School Trips

We love kids at Essex Steam Train! A ride on the Essex Steam Train and the Becky Thatcher Riverboat provide students a unique opportunity to have a super fun day with wonderfully educational benefits. Kids will learn about:

  • The science of our steam engines
  • The history of our railroad and vintage rail cars
  • The ecology and history of the Connecticut River Valley
  • Cruise by historic Gillette Castle, Goodspeed Opera House and other sites
  • Round trip ticket is $12.00 per person

All School Trips Start with a Tour Guide

Immediately upon arrival at Essex Station, a tour guide will greet your school bus and escort your group on a 20-minute, grade-appropriate tour featuring: “How a Steam Locomotive Works” and “The History and Future of Transportation.”

Steam Train & Riverboat Excursion

Ride aboard authentic train passenger coaches as the steam locomotive powers you to the Becky Thatcher Riverboat. Aboard the riverboat excursion, enjoy the beautiful sights along the Connecticut River, including the historic Gillette Castle. As students travel aboard the Becky Thatcher, they’ll be treated to rare action views of the steam train traveling along the banks of the Connecticut River, pacing Becky as she cruises along the waterway. This remarkable sight enlivens transportation curriculum and punctuates the uniqueness of Essex Steam Train & Riverboat — the only steam train and riverboat connection in the United States. The train will then transport you back to Essex Station.

The school-trip timetable accommodates a 20-minute, narrated Essex Station tour prior to train departure. The overall time spent at Essex Steam Train & Riverboat is approximately 3 hours. The breakdown of the day is as follows:

  • Arrival Essex Station and narration 10:15 a.m.
  • Train & Boat Excursion 11:00 a.m.
  • Train returns Essex Station 1:00 p.m.
  • Gift Shop 1:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m.

2020 School Trip Operating Days: May 18, 19, 21, 22, 26, 27, 28, 29

Great educational value at $12.00 per person

For Reservations Please Call Howard at 800-377-3987 x 201

Moving Caboose Birthday Party

A rollicking party on the rails!


Up to 18 people (16 children, 2 adults)
11 mile ride in the Caboose
Open presents onboard
Special T-shirt for birthday child
Helium balloon & gift bag for each child
“Ride Free with Adult” coupon for each child’s next visit
Onboard train host

Stationary Caboose Birthday Party

A special party with lots of extras!


Up to 18 people (16 children, 2 adults)
Use of stationary Caboose (2 hrs)
Special T-shirt for birthday child
Helium balloon & gift bag for each child
“Ride Free with Adult” coupon for each child’s next visit
Onboard train host

Non-refundable $100.00 deposit required

Must be received within 10 days of making reservation

Please contact Howard Sheldon in Customer Service / Reservations at 860-767-0103 x201


Please contact our office for more information
about an enjoyable and educational field trip.

Teachers! You can download a 7 Page Fun Activities document (PDF) with word games, railroad glossary, landmarks and trivia, perfect for the bus trip to the Essex Steam Train! In order to help you integrate your trip to Essex Station into your curriculum, we’ve prepared the following documents for your use. Feel free to download these and use as is or modify for your students’ needs:

Teacher’s Guide

Elementary Curriculum

Jr. High Curriculum (History)

Jr. High Curriculum (Science)

Sr. High Curriculum (History)