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Essex Steam Train and Riverboat

Certificate of Excellence
Sponsored by:
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Address: 1 Railroad Ave, Essex, CT 06426-1516
Phone Number:
+1 860-767-0103

Take one or both tours in combination for a delightful sightseeing...

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.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 475 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 256
  • 149
    Very good
  • 45
  • 6
  • 14
Steamed up..

We did not ride the train. However we seen it was at the staton and curiosity got the better of us so we pulled into a busy parking lot. They were getting loaded up for their... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed yesterday
Lori H
via mobile
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475 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 470: English reviews
Level Contributor
399 reviews
198 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed yesterday NEW via mobile

We did not ride the train. However we seen it was at the staton and curiosity got the better of us so we pulled into a busy parking lot. They were getting loaded up for their next North Pole adventure. Everyone we passed was quick to greet us and ask if we needed help finding our way. It was a... More 

Thank Lori H
Level Contributor
66 reviews
15 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW via mobile

The Santa Train was a big hit for the second year in a row. The characters, Santa, Mrs Clause, Rudolph, elves were great fun and even the bell ornaments handed out were different from last year. Great fun!!

Thank giaabruzzi
Bridgeport, Connecticut
Level Contributor
155 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 31 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago via mobile

The Essex Steam Train as the Polar Express was a great family experience for both the children and us the parents, the Train Station was decorated beautifully for Christmas and the train absolutely awesome! The conductors were all dressed up as different characters, we had Raggedy Ann and she sang song that we all sang along too and they served... More 

Thank Bridgeporter
Whittier, California
Level Contributor
93 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 24 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

has a Christmas Present to my wife and I My son and daughter in law treated us to the Santa Express Train ride today as a fan of old trains and having 2 grandsons what more could you ask for ? the boys were wide eyed with joy Trip is well worth it , look forward to summer and the... More 

Thank s3production
Level Contributor
35 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 15 December 2016

Visited this place approx 6 months ago for the Thomas the Train Spectacular...yes, it was awesome. Went this time to the Santa Express. Loved it. The kids (3 years old) loved the train ride and the decorations (nicely displayed lights and Christmas decor). Had lunch there - food was ok. prices fair. Should have brought our our snacks for the... More 

Thank Pauline L
Trumbull, Connecticut
Level Contributor
59 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 14 December 2016 via mobile

My wife and I took our two children on the Essex steam train Polar Express. The experience was absolutely phenomenal, and definitely something we will look to do again in the future. Our elf was Manny, and he was phenomenal. My daughter is 2 1/2 and she didn't stop smiling during the entire trip. Santa was great as well, taking... More 

Thank Anthony G
Level Contributor
32 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 December 2016 via mobile

The crew really does a nice job. Our first polar express was awesome. Car was decorated nice and clean and plenty of room for a big family. Only complaint is that they allow smoking on the property. Not on the trains but when you step off you and your kids are blasted with smoke. Go smoke free and this becomes... More 

Thank squashman24
Level Contributor
26 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 7 December 2016

What a beautiful experience for the kids and adults alike for the holidays. It can easily be turned out into a family tradition. Went with my sister's children who lives in CT and my two teen girls. We were only an hour away. They really enjoyed the hour trip in the train where they were entertained by all the characters.... More 

Thank Artisanie
Canton Center, Connecticut
Level Contributor
122 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 December 2016 via mobile

Well organized fun for little ones with a constant parade of characters coming thru the cars. Each spends time with every child and poses for all the pics you want. Hard to get great pics with all the folks in the background however. It's a big operation with 9 to 10 cars on each train, but it all runs smoothly.... More 

Thank rkw321
Branford, Connecticut
Level Contributor
51 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 182 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 November 2016

This year my son was able to organize enough people to fill car on the North Pole Express. It can be a bit of a hike from the parking lot for small children and older adults. They have a small gift store and restaurant. They have restrooms to use before the train boards. There are two cars on the trains... More 

Thank Veritas01

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Questions & Answers

Here's what previous visitors have asked, with answers from representatives of Essex Steam Train and Riverboat and other visitors
6 questions
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New Haven, Connecticut
5 months ago
over a year ago
New Haven, Connecticut
over a year ago

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Questions? Get answers from Essex Steam Train and Riverboat staff and past visitors.
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Typical questions asked:
  • Will you pick up and drop off at my hotel?
  • I have a family of 7. Can your tour accommodate all of us together?
  • How should I dress for this tour?