Monday, July 11, 2011

Fun Things Visits the Strasburg Rail Road in Lancaster, PA

Be transported back into the early history of American culture with the Strasburg Rail Road, America’s oldest short line railroad and a designated heritage site. Founded during the first term of President Andrew Jackson, Strasburg Rail Road can trace it's roots back to 1837 when it began hauling freight, most likely by horse-drawn cars. Locomotives began to rumble down the tracks and through the Amish farms and countryside in the 1850s. In 1958 the railroad was purchased by railroad buffs and set toward a goal of preserving this piece of railroad history.




But putting all the history aside for a second, the Strasburg Rail Road is all about fun with some learning mixed in. My family and I were recently invited to visit and take the trip back through time. Just showing up at the station we felt like we stepped back into history. From the preserved buildings to the uniforms train personnel wear, it really got my kids excited to go for a train ride.

Once you step on the train you'll immediately notice the amazing condition the cars have been restored back to. You'll be welcomed by comfortable cloth seats that switch direction based on the direction of the train, brightly restored wood, and ornate wood stoves used for heat in the winter. The train conductor welcomes everyone and then gives the history of the railroad.

The trip takes 45-minutes, departs daily and passengers can choose to ride Coach, First-Class, Open Air or the Dining Car. Then line takes you through beautiful Lancaster County farmland and past working Amish farms. The conductor tells the history of the land and the role the railroad played in it's development. They also tell stories of long-lost trains that will truly entertain your kids.

You can also choose to bring your own picnic and be dropped off at a picnic area along the route. The next train that comes by will pick you up when you want to leave. We didn't take advantage of this option and I would call to ask for details before you plan your picnic.

My kids are not enthusiastic about trains and I wondered if they would enjoy the trip. I can now tell you that your child doesn't have to be in love with trains for them to have fun. In fact, the whole family enjoyed this trip through history on a great train and a special railroad. You can plan to visit anytime of year and have fun. However, I think the fall might be the perfect time visit the Strasburg Rail Road, pick up a pumpkin and visit a corn maze or two on the way home.

Here some more things to do while visiting the Strasburg Rail Road; ride on the miniature Cagney steam train, the authentic Pump Car, or take a behind-the-scenes tour to see steam engines being built, restored and refurbished. Strasburg Rail Road also has a number of combo passes with area attractions such as Dutch Wonderland, Railroad Museum of PA and Cherry Crest Farms.


Watch our video to get a taste of the sights and sounds of the Strasburg Rail Road before you go!




Disclosure: My family and I received complimentary tickets to visit the Strasburg Rail Road

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