Learn to Drive a Steam Train
Learn How To Drive A Steam Train In Essex
Price for 1 participant
Put your Hand on the Throttle and Learn to Drive a Train! This once in a lifetime experience is your chance to operate a full-size Steam Locomotive on Connecticut’s beautiful Valley Railroad.
This unique experience begins with instruction on safety aspects, basic locomotive theory and operation. Following instruction, you will join a member of the crew, climb onto the majestic 4-6-4 Steam Engine and embark on a one hour journey as a Railroad Conductor.
As you depart from the Valley Railroad Station, your hand will be on the throttle as you travel past some of the most beautiful scenery and landscapes the Connecticut River Valley has to offer. Under direct supervision, you will learn how to operate and control your speeds as you marvel at the power of one of the most important and influential inventions in history. This Learn to Drive a Steam Train experience in Essex, Connecticut provides you with the opportunity of turning your dreams of driving a train, into reality.
What to wear
Participants are required to sign a Liability Release Form.
ITEM/SKU NUMBER 02GO38000B
Xperience Certificates cannot be exchanged once a reservation for the experience has been made.
Absolutely Fabulous! Brian, Eric, David were very nice local people to work with. It truly was a dream come true for me and the best present ever. All my friends and relatives were shocked, surprised and later just as excited as I to watch my experience on video.
- Helen Ryan - Essex, Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Ready to do it again! Was a great ride, people were great! You control a 150 ton locomotive, get to feel the rush of all that steam power moving one big machine!
- Jeffrey Kier - Ewan NJ, Thursday, April 26, 2012
This was an excellent experience. I will highly recommend it to others interested in steam railroads.
- Alfred H. Brand - Kew Gardens NY, Tuesday, April 24, 2012
One of the best times I've ever had had....can't wait to do it again!
- Brian McKeen - Hanson, MA, Tuesday, April 24, 2012
It was terrific!!! I took the class at noon on April 20th and rode the train at 4 PM. While everyone was very friendly and behaved like they really enjoyed their job, I would like to call specific attention to the crew on the train. They were very friendly and eager to share their knowledge about railroading. They made you feel right at home and put you at ease. Their attitude was that they were happy I was there and eager to share railroading with me. I would recommend it to anyone interested in trains!!!
- Keith J. Nevrincean - New Jersey, Monday, April 23, 2012
'The Hands on the Throttle' Train Exp.Day was awsome. It was a dream of a life time for me. The crew and instructors were very good and patient with all of us. It was worth the drive to Essex to see and drive a real Steam Locamotive,what an Awsome piece of machinery. Thanks again for the RIDE!! PS:Special thanks to my Spousal Equivalent and her 2 Daughters for making all of this possible for me.
- Roger Chagnon - Lyman, ME, Thursday, April 19, 2012
WOW - what an exciting and exhilarating experience! Getting the chance to start, run and stop a steam locomotive was awesome. Feeling the engine rumble and sway along the track, smelling the coal smoke and swirling steam, and of course, blowing the whistle for grade crossings and kids (seeing them smile and wave to me was pure pleasure!) on this 8 mile trip are some of the sensations and images I'll always treasure. The instructors and engine crew were truly professional, very patient and answered all my questions about operating the locomotive. I tip my engineer's cap to them. Thank you to the Valley Railroad, Xperiencedays.com, and especially my family, for this wonderful gift. Now, it's your turn. The engine and crew are waiting for you. GO!
- Armand - Staten Island, New York, Wednesday, April 18, 2012
I got thIs as a birthday present and I was amazing, he loved every minute of this experience.
- Nathan - Thompson, Tuesday, April 17, 2012
As a life-long lover of anything having to do with railroads and especially steam locomotives, this was the experience of a lifetime.
- HAL MARSHALL - LAKE LOTAWANA MO, Tuesday, November 08, 2011
The experience was fabulous. The folks at Valley Railroad are enthusiastic about sharing their love of steam trains and making the event everything it was advertised to be. I'll likely do it again and one of my friends is ready to sign up as well.
- Ray James - Williamsburg, VA, Tuesday, April 19, 2011
Driving the steam train in Essex was a wonderful experience. Moving 80 tons of metal was the thrill of a lifetime. More importantly, I have made a small contribution to railroad preservation.
- John Sharkey - Essex CT, Sunday, April 17, 2011
For a few hours last Friday, I became a little boy again, driving a steam locomotive along the Connecticut River Valley. It was a dream I have had for over fifty years since I was just a kid playing with my electric trains at Christmas. Words cannot describe the thrill!
