One of the world's top railroad museums, the Railroad Museum has a vast collection. And all exhibits are in perfect condition, except for a few of those outside. They include locomotives and rolling stock from the early 19th century to the 1980s.
There are many other exhibits, memorabilia, and a model railroad. See the website for hours and admission prices.
The Strasburg Railroad runs daily excursion trains into the nearby countryside, lasting about an hour. This is Amish country--gently rolling, picturesque, and reminiscent of days gone by. Every scene looks like a postcard. Be sure to get a seat in the Obervation Car (even though it's a bit more).
Tickets are available online; buying in advance saves a lot of waiting in line. Check the website for times and hours of operation. The train runs on weekends most of the year, and all week long during summer.
You are in Lancaster County, Amish center for Pennsylvania (and if you believe the ads "Amish center of the world"). So you have to visit an Amish farm and see how they lived 50 years ago (which happens to be just how they live right now too).
The Amish Village is just such a farm open for tourists to view.
They have the farm and several craftsmans places and the farm house setup just like it should be for a strict Amish family. The tour guide will talk about the Amish life, the language, the lack of electricity and cars, the clothing, the social life (or lack of it). It is about an hour tour for under $10 a person.
This is one of the better Amish Farms-for-view in the area.
The year is 1986.
The kids are yelling that they want to see something other than farms.
So I opens de turist pamphletto and spies dis place, Strasburg.
Saved the day. Kids are happy, I'm happy ('cause I don't have to drive for a few hours but can be a passenger on the train) and the wife is happy because there is a souvenier gift shop at the train museum.
Others have already done a bang-up job of describing the trains in Strasburg so I will just post a couple of pictures to show that the place hasn't changed much in 20 odd years.
See tartu2005 and veronicag and feline01 for comparisons.
The town itself is(was) small and mostly open land.
Wikipedia info: 3000 residence (not including farm animals) in 1200 households (60% married... the old moral standards are still alive) with average income of about $50000.
Our ride on the rails took us through Amish country. We passed a group of Amish having a picnic on the day we visited Strasburg. They are of the Old Order style, primarily of German heritage who arrived in the early 1700's as part of a 'holy experiment' on religious tolerance encouraged by William Penn--for whom Pennsylvania is named.
Notice the dark clothing worn, which is a sign of their humble nature. As you drive through this area of Pennsylvania and see clothing in colors of purple, blue, black and grey flapping on the clothes lines...it's a sure indication that the farm is Amish owned.
We've come to The Strasburg Railroad Museum several times and never get tired of it! There are many different engines and railcars to see, so don't miss any of them. The kids have a great time climbing aboard the vintage locomotives--the collection of these colossal machines covers the golden age of rail travel.
While visiting the museum ride the oldest short line railroad in America. It's a coal burning steam locomotive that will take your through some of Pennsylvania's prettiest countryside. The ride is a thrill for young and old and gives everyone a taste of old-fashioned rail travel.
If you come to The Thomas the Tank weekend what could be better than meeting Sir Topham Hatt!! He's quite a distinguished gentleman! There are three Thomas the Tank weekends scheduled each year.
The cars line up for miles for these weekends! Fortunately, friends warned us to be there early to avoid the congestion--we were and it was...very congested!
There is a terrific Thomas the Tank Engine gift shop within the museum grounds. All the different engines and cars were there, along with cute t-shirts emblazoned with Thomas's face. Restaurants/snack shops are located here, too.
The cost for a Thomas the Tank weekend is $16.00 for age 2 up to Adults. A combination ticket for the Thomas the Tank ride AND The Strasburg Railroad train ride is $20.95 for age 3 and up; $16.00 for age 2 and free for children under 2.
Take a train ride while you're touring the Strasburg Train Museum--it's the oldest shortline railroad in America. There are different prices for the various railcars:
Open Air Car is $11.75 for Adults; $6.75 for children; $2.00 for toddlers
The Parlor car is $15.50 for Adults;$10.75 for children;$6.00 for toddlers
The Dining car is $11.75 for Adults; $6.95 for children; $2.00 for toddlers (light meals are available)
The Coach and LO&S cars are $9.75 for Adults; $4.75 for children; toddlers free
**Adults are designated as those 12 years and up; Children age 3-11 and Toddlers under 3 years of age.
The last time we rode the train we passed a group of Amish enjoying a picnic. It made our visit all the more memorable!
The village of Strasburg had quaint shops and interesting old buildings. An Amish carriage tried to wend its way through the streets avoiding cars along the way. I'm sure the busy streets make it difficult for this mode of travel!
Take time to visit Strasburg and its cute shops. There was an old cemetery by a church on main street that had some very old dates on the tomb stones.
Sight and Sound Theater is a wonderful highlight to every trip we take to the Lancaster area. Their productions are state-of-the-art and rival NYC's Broadway with an interesting Bible-oriented flavor.
Hours: Monday - Saturday 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM EST
At strasburg, Pa railroad has a neat set up of a real train museum and not to far down the street they have a model toy train museum. It seems like the whole town is into Thomas the Tank Engine. If your luckily enough to ride on Thomas the Tank Engine you'll pass by a Train Caboose Hotel where you can spend the night in a caboose. On my hometown website it has all the info about the Strasburg Railroad.. http://www.strasburgrailroad.com
This is an inexpesive site to see model toy trains from the past. I think there is a couple of Thomas the Tank Engine ones from the 1970's. There are buttons to press and you can see the trains go round and round. Great for kids most of the stuff is behind glass.
9-mile long steam train ride through the farmland. If you exit at Groff's Grove during the fall, there is a farm right next to the stop that offers a Maize maze, 8ft high cornstalks cut into a labyrinth. Really fun. You can also go pumpking picking and buy beautiful flowers and veggies.