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Vintage Train Excursion Steams Through Connecticut River Valley

Wednesday, July 4th, 2012

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Visitors to the Connecticut River Valley this summer can get a taste of old time travel. NY1’s Valarie D’Elia filed the following report.

There’s no mistaking the Essex Steam Train for your regular commute, but some of the vintage cars – as much as 100 years old – were part of the daily grind in New Jersey while the Great Republic had a more graceful life as one of New Haven Railroad’s premier express trains.

“Very few places where you can actually experience what it was like to ride behind a train pulled by a living, breathing, steam locomotive,” says Essex Steam Train Conductor Paul Goodman.

One of those places is about a two hour drive from New York City where you will find the Essex Steam train chugging and hugging the pretty Connecticut River Valley.

“I’ve never been on a train that old, I’m used to MTA trains,” says Train Passenger Sankha Ghatak.

One of the many options the steam train offers is a riverboat combo, connecting at Deep River Landing where the Becky Thatcher glides across a portion of the Connecticut River.

“It’s actually a little bit longer than the Hudson River by about a hundred miles and much less developed,” says Riverboat Captain Paul Costello.

Popular with children and families, the boat passes sites such as Goodspeed Opera House, a breeding ground for Broadway shows and the remains of Gillette Castle, a former residence of actor William Gillette, now a state park.

The Essex Steam Train and Riverboat is a two and a half hour combo tour. It runs three times a day through Labor Day costing $26 for adults and $17 for kids 2 to 11.

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