1 Railroad Ave
Essex, CT 06426
SAYBROOK SPECIAL: Since The Valley Railroad Company was chartered in 1969, nearly every piece of preserved railroad equipment in its museum collection, including steam and diesel locomotives, passenger cars, and work equipment, has arrived at Essex Station from Old Saybrook – – our rail connection to the “outside world.” Now, the historic 4-mile stretch of rail south of Essex Station to Old Saybrook is available for passenger travel aboard the Saybrook Special!
- Arrive at Essex Station by 9:45 am to purchase tickets and board the 10:00 am Saybrook Special, a 50-minute round trip.
- At 10:50 am, the train will pause at Essex Station to board 11:00 am passengers for the ride north through the Connecticut River Valley. (Saybrook Special passengers may elect to disembark at Essex Station OR remain on board for the Train or Train/Boat trip north.)
- Seating Choices: Coach or upgrade to First Class Car, or Caboose.
CABOOSE WEEKEND: On special weekends, we couple on the Friends of the Valley Railroad’s (FVRR) caboose. Your extra fare for riding in the caboose ($5.00 per person) goes directly towards such FVRR projects as this caboose, steam locomotive #2, and the Mainline North track project.
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.