Holiday Train Show Steams Up Re-Opening of Connecticut River Museum

Skye Roberts and Zachary Dobbs discover one of the scavenger items hidden in the layout of the Holiday Train Show exhibit now open at the Connecticut River Museum in Essex.

What a difference a week makes! That was the sentiment at the Connecticut River Museum as doors re-opened to the public on Friday, November 16, just in time for the scheduled debut of the 19th Annual Holiday Train Show exhibition. After Hurricane Sandy dumped a foot of water throughout the first floor of the 1878 steamboat warehouse building, best expectations were to be open in a very limited capacity for the new exhibit. But with plenty of scrambling and team work, all is up and running with the exception of the Boathouse gallery and education center. Museum officials hope to have that restoration work completed within a few weeks.

Members’ were invited to a sneak preview of train artist Steve Cryan’s locomotive extravaganza on Thursday evening and seemed impressed with this year’s display featuring 12 operational model trains running on over 26 feet of creatively set track. The Connecticut River flows down the center of intricately detailed scenes including the Museum’s steamboat warehouse building and dock, Goodspeed Airport, Schooner Mary E, the Lady Catherine cruise ship and other River Valley landmarks. A scavenger hunt challenges visitors to find a list of hidden surprises while young children can get hands on at an American Flyer and Lionel Train display designed specifically for toddler-size enjoyment. Sponsored by Liberty Bank, The Safety Zone and Valley Courier, the exhibit is open Tuesdays through Sundays from 10 AM to 5 PM through February 10. For more information, call the Musueum at 860.767.8269 or go to