• Train watching locations around Railroad Museum of New England, CT

  • Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England
Pertaining to all railroading subjects, past and present, in New England

Moderators: MEC407, NHN503

  by mr buffy
Hi All,

I am heading to the Railroad Museum of New England in Thomaston, CT and was wondering if there were any good locations in the area to round out the day with train watching. Somewhere good (safe from the tracks) for kids and sees a good amount of traffic during the day.

Any tips appreciated!

  by Dick H
Depending on what time you plan to leave Thomaston, you could head down to the Essex
Steam Train in Essex CT. About a one hour trip. Check their schedule here.

And/or continue six miles south to Old Saybrook to watch Amtrak on the NEC.

For freight action, head north about one hour to Chester MA. CSX main line there,
along with a small train depot museum. However, CSX does not run as many trains
on the B&A line as in the past. You might strike out.
  by NaugyRR
You could catch Route 8 south and drive down to Norwalk. The aquarium there is right below the NEC and there are several restaurants along the sound where you can eat outside and watch trains.

Driving on Route 84 (after a hop on 8) will take you into Danbury where you can visit the Danbury Railway museum. They have a very interesting collection as well as a nice layout inside. You will also find Metro-North trains laying over along the loop there.

If you feel like driving east you could stop at the CT Trolley Museum, just on the other side of Bradley Airport. There's also a very cool air museum behind the airport that I like to visit on the way back from the trolley museum.

I also highly recommend getting hotdogs at Blackies in Cheshire if you're in the area. They're some of the best franks in the state, in my opinion.
  by shadyjay
Not too far from Thomaston, there's the Trackside Pizzeria in Wallingford that's literally right next to the Springfield Line, which sees Amtrak and CTRail commuter trains.

Round out the day as well down in Essex, as previously suggested, and take a ride on the steam train (and boat, if you have time). And as suggested previously, Old Saybrook is just 4 miles south of there with a fairly busy Amtrak/Shore Line East station with Pizzaworks restaurant right there as well.

It all depends on your home destination after Thomaston. Don't want to send you 50 miles in the opposite direction. There's lots of train activity in New Haven but not sure how long you could just hang out on the platforms before someone asks you what you're doing there. West Haven or any station along the New Haven Line may be better if you're heading I-95, westward. Springfield, MA Union Station is your best bet if you want to see freight action as well, with a more open-platform layout.
  by 3rd Gen. Brakeman
If you go to Norwalk, I’d suggest a visit to the SoNo Switch Tower Museum. Good train watching there with one of the “best seats in the house”. It is an excellent museum with a great staff and is well worth the visit.