|Address:||1 Railroad Ave, Essex, CT 06426, USA|
|Working:||9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM 9AM–5PM|
The ride was fantastic! We opted for the 1st Class option, with the River Boat excursion. We loved the feel of the older coaches, and it was an authentic steam engine, not a diesel made to look the part. The ride was smooth. Despite the outside heat, and no air conditioning (I mean, come on, it is an AUTHENTIC Pullman coach. They didnt have air conditioning back then...), it was comfortable, and not stuffy. The route is mostly in the trees, which helped. The side trip on the River Boat was nice. There is a historical and hysterical narration pointing out the history and certain sites. You also get an overview of the Gillette Castle, and a decent river-based view looking up, for those that want to see it but not necessarily make the hike. A must do for everyone of all ages!
What a perfect surprise! My SO very sneakily purchased tickets for the Thar Be Pirates! adventure as an anniversary gift. The train ride was pleasantly old-timey (will definitely spring for first class next time) and was made even more beautiful by the rain. Cant wait to ride the rails again! The show was energetic, but definitely targeted toward children. The site didnt indicate exactly how kid-focused the show would be, and our suspicions were only raised when we saw quite so many parents with young ones pile onto the train. Whoops. The actors were fantastic (very committed!) and it was exciting to suddenly find our cruise getting attacked by a pirate ship! Very snazzy idea. In general, delightful for kids and adults alike. Would definitely recommend to others.
Fantastic! I participated in the "Hands on the Throttle" program on November 10, 2013 and it was a dream come true for me. I posted a short video of it on You Tube entitled "BobCava Valley Railroad Engine" so you can see for yourself what its like. Dave, my classroom instructor and Bruce my Cab instructor [known in the trade as the Pilot] were wonderful. If there were more than 5 stars available thats what I would rate it. For those who prefer to ride in the coaches they are in mint condition. Bring your camera so you will have wonderful memories for years to come. Besides pictures of the rolling stock, tracks and buildings you will want to photograph the landscape the train travels through. Enjoy.
What a great experience with gorgeous scenery! I love trains and this was an excellent ride! We traveled the train/Gillette Castle/ Riverboat on one full afternoon and enjoyed the entire trip! It helped that it was a picture perfect day. The staff was helpful, but at times it was difficult to hear the conductor over the speakers as to the points of interest along the way. The steps into the train cars could prove difficult for some people as they are tall and steep. I was hoping for more from the gift shop, but they had some nice stuff. Highly recommend this trip as nothing compares to seeing the world from the railroad tracks.
We just went on the Essex Train Ride, "Polar Express" tour and had a wonderful time. The kids were fully engaged and really loved it. This is perfect for families with young children. Just be prepared to order tickets early because they went quick. (We ended up going the day after Christmas which turned out to be fine with the kids.) PS- If you go in winter, dress in layers. It might be freezing outside, but it gets nice and toasty inside!
We did the train and riverboat combination. The train itself is amazingly restored and the staff is very friendly. This is from memory, but Id say we took the train north for about 30 minutes before stopping and starting to return. About 10 minutes in on the return journey, the train stops to let you board the riverboat, which was NOT a steam or paddleboat. Its a large, two story (+ observation deck) gas/diesel engined boat.
I have photographed a few weddings here, and the guests take the steam train directly to the Lace Factory for their reception. Totally unique experience, beautiful grounds and gallery room available - perfect for getting married inside or outside. Ive seen families checking out the historical areas, seems like a great place to visit on the weekends! Would love to make plans to do one of their dinner trains some day!
We went on the North Pole ride. It was nice. Our guide Spruce Evergreen was great! I give him credit, he sand his heart out and engaged with all the children! Ms. Clause was sweet and her cookies and hot chocolate were a hit. Santa seemed tired, agreviated and could have been a bit more cherry and friendly, for that reason I give this ride 4 star rating. Santa was the reason why we wanted to go on the ride.
Took the Saybrook special to ride an extra hour towards Saybrook. Had very interesting conversations with Brandon, a volunteer. He had really nice stories tell. We took the caboose which made the experience even more memorable. On the way back from riverboat, the engine latches on to caboose and pulls the train back to Essex. My daughter was very excited to see a running steam engine from such a proximity.
Essex is a great place to take your kids for a train ride and ferry ride. My son loves trains and greatly enjoys his visits here. The staff is friendly. I will say the open car which I posted pictures of is great however we all got some soot in our eyes on the way back. Face backwards and you should be good! They do warn about that so its part of being in an open car, not Essexs fault.
This well exceeded my expectations. A friend was visiting from out of town and I suggested the train and boat ride. We had a great time. The train portion was more a historical review of train travel in the valley than scenic. The river boat portion was some history and a lot of scenery. Both rides were narrated by knowledgeable guides. Ill go again, as it was also very relaxing.
Its a great historical experience but get there at a good time. Its easy to miss a train if youre not there on good time, and usually an hour wait for the next. I hear they have nice themed events.heir gift shop is cool and whats more, low prices! Its certainly worth checking out as an enthusiast or bringing the family along. Kids 2 and under are free and they allow carriers.
What hair recently to see Thomas the Tank Engine it is great for young kids especially if theyre familiar with the show they also do other if things here as well like for an example in the wintertime they have a Santa Claus train ride I will let the can be kind of pricey at times but its all about the kids and they love it so therefore it gets a thumbs-up in my book
The steam train is a lot of fun because it goes up and down the Connecticut River you can switch over and take the riverboat you can also do the dinner train which is a lot of fun 34 courses of food in the scenery in this time year November is actually the best of me miss the little bit but the foliage is a good luck in your Lotsa lots of nice views
I just returned, 7-19-2017, from a GREAT, week long visit to the Valley Railroad. As an OLD mechanic, gearhead, railroad enthusiast, and Live Steamer, I can not express enough my sincerest appreciation for the kind hospitality extend to me during my visit. These folks really know how to run a railroad. Sincerely, Bruce F. Raykiewicz