Essex Steam Train and River Boat

We love Schools and all groups of all Sizes. Come join us as we travel by Steam Train and River boat done just like the old days. An experience that your students will never forget.

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat’s 2½-hour journey begins at the historic 1892 Essex Station for a 12-mile, narrated round-trip into the heart of the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley – designated “one of the last great places on earth” by the Nature Conservancy.

The steam locomotive pulls vintage coaches at 20 mph through the quintessential New England towns of Deep River and Chester. The picturesque countryside includes pristine meadows, a quaint farm, a millpond with waterfall, and trestles and bridges over rivers and creeks. A natural highlight is the undeveloped Selden Neck State Park, accessible only by boat.

Essex Steam Train offers unique access to several coves and preserves, immersing passengers in an on-board eco-excursion. The train travels near the tidal wetlands of Pratt Cove and Chester Creek – – bountiful, natural habitats for birds. Among those typically spotted are Cormorants, Ducks, Swans, Greenland Geese, Blue Heron, Egrets, and Red-winged Blackbirds. In February and March, the majestic Bald Eagle is the star of the show, when it migrates south to the Connecticut River Valley from Canada and Maine.

At Deep River Landing, passengers are escorted onto the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a 1¼- hour cruise along the Connecticut River. The visual serenity of the river valley is on full display from Becky’s multiple decks. The deep water, coves, inlets, marshes, wildlife, and rocky shoreline are all at once, simply breathtaking! Just as impressive are the historic sights including Gillette Castle, Goodspeed Opera House, and the Haddam Swing Bridge. Upon Becky’s return to Deep River Landing, the steam train welcomes passengers for the return trip back to Essex Station.

Essex Steam Train and River Boat 

One Railroad Avenue

Essex, CT 06426

P. (860) 767-0103

P. (800) 377-3987

F. (860) 767-0104

W. Essex Train and River Boat

E. Essex Train and River Boat

Departure TimesSteam Train & Riverboat Connection 11:00 am / 12:30 pm / 2:00 pmTotal trip approximately 2.5 hoursSteam Train Only 11:00 am / 12:30 pm / 2:00 pm / 3:30 pm

Total trip approximately 1 hour

Dates of Operation (2014)Spring Season: May 11 – June 16 Saturday – Sunday Only and Memorial Day (May 27)

Summer Season: June 22 – September 2 Monday – Sunday (Daily) and Labor Day (September 2)

Fall Season: September 6 – September 29 Friday – Sunday Only

Foliage Season: October 3 – October 27 Thursday – Monday Only

FaresSteam Train & Riverboat Connection Adults: $26.00 / Children (2 – 11): $17.00 Infants (Under 2): Free

Steam Train Only Adults: $17.00 / Children (2 – 11): $9.00 Infants (Under 2): Free

Special and Extras First Class Car: $10.00 per passenger Open Car¹: $5.00 per passenger Caboose²: $5.00 per passenger

¹ – Open Car is available seasonally

² – Caboose part of the train on selected “Caboose Weekends”. The extra fare of $5 is a direct donation to the non-profit, Friends of the Valley Railroad.

  • Advance Tickets sold online.
  • Day-of-trip Tickets sold at Essex Station Ticket Window.
  • Free Parking!
  • All Prices include Tax.
  • Senior Discount everyday; Double Senior Discount on Mondays.
  • Coupons and other Discounts: Please see agent at station Ticket Window.
  • Fares do not include Special Event Trains such as Day Out with ThomasNorth Pole Express,Dinner Train, etc.
  • Schedule, Equipment and Route are subject to change.

 

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School Groups All Ages and Grades

SCHOOL TRIPS 

School Field Trips
Here at Essex Steam Train we love kids! A ride on the Essex Steam Train and the Connecticut Riverboat offers many educational touchstones:

  • The science of our steam engines
  • The history of our railroad and vintage rail cars
  • The ecology and history of the river valley
  • Cruise by historic Gillette Castle, Goodspeed Opera House, and other sights

Round trip ticket is $12.00 per person. Operating dates are Monday – Friday, June 3 – June 14, 2013. Please contact our office for more information on an enjoyable and educational field trip.

