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“What a package!!!!!”

Essex Steam Train & Riverboat
Ranked #1 of 14 things to do in Essex
Certificate of Excellence
More attraction details
Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
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.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

Start your adventure on a short train ride. Your first stop a ferry ride across the Connecticut river. Hike up to the Gillette castle, ( not an easy stroll ! ) Tour the castle, fantastic! Then walk back to the ferry and continue on the train to your next adventure, a riverboat ride!

Thank Dolores330
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"becky thatcher"
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"first class car"
in 14 reviews
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418 - 422 of 577 reviews

Reviewed October 14, 2013

The train ride was beautiful but was a bit too short. Had it been for 30-45 mins more, it would have been perfect.

Nevertheless the river boat ride compensated for it.

We went on a beautiful Saturday and the steam engine, smell of coal burning and the gorgeous fall colors only made it better.

Must visit if you are in this area.

Tickets get sold like hotcakes, so you better book in advance. And try to sit on the right side facing front on the train. Ignore the left side because you will end up looking at the rocks and not the river which is on your right.

5  Thank Suryavarman
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 14, 2013

The company gives travelers a few options. You can ride the train only, you can meet the boat and ride on the river before returning to Essex on the train, or you can take the train to a station near Gilette Castle for a river ferry ride and hike there and back. These are all great options on a summer or fall day. We took the "first class" car, a restored 1920s car with individual plush armchairs that revolved, allowing one to look directly out the window -- and extra $10 but worth it for the comfort. The 1920s car and the ($5 extra) open air car both have beverage service with reasonable charges. The boat has a food concession with child-friendly foods, also restrooms. The boat goes up to the Goodspeed Opera House and back. The timing for the connection is excellent; there was no waiting. Both train and boat rocked pleasantly on their leisurely-paced trips, providing a very relaxing afternoon. The staff on both train and boat were upbeat, friendly, funny, and helpful.

1  Thank ConnecticutLocavore
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 13, 2013

the train ride was just ok. scenic views were fair. seats a bit uncomfortable.
the boat ride was more pleasant with good narration.
much too long a ride for young children.

Thank flo1020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed October 10, 2013

This is just a perfect attraction in the summer. In the fall there is foliage train ride and in the winter Norh Pole Express with Santa and Mrs. Santa on board. We live in CT and love to do it every year.

Thank melzbieta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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