About the Train

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat’s 2 1/2-hour train and riverboat or 1 hour train only journeys begins at the historic 1892 Essex Station for a 12-mile, narrated round-trip into the heart of the unspoiled Connecticut River Valley.  The steam locomotive pulls vintage coaches through the quintessential New England towns of Deep River and Chester. 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 including 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.

2024 Operating Schedule

Please arrive 30 minutes before your departure time and check in at the Essex Station Ticket Window. No tickets will be mailed or emailed. Advance purchase is strongly suggested; walk up ticket purchase availability is not guaranteed. Tickets are non-refundable but can be exchanged for another date/time if done so 48 hours prior to your scheduled excursion. This excursion operates Rain or Shine but the the Company reserves the rights to delay, postpone or cancel the excursion.

About the Riverboat

At Deep River Landing, passengers are escorted onto the Becky Thatcher riverboat for a 11/4– 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 sites, 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.

Train Seating Options


  • Flip-back (directional) bench seating with padded bottoms and backs; each seat a window seat

First Class

  • Individual plush seats with option to purchase beverages (non-alcohol and alcohol); each seat a window seat


  • Limited cushioned bench seating and raised viewing seats. Limited windows