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Trains Trains Trains

If you love trains, we have you covered.

Trains have been around in America since the early 1800s, and we’ve been fascinated ever since. Kids and adults alike, you can’t help but stop and stare when seeing a train cross the tracks. Connecticut is home to lots of locomotive history, so you can bring your young (and old!) train fans to these top notch train museums on your next New England family vacay.

1) Shore Line Trolley Musem

Shore Line Trolley Museum in East Haven has been around since 1945, and is now home to a collection of over 100 beautiful vintage train cars and other memorabilia. Shore Line Trolley is a National Historic District, and is the oldest continuously running suburban trolley in the United States. Learn about the history of the rails while browsing their exhibits, or take a ride and enjoy the beautiful East Haven foliage.  Shore Line Trolley Museum was voted best Trolley Museum of 2014 by Yankee Magazine, making it a must stop destination.

Vintage steam train chugs along in Essex, CT.

2) Railroad Museum of New England

The Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston is a nonprofit educational and historical organization dedicated to preserving the history of the rails. Here, you can ride the historic Naugatuck Railroad, which dates back to 1849 when it originally opened. Better yet, they operate out of a beautiful Victorian era station, has been restored to a fully functional train station of the 1950s like it was during its final operating years. Railroad Museum of New England uses all vintage equipment, including their train cars, so you can ride a piece of history as you chug along this scenic route from Torrington to Waterbury.

3) Essex Steam Train & Riverboat

Essex Steam Train operates out of Essex, and offers a fun twist on railroad history. They boast two coal fired locomotives that pull you along in their restored train cars, but the real excitement is to be found in their special events. They offer seasonal themed rides, including the educational Passengers from the Past, the ever popular Circus Train, and two special holiday events, the Santa Special and North Pole Express.


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