Valley Railroad Company
in Essex, CT

Two days of photo opportunities in fall including a passenger and freight consist, pulled by Valley Railroad 40 and Valley Railroad 3025.

The October, capture fall colors and steam trains in Connecticut.​

This charter is only possible mid-week, due to the Railroad’s busy fall schedule. To make things more flexible, we are offering single day tickets along with regular tickets. 

On Tuesday, our charter will feature a freight train working north from Old Saybrook to Goodspeed Station.

Taking advantage of the best light of the day, we’ll hit the rails around sunrise, working photo locations until sunset with a few small breaks throughout the day. Tuesday night will include a night photo session around Essex Station and the railroad yard.

The consist will include 6-7 freight cars and a few passenger cars. The passenger cars will be dropped from the train at each runby location. 

Valley Railroad 40 will likely serve as our primary motive power for the first day, with Valley Railroad 3025 serving the second day. We will use a different engine each day.

On Wednesday, our charter will feature a passenger train working north from Old Saybrook to Goodspeed Station.

Similar to the first day, we will depart early to take advantage of the best light of the day and wrap up in late afternoon as the shadows begin to creep in!

Some photo locations may be repeated daily, but each day will include a unique mix of locations. 

Valley Railroad 3025 will likely serve as our primary motive power for the second day with a variety of Pullman rolling stock.

All details are subject to change due to operating conditions on the host railroad. We reserve the right to change the schedule, dates, and/or rolling stock if needed.

Sample photos courtesy of Kevin Madore.

Event Details

Further details will be provided after registration.

Questions in the meantime? Please email Dak at:

If you prefer to pay via check, please mail a check or money order made payable to Dakota Group LLC to:

Dakota Group LLC
PO Box 35
Wildwood, Missouri 63040

Checks are not subject to the credit card processing fee. Checks will be cashed upon receipt by Dakota Group LLC.

Please include your name, email and phone number with your check and we will email confirmation upon receipt.

The charter will depart from the Essex. There are a variety of hotels available around Old Saybrook and Chester, and more mainstream options near Groton.

  • This charter has a go/no go date of August 8, 2024.


  • In the event the charter is canceled, a full refund (minus any credit card processing fees) will be refunded within 30 days of cancelation.

  • All reservations are non-refundable after the go/no go date for the charter.

  • If an engine is not operational for the event date, the event may continue with different motive power at the discretion of Dakota Group and the host railroad.
  • We reserve the right to modify the event schedule, event dates or event offering at any time.

  • Riders may be required by the host railroad and/or Dakota Group LLC to sign a liability waiver to participate in the event.

  • We are not responsible for bad weather, delays or cancelations. We are not responsible for lost or stolen items, injuries, sickness or damages to personal equipment and loss of personal travel expenses.

  • Due to the duration of this event, we do not recommend this experience for young children.

  • Participants must be prepared to disembark and reboard train multiple times throughout the day. Participants should be prepared for rough terrain or uneven footing. Please wear sturdy shoes; hiking boots are recommended.

Photos shown above represent the railroad and may not be the exact photography location or motive power included in the charter. 

Railroad photo charters allow unique access and photographic opportunities that recreate a bygone era on railroads across the country.

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