Our Steam Train & Riverboat Excursion operates May through October. In addition, we’ve got unique events and programs planned year round!
Hand on the Throttle – Click for active dates
A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about and actually operate a full size steam locomotive.
Day Out with Thomas – End-April / Beginning-May
A real live train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine, plus tons of kid-friendly activities.
Essex Clipper Dinner Train – Weekend Operation, May – October
An elegant four-course meal served in beautifully restored 1920’s Pullman diners, pulled by a vintage diesel locomotive.
Steam Train & Riverboat Lunch Excursion – Weekday Operation, June – October
Enjoy a 3-course lunch aboard restored 1920’s Pullman dining cars as part of a 3.75 hour lunch, train and riverboat sightseeing excursion.
Passengers from the Past – Weekends in June
The country’s most renowned character actors will personify legendary figures, including the Gillettes, Abraham Lincoln, Babe Ruth, & Mark Twain. No additional charge.
Sunset Cruise – Friday & Saturday Evenings, end-June – September
A spectacular train and riverboat ride on the Connecticut River on Friday evenings. Swallow cruises in September and October!
Saybrook Special – First operating weekend, May – October
Board the 10:00 am Saybrook Special for a unique journey along the railroad from Essex to Old Saybrook, free for 11:00 am passengers.
Caboose Weekends – First operating weekend, May – October
Ride the Friends of the Valley Railroad caboose, extra charge donated to the Friends.
Swallow Cruise – Friday & Saturday Evenings, September
Take the Becky Thatcher to a spectacular natural phenomenon as hundreds of thousands of Tree Swallows swarm as a beautifully choreographed flock over Goose Island each evening at sunset.
North Pole Express – Weekends and Weekdays, mid-November – December
Board our locomotive-powered sleigh…for a magical nighttime journey to the North Pole.
Santa Special – Weekends from Black Friday – December
A daytime holiday train ride, with special guests Santa and Mrs. Claus, and other North Pole visitors.
Eagle Flyer – February dates
A 2½-hour eco-excursion, with local station stops in Deep River, Chester, Eagle Landing State Park and Haddam.