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Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

One Railroad Avenue, P.O. Box 452, Essex, CT 06426
860-767-0103
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Ranked #2 of 11 attractions in Essex
Certificate of Excellence 2013
Type: Scenic Railroads, Tours
Activities: Group tours/train
Owner description: Take one or both tours in combination for a delightful sightseeing excursion through some of the most scenic areas of Connecticut: scenic train ride... more » Owner description: Take one or both tours in combination for a delightful sightseeing excursion through some of the most scenic areas of Connecticut: scenic train ride in restored railroad cars pulled by a coal-fired locomotive and a ride up the Connecticut River by riverboat. « less
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178 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Essex, Connecticut
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 16, 2014 NEW

We have been on the train twice: once for an elegant dinner voyage along the beautiful Connecticut River and the other was a trip to the "North Pole" with our grandchildren and extended family. You board a historic train powered by an actual steam locomotive for a ride along the river and through the scenic woods from Essex Village up... More

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West Hartford, Connecticut
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 7, 2014

11 of us went to the 5 pm Polar Express. The trains are nice (coal burning and the real deal). I have seen other people complain about being seated -but we had no trouble - they had us allocated to one car and did not over book. The only challenge was getting our large party all assembled. There was an... More

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Lenexa
Top Contributor
87 reviews 87 reviews
13 attraction reviews
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed January 5, 2014

I am real train enthusiast, but I ended up being fairly bored by the experience. I'm not sure what the problem was, but probably it was simply that the scenery one goes by just didn't seem that interesting. I think the fact that it was rainy the day we went did not help matters because that prevented people from getting... More

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Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 1, 2013

Second year traveling the polar express with my boys (4 and 6). Staff is great, especially the elves....very animated and the kids love it. Well coordinated with hot chocolate, passing through the North Pole, and picking up Santa along the way. The engine itself is amazing. Seeing the kids get so excited is the best part. Highly recommend for the... More

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CT
Senior Reviewer
8 reviews 8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

A wonderful evening very professionally done. Our 3 1/2 year old granddaughter was enthralled and wants to do,it again.

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Beacon Falls, CT
2 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 25, 2013

I was so excited to do this trip with my 4yr old grandson and his cousins. There were 13 of us (adults and kids). Maybe other cars are different but our trip had NO resemblance to the movie. Our "entertainer" acted like he was trying to fill up the time by playing Christmas/Winter songs and having a few kids march... More

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Wakefield, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 20, 2013

We spent a terrific summer day here riding the train and cruising the Connecticut River on the Becky Thatcher River Boat. The train ride takes you along a wooded area for about a half hour to the boat. We chose the open window car and were warned about cinders in the air. If this would bother you choose the closed... More

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Indianapolis, Indiana
Top Contributor
76 reviews 76 reviews
12 attraction reviews
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 10, 2013

Really nice trip back in time to board an old time steam engine and cars and travel thru the CT countryside and then board the Becky Thatcher paddle boat for a trio up the Connecticut River past the Gillette Castle. Very nice day

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Somers, New York
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
23 attraction reviews
13 helpful votes 13 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2013

Our family of two teens, five adults and two seniors took a trip here to celebrate Grandpa's 85th birthday. It was a breezy, partly sunny afternoon in September-good weather for the trip (I wouldn't want to do it in the rain). It began with the train ride which takes about 20-30 minutes and travels through woods along the Connecticut River.... More

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Victoria
Senior Contributor
29 reviews 29 reviews
16 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 4, 2013

A really nice good value train journey by authentic steam engine followed by a riverboat cruise on the Connecticut river to East Haddan. fantastic views for fall colours and river views up to Gillette castle. Interesting commentary of points of interest on the boat. Great value.

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