Photography Policy

The Essex Steam Train & Riverboat is part of the Connecticut Valley Railroad State Park and we are happy to welcome guests! Guests to the Valley Railroad State Park are more than welcome to visit the property and park free of charge. Buildings are open during the Essex Steam Train & Riverboat’s operating hours as posted on our website. Guests are welcome to take pictures anytime, however, please do so in a manner that will not delay train boarding and departure or inconvenience other guests. Access to property may be restricted during private events.

Please tag us when you share your photos on social media!

Special photography requests, such as professional portraits, must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance so that an appropriate time can be scheduled and a safety escort will be available to assist you if needed. There is a non-refundable charge of $200 per hour (payable in advance) required for such access; each additional quarter hour is $50. Two (2) hour minimum.  Exclusive use of the property is to be contracted through a member the event staff at 860-767-0103. Hourly photography reservations subject to scheduling availability as determined by Essex Steam Train management.

The Essex Station / Connecticut Valley Railroad State Park properties are a delightful venue for photography and
memorable photos; however, it is important that our guests realize this is an active railroad and follow certain basic rules:

  • Pictures on or between the rails are dangerous and are not allowed anywhere on the property. We never allow – nor do we authorize others to allow – anyone to take pictures on or between the rails on which we operate.
  • You are welcome to photograph our trains from safe and publicly accessible locations such as our stations and public crossings. We do not allow walking on or along the tracks to remote locations for photography purposes.
  • Guests may not climb on or about the cars – including opening gates and traps – without a railroad employee escorting them.
  • Please be respectful of our neighbor’s private property when photographing trains from public locations along the line.
  • Do not park cars near railroad crossings, or otherwise engage in any distracting behavior that could endanger others who are using railroad crossings.
  • Essex Station and the Valley Railroad Company right-of-way are a Connecticut State Park; subject to the following DEEP regulation:

“The use of remote controlled model aircraft or drones is prohibited at Connecticut State Parks, State Forests or other lands under the control of the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, unless specifically authorized by the Commissioner in a Special Use License.”

Photos or video of equipment or property for commercial or business use is prohibited without prior written permission from Valley Railroad management.

We hope that everyone understands our policies.   In recent years, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of railroad photography related fatalities nationally where users were posing for pictures on railroad tracks. While never having experienced such a tragedy here, we feel it is our obligation to discourage this dangerous behavior.

For more information, please contact our office at 860-767-0103.