Haven refreshed for 2016
average rating of 4.105263 based on 19 reviews

It was nice, but it needs to be refreshed.

  • 4 of 5

The shrubs by the deck off of the train need to be trimmed do you can get a better view of the lake. The outdoor furniture could use a coat of paint.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 23, 2017
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

A perfect get away, special find, a diamond in the rough.

  • 5 of 5

The rail car is more of a cottage than a rail car.Neat,clean and well maintained from the interior to the grounds and down to the dock. This is the perfect go to escape for couples, small families, and yes grand parents.The multi level deck provides a great outdoor dinner location. The flat lawn area with fire pit is perfect for the evening smores as well as any lawn games. Afternoons can be spent on the large dock below the rail car. A nice place to just read a book or watch the kids play, the dock provides the platform for all lake activities, can be located with ease from the water after a boat ride or paddle,good depth for a motorboat and swimming all while providing a perfect view of the surrounding hillsides.

We rented the car for overflow and peaceful surroundings, the full compound for the family reunion was located a half mile away. The great grand parents stayed at the rail car site where the ground was level and lake access easy, it was perfect. A lot of times with rentals there are setbacks such as condition of the place, hard to contact owners,security, safety for younger or older etc. From first contact till we left there were never any concerns, worries or issues with the rail car and property. I was taken back by the cleaning fee at first but upon arrival we saw it was well worth it. No one wants to be concerned with safety , cleaning or contacts when renting a cottage , lake house or compound. The owners of the rail car have made sure that all you need to worry about is how to relax and enjoy your family or company the way you wish to. This is the way your getaway is sposed to be.

Overall a special place that the owner and family have chosen to share, a place we will return to, a place to take a good memory from and a place to create new ones. If your get away includes family or privacy with no worries than this is where you want to be. Thanks , big up and much respect to Ian(and family) for providing such a cool hide out.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 29, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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1 0

The railcar was unique and has great character!

  • 4 of 5

Ok so overall the Railcar was great. It was easy to access from town and was close enough to town to easily drive in if you needed to run to the store or to get breakfast etc. The railcar is very niceand seems very authentic. It was clean when we arrived and had dishes, towels, bed linens, hand soap and cleaning materials needed for the stay. I would personally recommend the railcar for anyone traveling to the lake and looking for a cozy place to stay. I do have a few observations:

1. The single bed with a pull out bed-The lower, pull out bed only had a box spring on it making it not a viable option to sleep on. We searched everywhere for a mattress without success and one of my friends had to get all of the extra pillows and blankets to make a makeshift mattress.

2. The bunk beds also had very thing mattresses which were fine for sleeping on for a few days but I think the owners should look into a thin memory foam mattress topper for those 2 beds or if you are traveling here and staying more than a few days you should bring your own.

3. The Futons are very comfortable!

4. The bathrooms are very small but practical as described depending on your size but the toilets may need to be replaced or at least the seats may need to be replaced.

5. The Railcar has a nice section of yard to play yard games, relax and enjoy a camp fire. The deck is BEAUTIFUL and very nice to relax on. The grill worked well. Access to the lake is located across a quiet road and down about 50 feet. The stairs are somewhat steep but manageable and the upper section is narrower. The private deck/dock is gorgeous and very relaxing. The gravel entrance to the lake is perfect for launching kayaks or wading in.

Leading up to the trip the owners were very quick and kind in responding to my questions.

  • Review Submitted: Sep 13, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Sep 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Fun and unique vacation home!

  • 5 of 5

We spent our 5th wedding anniversary on Beautiful Skaneateles staying in the Historic Railcar! It was such a fun and unique place and we especially loved the private dock/beach area - where we spent the vast majority of our time. Location was perfect - on the quieter end of the lake, yet just a short drive to the town of Skaneateles. Place was clean and very accommodating for the two of us and our pup! Lovely anniversary weekend! :o)

  • Review Submitted: Aug 22, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jun 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Great vacation spot!

  • 4 of 5

We enjoyed our family vacation time here. The lake is absolutely beautiful. The waterside deck spacious and nice. Fishing off the deck was very enjoyable. Caught and release many fish.The deck on the home was a favorite family hangout. The area was quiet and the neighbors friendly. The owner met all of our needs very timely. Renting a pontoon boat for 2 days was great. The marina was very helpful.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 25, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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0 0

Skaneateles Lake is always beautiful.

  • 2 of 5

The rail car was as described. Owners needs to inspect home before it is rented. We did not feel the cleaning service was up to par. Laundry was left in washer and dryer for a week while we stayed there. Linens were dated and worn. We have never seen so many cobb webs around the basement and outside the railcar in our life. Deck furniture is also well worn. Parking was limited and driveway very steep. Sun shines across the whole front of the car each morning, waking most people due to lack of blinds or curtains. The house did have many of the utensils needed when on vacation. We enjoyed our stay on the lake but would not rent this property again. Owner greeted us the first day and has other property on the lake.

  • Review Submitted: Jul 19, 2016
  • Date of Stay: Jul 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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3 1


Nearest Airport
40 Miles
Syracuse (SYR), Binghamton (BGM), Ithica (ITH)
Nearest Barpub
1 Miles
Glenhaven Restaurant and Bar
Nearest Golf
15 Miles
Skaneatles Country Club; Cortland Country Club
Nearest Motorway
15 Miles
I-81 or I-90
Nearest Restaurant
1 Miles
Glenhaven Restaurant
Nearest Ski
20 Miles
Greek Peak, Song Mountain, Toggenburg, Labrador
Car: recommended

The village of Skaneateles at the north end of the lake has great dining, a few pubs, an exclusive Spa, additional accommodation, Bowling, ice skating, fitness center. The patisserie provides lovely morning bakes and bread, and there are several in town coffee shops. All within walking distance of the free boat slips on the north shore in the village (summer time).

Medical facilities, including a hospital, etc. can be found in Cortland 13 miles south of the property. There is a well stocked Tops supermarket in the village, and one in Cortland as well. Should you need it, Lowes, Walmart, marine repair facilities etc. are available within 20 minutes drive of the property.


Prices & Availability

Prices for this holiday cottage in Homer, USA

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rental Period Minimum Price Additional Nights Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event Price
Standard pricing
1 night minimum stay
for 1 night
Notes: Rates are based on 6 guests; add £77 per night, per additional guest

Additional pricing information

Pet Fee £76.79
Property Damage Protection £45.31
Cleaning Fee £153.58

The Damage Protection will be used to cover Breakage, Misuse, Extra occupancy, removal of Linen from beds and excess Garbage. Linen should be removed from, and placed on, the beds before departure (It takes longer to prepare the property for the next guests if not) and there will be a $25 charge. Provision is made for a maximum of 3x13 Gal trash bags per stay. Above this number, there is a $10 charge per 13Gal bag charge. All garbage must be placed in the container provided in the first room on the north end of the rail car base. Thanks you.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • Cancelled bookings will not receive a refund.
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