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On track again, The Connecticut River Museum’s Holiday Train Show

A 29-year electric train tradition builds steam in Essex.

ESSEX, Conn. — The Connecticut River Museum in Essex is largely about all things that sail but, in December, there is also a focus on the rails. 

It is the 29th year of the River Museum’s Holiday Train Show, an exhibit that has grown to around one thousand square feet and takes up most of the third floor of the museum.

Steve Cryan, an artist and musician who is responsible for putting the acclaimed train display together said, “I love doing it, they give me a month to do it, to put it together and they bring in 17 different sections and then I glue all the people (figures) in, put all the trees in and put in all the scenery.” 

Cryan’s work highlights both the history of the state and includes about a dozen electric trains – all of which run at the same time. 

“On opening day, we had over 250 people here, that really says something,” Cryan said. 

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Elizabeth Kaeser, the new executive director at the Connecticut River Museum is already a fan of the Train Show. 

"This is the 29th year of the event, it’s really become a new England tradition and a family tradition. There are people bringing their kids and their grandkids with them and the setup is amazing,” said Kaeser.

"This is a holiday tradition in Connecticut," said Cryan.

The Holiday Train Show at the Connecticut River Museum runs through February 19, 2023. To learn more, click here.

Jimmy Altman is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at jaltman@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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