Transport Attractions

Essex Steam Train and Riverboat Essex

Where is it at?

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Essex Steam Train and Riverboat
One Railroad Avenue
Essex
CT
06426
Tel: 860 767-0103

Where are we going today?

Going on a steam train is always super fun...feeling like you're going back in time heading out on an adventure. But with Essex Steam Train and Riverboats, you get to enjoy the steam train adventure AND an amazing riverboat experience - all on the one tour!

Essex Steam Train and Riverboats are a great way to not only have a great time, but to learn about the history of the train and the area.

Your adventure begins at the 1892 Essex Station, before you embark on a 2.5 hour journey that takes you 12 miles into the heart of the Connecticut River Valley. This narrated round trip takes you to, what has been called, "one of the last great places on earth"

Sounds pretty special!

The vintage locomotive pulls you at 20mph through stunning New England towns like Deep River and Chester. Kids can experience the beautiful countryside, including pristine meadows, millpond with waterfall, and even a farm!

Make sure you have your camera for all the bridges and trestles over creeks and rivers, and one of the highlights is the Selden Neck State Park - only accessible by boat!

It's an amazing experience, and one that will let you spot some pretty amazing wildlife too!

Then, at the end of your steam train journey you will be taken onto the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a 1 1/4 hour cruise along the Connecticut River! From multiple decks you can experience the marshes, wildlife, coves, inlets, and pretty special rocky shoreline!

The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat also offer dinner train rides too.

Great family fun in New England! 

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How much does it cost?

  • Adults$29 for both. $19 steam train only
  • Children$19 for both. $10 steam train only
LAST UPDATED 2015

When can we go?

11am, 12:30pm, 2pm. Train only additional 3:30pm

May to October

Teachers corner

Kids LOVE a steam train! They offer educational trips where kids can learn the science of the train, the history, and the ecology of the area! Round trip is $12 per person.

I'm Hungry!

The dinner train will let you enjoy some pretty tasty foods, from prime ribs, chicken, vegetables or salmon. There is also a Trackside Cafe that serves hot dogs, sandwiches, and snacks. .

Healthy Eating!

The dinner train menu has healthy options, such as gluten free, fish, fruit and salad.

Any Top Tips?

Check out some of the fun special events they have, like the Santa special that will let them experience the North Pole!.

Doing our bit

They are dedicated to giving you a historic and fun experience, so the narration is there to let you learn something new to appreciate the journey more!.

Need a little extra help?

If you have special needs, just give them a call to discuss before you book!.

Can I get one of those?

There is a gift shop at the Essex depot where you can pick up train memorabilia, gifts, souvenirs such as cups, mugs, magnets and postcards .

More information

You can choose extras, such as the first class car, open car or caboose for additional costs.

What people are saying?

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    We did the train and riverboat combination. The train itself is amazingly restored and the staff is very friendly. This is from memory, but I'd say we took the train north for about 30 minutes before stopping and starting to return. About 10 minutes in on the return journey, the train stops to let you board the riverboat, which was NOT a steam or paddleboat. It's a large, two story (+ observation deck) gas/diesel engined boat.

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    We just went on the Essex Train Ride, "Polar Express" tour and had a wonderful time. The kids were fully engaged and really loved it. This is perfect for families with young children. Just be prepared to order tickets early because they went quick. (We ended up going the day after Christmas which turned out to be fine with the kids.)

    PS- If you go in winter, dress in layers. It might be freezing outside, but it gets nice and toasty inside!

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    Awesome views n smooth ride n relaxing

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    Fantastic! I participated in the "Hands on the Throttle" program on November 10, 2013 and it was a dream come true for me. I posted a short video of it on You Tube entitled "BobCava Valley Railroad Engine" so you can see for yourself what its like. Dave, my classroom instructor and Bruce my Cab instructor [known in the trade as the Pilot] were wonderful. If there were more than 5 stars available that's what I would rate it. For those who prefer to ride in the coaches they are in mint condition. Bring your camera so you will have wonderful memories...Read More

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    My family and I have gone on the North Pole Express for the past couple years. This year I ordered the tickets and put the wrong date. After getting through to a customer service rep he was SO helpful in changing the date of our tickets! I reccommend this place to anyone! :)

Submit a review

by Bob Cava

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Fantastic! I participated in the "Hands on the Throttle" program on November 10, 2013 and it was a dream come true for me. I posted a short video of it on You Tube entitled "BobCava Valley Railroad Engine" so you can see for yourself what its like. Dave, my classroom instructor and Bruce my Cab instructor [known in the trade as the Pilot] were wonderful. If there were more than 5 stars available that's what I would rate it. For those who prefer to ride in the coaches they are in mint condition. Bring your camera so you will have wonderful memories for years to come. Besides pictures of the rolling stock, tracks and buildings you will want to photograph the landscape the train travels through. Enjoy.

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