- Ken Buettner - Essex, CT, Monday, April 04, 2011
What a wonderful adventure! The crew and staff could not have been better. I was at the throttle for #97, a 2-8-0 Consolidation. Now I have one up on my other train friends - I have actually driven a steam locomotive!
- Danny Seymour - Howell, NJ, Wednesday, April 28, 2010
Fantastic, great bunch of people. Lots of fun, one of the best experiences I have ever had.
- Michael Lux - Warren NJ, Monday, April 26, 2010
Fantastic, start to finish! I'll be back with friends!
- Peter - New Hampshire, Wednesday, November 04, 2009
This experience exceeded my expectations. The classroom activities covered all the principles of operation of all the major components of the steam engine. It was well presented utilizing a real engine and models with plenty of time allocated to questions. It is amazing technology for the time. Once on the engine, the engineer and fireman did a fantastic job giving me the guidance to actually operate this amazing machine myself. I highly recommend this experience.
- Ray Marino - Bridgewater, NJ, Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Outstanding adventure. Great people at the Essex Valley RR drove a 282 consolidation steam engine, apretty big engine. Class was first then drove the train for 1 hour through Conn. Valley along the river. Absolutely terrific day. I'm going to do it again. The RR is a living museum of stores, repair shops and yards.
- David Robertson - Mt Sinai NY, Tuesday, April 21, 2009
One of the great moments in my life time.
Instructors were very helpful and considerate of our needs to learn a lot in a very short period of time. The engineer and fireman did a great job in making me comfortable at the trottle! I will return soon to do this again! Thanks again!
- Arthur Tuttle - East Lyme, Wednesday, December 31, 2008
My siblings and I purchased this for our Dad's milestone birthday. He had an absolutly amazing time. The faces on the 4 engineers we saw, including Dad's, after their time at the throttle were priceless...like a young boy Christmas morning. I would highly recommend this once in a life time adventure for any steam train buff. Must be at least 18. Just be sure to reserve in advance as this expereince is limited and always sells out. The staff at the Essex Steam Railroad Museum were great and provided everything needed (release, train manual, etc.) well in advance. Again, I highly recommend this adventure!!
- Rebecca Pervere - New Hampshire, Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Question: Would I be able to purchase a ticket to ride on the train WHILE my husband did this experience? Additionally, what are the dates for the 2014 calendar, if we are not able to do it in 2013?
Answer: Unfortunately, the provider does not allow anyone on the train during the lesson. Only one participant will be allowed on the locomotive with the train conductor at a time. Guests are not permitted on board the train. However, you will find that there are several things for you to do that are close to the train station. The dates for next season have not been released at this time. They typically do not release the schedule until the beginning of the year. The season for this experience runs April through November. Please keep in mind when booking that there is limited space for each class, so the dates sell out very quickly.
Question: Hello! I recently Purchased the Learn to Drive a Steam Train experience for my grandfather. My only question is...whom do I contact to schedule it?
Answer: If you would like to request a reservation you can do so online at www.xperiencedays.com or over the phone at 866-973-7436. If you choose to redeem your certificate online, you will need to click on the "Redeem Gift" button at the top of our webpage. This will ask you to enter the redemption reference number off of your Xperience Days certificate, and walk you through requesting a reservation. We would also be happy to assist you with this over the phone. Please keep in mind that we require 14 days advance notice for all reservations. The Learn to Drive a Steam Train Xperience is offered on select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in April thru October, subject to availability. Lessons begin at 8:00 AM and 12:00 PM. The Learn to Drive a Steam Train Experience will be offered on the following dates in 2013. April 5 - 7 April 12 - 14 Nov 1 - Nov 3 Nov 8 - Nov 10
Question: How long is the gift certificate good for? I would like to purchase it as a gift, but he would not be able to use it until 2013. Who could I contact to find out what dates are availabe in 2013?
Answer: Xperience Days gift cards are valid for one year from the issue date at the original purchase price. After that time they can still be used however, they must be redeemed with us over the phone and if there is any increase in price from the original purchase price, the redeemer will be responsible for the price difference. The Learn to Drive a Steam Train Xperience is offered on select Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays in April and November, subject to availability. The 2013 dates will not be available until next year when the provider creates a new schedule. Once the new schedule has been posted, we will add those dates to our calendar.
Question: I wanted to know where exactly is this drive a train experience located and is it only available in April and Novemeber?
Answer: This experience takes place at the Valley Railroad Company, One Railroad Avenue, Essex, CT 06426 The dates for this experience in 2011 are: April 1 - 3, 2011 April 8 - 10, 2011 April 15 - 17, 2011 Nov 4 - Nov 6, 2011 Nov 11 - Nov 13, 2011 The experience only takes place on these dates as the experience is operated on the normal passenger train which is in service between these times.
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