history with trains dates back to 1838 during the industry's infancy.
It has never featured many miles of railroad although it was home of the
famed New York, New Haven & Hartford system. The Naugatuck
Railroad does a nice job of keeping alive this railroad's history, using
one its former lines and some of its original equipment. Of all the
Connecticut train rides you can take, the Naugatuck has the most to
offer passengers. Please be aware that if you want to take one of the
state's tourist trains they only operate during the warmer months given
the the usual quite cold winters, late falls, and early springs. If you
love New England, however, and want to experience it by train
Connecticut is a great state to visit. Also, if you are interested in Connecticut train rides that pertain to specific events, such as "The Polar Express," Halloween, Thomas the Tank Engine excursions, or fall foliage events please click on the corresponding image found in the left hand-column of this page, below the navigation buttons.
Connecticut Antique Machinery Association
This organization, located in Kent, preserves historical machinery of all types from steam to diesel powered equipment (cars, locomotives, engines, etc.). They also operate Hawaii Railway Company narrow-gauge steamer #5 on a short segment of track onsite.
Connecticut Eastern Railroad Museum
The CERM is located in Willimantic and is home to a large collection of historic rolling stock, locomotives, and railroad buildings on the grounds. They also operate some equipment on the property. To learn more about the museum please visit their website.
Connecticut Trolley Museum
The Connecticut Trolley Museum, based in East Windsor, highlights the history of the region's long-gone interurban and trolley services. During their operating season between June and December they also host train rides aboard their restored trolleys, which operate on a short stretch of trackage on their property.
Danbury Railway Museum
The Danbury Railway Museum does not really offer an excursion train
ride. However, it does feature its "Railyard Local" which operates on
the museum's property during opening hours pulled by either their EMD
SW8 or Alco RS1.
Essex Steam Train
Arguably the most popular of all train rides in the state, the Essex Steam Train has also blossomed into one of the most successful in the country offering a variety of different trips and specials from its home base in Essex, including the ability to make
riverboat charters. If you are visiting Connecticut to ride an excursion, this would certainly be one to check out!
Operated by the Railroad Museum of New England the Naugatuck
Railroad operates a 20-mile round trip excursion from its home base in
Trains are boarded from the restored Thomaston Station and the
railroad also offers wine tasting once a year in May and operates other
special trains throughout the season.
Shore Line Trolley Museum
This museum, based in East Haven, preserves the history of interurban and streetcar operations once prevalent throughout New England (specifically, they tell the story of the located Branford Electric Railway). The organization also offers trolley rides throughout the year. To learn more please visit their website.
SoNo Switch Tower Museum
This unique museum, located in South Norwalk, is located in the New Haven's restored switcher tower allowing visitors the chance to see how one of these interesting buildings functioned in keep railroad operations running smoothly and safely. They are open to the public during select times throughout the year.
More On Connecticut Train Rides
If you are interested in learning more about Connecticut train rides, Kalmbach Publishing/Trains Magazine releases their Tourist Trains Guidebook each year, which highlights most such destinations throughout the U.S. and Canada
Tourist Train Information