Hand on the Throttle

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn about and actually operate a full size steam locomotive!

Hand on the Throttle (HOTT) registrants receive home study materials covering railroad and steam locomotive safety, plus basic steam locomotive theory and operation. At the beginning of each on-site class session (8:00am or 12:00pm), students are instructed on steam locomotive operation and given a safety test. Following the test, each student operates a steam locomotive under the direct and constant supervision of our engine crew for approximately one hour along the Valley Railroad. Only one registrant will be allowed on the locomotive for each trip.

Advance Registration

Reserve your spot early…participation in the HOTT is limited to 8 students per day. Scheduling is first come/first served, so please consider first, second, and third choices for dates and sessions (morning or afternoon).

Registrants must be at least 18 years old, in good health, physically able to operate a steam locomotive. Proper clothing, shoes and eye protection must be worn while participating in the program. A “General Release” signature is required at time of registration.

Hand on the Throttle is designed to give each registrant the opportunity to learn about steam locomotives and actually operate one. The program does not qualify someone for unsupervised operation or operations with a train.

Returning in 2016! Diesel and Steam Hand on the Throttle (DS-HOTT) includes an hour operation of both a steam locomotive and one of our vintage diesel locomotives!

Cost

The cost for this unique opportunity is $550.00 (Steam Locomotive Only) or $850.00 (Diesel and Steam Locomotive). Please contact Essex Steam Train & Riverboat (860) 767-0103 for details and registration.

2017 Schedule

Morning and afternoon sessions available in 2017 as follows:

Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
Spring Sessions April 6 April 7 April 8 April 9
April 13 April 14 April 15 April 16
Fall Sessions  October 26 October 27 October 28 October 29

In addition to regularly scheduled Hand on the Throttle sessions in the spring and fall, we’re now offering afternoon sessions on regular operating weekdays. Please contact the office at 860-767-0103 x70 to schedule your once in a lifetime experience!