General FAQs

What are the different seating options?

Our standard seating is in Coach Cars with padded bench seats. For an additional charge, customers can choose our First Class car, Open Car (seasonal) or our Caboose (caboose weekends only).

Is there air conditioning or heat on the train and/or riverboat?

When the weather warrants, there is steam heat on the train. There is no air conditioning on the train or boat, however a natural breeze can be felt on both.

Are there bathrooms on the train and/or riverboat?

There are small bathrooms available on the train and the boat. It is suggested to use the bathrooms at Essex Station before your excursion.

How long are the excursions?

The Steam Train excursion is 1 hour round-trip; the Steam Train & Riverboat combination excursion is 2.5-hour round trip. For the Gillette Castle Connection, excursions range from 4 hours to 5.5 hours round trip.

How do I get back to my car?

All excursions are round trip and leave from and return to Essex Station. For those taking the Steam Train & Riverboat combination excursion, the train will bring you to the riverboat and pick you up afterwards.

Do I need to purchase tickets in advance?

Advance tickets are recommended. Tickets can be purchased online until 2 hours before departure or by phone until 5:00 p.m. the day before the departure. Tickets are available for walk-up sales on the day of the excursion, but not all departures and seating options may be available. Our Riverboat seating is sold to a Coast Guard regulated capacity and can not be exceeded. Please arrive at least 30 minutes before the departure time. Gift certificates can only be used with phone and walk up purchases. Complimentary passes can only be applied with walk up sales and cannot be used with advance purchases. Steam Train & Riverboat tickets must be picked up at Essex Station on the day of your excursion (no tickets are mailed or emailed in advance).

How much are tickets?

Steam Train and Riverboat ticket pricing can be found on our Schedule & Fares Page. Special seating (Open Car, First Class, and Caboose) require an extra charge per ticket. We offer senior discounts (10%, 20% on Mondays off regular ticket prices) and group and family discounts.

When does the Steam Train & Riverboat operate?

Our Steam Train & Riverboat excursion operates daily during our summer season, with limited operation (weekends and some weekdays) May through October. Check our Calendar Page for operating dates. Departures are 11:00 a.m. / 12:30 p.m. / 2:00 p.m. / 3:30 p.m., with riverboat connections on all but the 3:30 p.m. departure. On busy weekends we may add a 3:30 p.m. riverboat connection.