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Valley Railroad Company

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Have you spent any time on the Essex Steam Train ? The attraction brings in tens of thousands of people from all over the world every year.

The engineers who maintain the steam trains are part of a small fraternity of experts who know how to maintain then and make them run. There are only about 200 of these trains left in the country, from a height of about 180,000. The Valley Railroad has three of them.

“One of the things about The Valley Railroad, Essex Steam Train and Riverboat, is that we look like a museum, but we’re different than a museum,” said J. David Conrad, VP of the Valley Railroad Company. “The big difference is museums have their artifacts on display. Ours have to operate and our locomotives and cars go out and operate every day, just like they did when they were originally built. We have coaches that are nearly a hundred years old. We have a locomotive which is about 90 years old, and so we’re not only preserving the artifacts, we’re preserving the technology and the skills necessary to restore the stuff and to keep it running.”

The experts here get questions from all over.

“I got a call early this week from the Hebrew Valley Railroad in Utah and they’re in the process of putting a new firebox in their number 75 locomotive, and they were looking for some advice and I was very happy to provide some insight into doing that sort of work.”

Click on the video above to watch the full interview, and visit the Connecticut Valley Railroad in person or atwww.essexsteamtrain.com .