The Essex Steam Train is a heritage railroad located in Essex, Connecticut. It is a popular tourist attraction that offers scenic train rides through the Connecticut River Valley, showcasing the natural beauty of the region.
The train operates on a 22-mile round trip between the towns of Essex and Deep River, passing through pristine forests, picturesque towns, and farmland. The train consists of vintage coaches pulled by a steam locomotive, which provides a nostalgic and unique experience for passengers.
The Essex Steam Train was originally built in 1891 as part of the Valley Railroad, which operated a network of tracks in the Connecticut River Valley. The railroad was used primarily for freight transportation, but it also provided passenger service to local towns.
In the 1960s, the Valley Railroad ceased operations, and the tracks were left abandoned for several years. However, a group of local volunteers worked to restore the railroad, and in 1971, the Essex Steam Train began operating as a heritage railroad.
Today, the Essex Steam Train is a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike, offering a variety of train rides, including the popular “Dinner Train,” which features a four-course meal served on board the train.
In addition to train rides, the Essex Steam Train also operates the Connecticut River Museum, which showcases the history and ecology of the Connecticut River Valley. Visitors can learn about the region’s wildlife, history, and culture through interactive exhibits and educational programs.
Overall, the Essex Steam Train is a unique and charming way to experience the beauty of the Connecticut River Valley and the rich history of the region.