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ESSEX, Conn. – Step back in time with the Essex steam train and riverboat sightseeing journey.

Since 1971, thousands of visitors have enjoyed the 2½ hour adventure along and on 13 miles of the Connecticut River.

The season ended late in October, except for the Santa Special Nov. 28-30 and Dec. 6-7, 13-14 and 20-23 and the North Pole Express November and December weekends.

All booked up? Put it on your something-to-do calender for 2015 when you visit New York and New England.

On a recent visit to a nearby jazz music party, the Fallstroms detoured a few miles to check out this unusual tourist attraction.

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Two steam trains operate from the Essex station eight months of the year. It's south of Hartford and near New London. Watch for wildlife, including deer, heron, osprey and bald eagles, en route to Deep River where the three-story Mississippi River-type riverboat, the Becky Thatcher, is waiting. A couple of the train cars are equipped with comfy living room chairs which rotate for the best view. Refreshments and beverages are available.

At Deep River, the Becky Thatcher takes us on an excursion where more wildlife and scenery abounds

while we listen to a young man providing historical information. It's a nice leisurely ride.

During the summer there's a circus train with an acrobat show. And a “Day Out with Thomas” train.

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