ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Visiting North America»
  • United States

Rail-fanning in Connecticut - Riding the rails around Connecticut

Updated on June 1, 2011

Steaming up the Connecticut River Valley

Travel tips for the train lover - take a train ride this summer!
Travel tips for the train lover - take a train ride this summer!

There are plenty of railfanning opportunities in Connecticut

Connecticut might not be a very large state but it does have a lot of opportunities for train fans to get out and ride the rails on a steam train or trolley. Plus the states close proximity to major metro areas of New York and Boston means their are plenty of rail fans in day trip range of these attractions.

A Round Up of Connecticut's Fine Railway Museums

Many of the following tourist attractions for rail fans are not too far from each other. In a getaway weekend rail enthusiasts should be able to take in several of these fine living museums.


Essex Steam Train

Nothing like the sound and fury of a steam train!
Nothing like the sound and fury of a steam train!

Essex Steam Train and Steamboat

Connecticut's best known and premiere rail attraction has to be the Essex Steam Train in beautiful Connecticut River Valley.

Located along the Connecticut River with connections to a steamboat near the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam as well as a hiking connection to the Gillette Castle, Dinner Trains plus special events like the Circus Train and Thomas the Train appearances, the Essex Steam train offers a variety of riding options for railfans.

Movie buffs would be excited to know that scenes from the last Indiana Jones movie were shot on the Essex location.

The Essex Steam Train has been a Connecticut Valley fixture for over forty years and offers mainly the excitement of a train ride due to its great location and available trackage. The organization offers less in terms of museum exhibits.

Essex Steam Trains were used in Indiana Jones Movie

Roundhouse at the CERM

Collection of old train equipment at the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum
Collection of old train equipment at the Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum

Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum

The Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum is located off Bridge Street in downtown Willimantic, Connecticut, on the original site of the Columbia Junction Freight Yard. Our collection includes locomotives and rolling stock, as well as vintage railroad buildings and a six-stall roundhouse reconstructed on the original foundation.

Visitors can receive a guided tour of the museum and kids of all ages can operate a replica 1850's-style pump car along a section of rail that once was part of the New Haven Railroad's "Air Line".

Future plans include extending track from the museum site to the Bridge Street entrance, reconstructing structures such as water towers on their original foundations, and erecting a Railroad Station/Visitor Center.

Fun with a hand cart - CERM

Trains in Danbury

Danbury Railway Museum

The Danbury Railway Museum located at at 120 White Street in the old Danbury Train Station at the corner of White Street and Patriot Drive, houses plenty of hands off and hands on exhibits including a Lionel model railroad

You can ride an original New Haven RR operating turntable, explore the Boston & Maine 1455 Steam Engine and tour of the 6-acre Railyard with over 70 pieces of historic railroad equipment and artifacts. Train rides are available on weekends April - November.

Riding the turntable at the Danbury Railway Museum

CT Trolley Museum

Connecticut Trolley Museum

Located in East Windsor, Connecticut, the Connecticut Trolley Museum was founded in 1940 making it the oldest incorporated museum dedicated to electric railroading in the United States.

Among the collections is the "Streetcar Named Desire". The museums include exhibits and trolley rides around the track. The Connecticut Trolley Museum has over 70 pieces of rail equipment dating back to 1869. During your visit, you can see historic passenger and freight street "trolley" cars, interurban cars, elevated railway cars, passenger and freight railroad cars, service cars, locomotives, and a variety of other equipment from railways around Connecticut and from places like Brooklyn, Boston, New Orleans, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Springfield, Lynchburg, Montreal, and Rio De Janeiro, Brazil.


Connecticut Trolley Museum

Touring the Shortline Trolley Museum

Trolley along the shoreline

This trolley ride amazingly skims across tidal marshes.
This trolley ride amazingly skims across tidal marshes.

The Shoreline Trolley Museum

Not the biggest transportation museum in the state but this museum located near New Haven is a lot of fun. There is a small museum with local historic trolley information and a fun trolley ride along the shoreline and salt marshes to the car barn where you get an informative tour of the trolley restorations.

The Shore Line Trolley Museum has been an important part of the community since its incorporation in 1945 as the Branford Electric Railway Association - it boasts a collection of nearly 100 vintage vehicles as well as artifacts and documents from the trolley era. The museum is easy to reach, its only 3 minutes from I-95 or US-1, just off the East Haven Town Green.

Read about Connecticut's Trolley History

Naugatuck Railroad

Steam returns to the Naugatuck Railroad.  Flagg Coal Co. #75 is a 40 ton coal-fired steam locomotive built in 1930.
Steam returns to the Naugatuck Railroad. Flagg Coal Co. #75 is a 40 ton coal-fired steam locomotive built in 1930.

Railroad Museum of New England

Located in Thomaston, the Railroad Museum of New England is a great place to see vintage rolling stock including including locomotives of all types, passenger cars, freight cars, and cabooses.

The RMNE is started in 1968 in the region of the Naugatuck Railroad. The members of the museum are currently restoring the Thomaston Station including several outbuildings including display tracks, and operating control tower and more.

Railroad Museum of New England

Tourist Trains, Museums, Displays Around CT

Copyright Edward M. Fielding

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)