Essex Steam Train and River Boat

Essex Steam Train and River Boat 1.jpg
Railroad Avenue, Essex, CT 06426, United States

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.

[showhide type="pressrelease" more_text="School Trips" less_text="Hide Information(%s Less Words)" hidden="yes"]


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!


Additional Information

To help you integrate your trip to Essex Station into your curriculum, we’ve prepared the following documents for your use. Feel free to download these and use “as is” or modify for your students

Location Images
Admisson and Location Hours
Departure Times

Steam Train & Riverboat Connection
11:00 am / 12:30 pm / 2:00 pm

Total trip approximately 2.5 hours

Steam Train Only
11:00 am / 12:30 pm / 2:00 pm / 3:30 pm

Total trip approximately 1 hour

Dates of Operation (2013)

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


Steam 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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Essex Steam Train and River Boat 1.jpg 4 years ago
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