Teachers! You can download a 7 Page Fun Activities file with word games, railroad glossary, landmarks, and trivia. Perfect for the bus trip to the Essex Steam Train! (439KB)

Box Lunches
Schools can arrange for box lunches arranged by the railroad. Your group can enjoy:

  • Sandwich (Choice of Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef)
  • Potato Chips and Cookie
  • Bottled Water

All lunches must be consumed at the Essex Depot picnic area or on the boat – there is no eating or drinking allowed on the train.

Box Lunches must be ordered at least 5 business days before the date of your visit. Please give us a call for pricing and with any questions!

 

Camp and Scout Groups

Camp and Scout Groups 

Take your Camp or Scout group back to the glory days of steam! They’ll enjoy the comfort of our restored vintage rail cars and get an unobstructed view of the unspoiled beauty of the Connecticut River Valley from our multi-deck riverboat. It’s a wonderful trip any time of year.

We offer special rates for groups of 20 or more with advance reservations – contact our Groups Ticket Sales. We also can arrange for special private charters on our steam train and/or riverboat. Please contact our office for more information, or view our Tours and Group Rates Brochure here. (315KB)

Box Lunches

Trackside Café Schools can arrange for box lunches arranged by the railroad. Your group can enjoy:

  • Sandwich (Choice of Ham, Turkey, Roast Beef)
  • Potato Chips and Cookie
  • Bottled Water

All lunches must be consumed at the Essex Depot picnic area or on the boat – there is no eating or drinking allowed on the train. Box Lunches must be ordered at least 5 business days before the date of your visit. Please give us a call for pricing and with any questions!

 

Parents and Familes

Parents and Families

2014 Seasonal Trains and Special Events
Eagle Flyer President’s Day weekend (Feb 15-16) Eagle Watch special! Details Essex Clipper Dinner Train Weekend Operation May 10 through October 26 Details North Pole Express A magical evening train ride to the North Pole! Weekends and Weekdays Nov 14 through Dec 28 Details
Your Hand on the Throttle Learn to drive a steam locomotive! April 4-6 and April 11-13 Oct 31-Nov 2 and November 7-9 Details Hot Steamed Jazz Festival Hosted at Essex Station! June 20-22 Details Santa Special A weekend afternoon train ride with Santa! Weekends from Nov 28 through Dec 23 Details
Day Out with Thomas Two very special weekends! April 26-27 & May 3-4 Details Circus Train Ride the train to the Big Top! July 19-20 and 26-27 Details Saybrook Special An extended ride south to Old Saybrook May 10-11, June 7-8, July 4-6, Aug 2-3, Sept 6-7, Oct 4-5 – 10:00 am Details

Birthday Parties

A party on a Little Red Caboose? What a good idea! What fun!

Kids of all ages will enjoy this unique setting for a party that will be long remembered.

The caboose can accommodate up to 18 people (16 children & 2 adults) on an eleven-mile trip behind a coal burning steam locomotive in the beautiful Connecticut River Valley.

A host will be on board to point out interesting places along the line and tell about life aboard the caboose.

Our caboose is owned by the non-profit Friends of the Valley Railroad, and a portion of the fare is donated to them.

For Birthday Party Packages and more information – Click Here

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Author: Stuspots

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  • littleladykateygoboom

    I found it to be the best way to enjoy nature and great
    scenery without actually being outdoors. Its very relaxing and serein look over
    the untouched lands. A perfect place to go with family, friends, or on a cute
    date like I did. I thought the idea kinda corny but it was super sweet and
    original.

  • lilianathebestest

    Sunglasses always the way to go..lol.. I just so happened to do the tour and enjoyed it also.