RailPictures.Net Photo: NH 3025 Valley Railroad Steam 2-8-2 at Deep River, Connecticut by Kevin Madore
 
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» Valley Railroad (more..)
» Steam 2-8-2 (more..)
» Deep River Creek Bridge (more..)
» Deep River, Connecticut, USA (more..)
» November 23, 2018
Locomotive No./Train ID Photographer
» NH 3025 (more..)
» NPE-1 (more..)
» Kevin Madore (more..)
» Contact Photographer · Photographer Profile 
Remarks & Notes 
North Pole Express: Making a Living with Steam. The Valley Railroad's New Haven Mikado #3025 glows just a bit in the waning sunlight, as she takes the first of the evening's sold-out, North Pole Express Trains across Deep River Creek en route to North Chester, Connecticut.

Tourist lines looking for a demonstration of how to turn a profit running steam engines need to look no further than the Valley Railroad (dba "The Essex Steam Train") in Connecticut. Over the past decade or so, this line has taken the Christmas Train scenario from a way to put a cap on a season to a season unto itself. Like most tourist lines, this place used to make its living from April to October, during prime vacation season. Not anymore. While the Valley Railroad does indeed run a successful tourist operation during the summer months, the place becomes perhaps the busiest steam operation in the country in early November. The line offers two types of Christmas Train experiences, geared for families with young children. They run daylight "Santa Specials", which provide a 14-mile steam train ride, complete with Santa Claus on board to visit with the little ones. Then, as sunset approaches, they offer their "North Pole Express", which is an enhanced experience, complete with treats, hot drinks, a theater troupe on board to entertain the kids, and of course, Santa and Mrs. Claus. On weeknights, 6 North Pole Express Trains are offered. On weekends, there are 6 Santa Specials and 9 North Pole Express Trains....that's 15 total departures per day, each with a steam engine and 7-car train. In 2018, a 3rd complete steam trainset was added to boost capacity. Tickets for these events go on sale in September, and largely sell out within a couple of weeks. By December, tickets are scarcer than hen's teeth. Numbers for 2018 have yet to be tallied, but last year, I believe they sold something north of 90,000 tickets. As noted, I don't believe there is any other steam operation in the country that has the operations tempo that The Valley has in December. Yes Virginia, you can make money with steam engines. The Valley Railroad is living proof.

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Trains on Bridges - Connecticut

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Connecticut's Valley Railroad

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An album of images showing 4 seasons of operation on the former New York, New Haven & Hartford Connecticut Valley Line.
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