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The Strasburg Railroad dates back to 1832 when it was chartered as a line for hauling freight and passengers from Lancaster County to Philadelphia’s main line. For over 100 years it served that purpose, and is now considered to be America’s oldest short line railroad. Then in the 1950s, the Strasburg line was turned into a tourist attraction – inviting the public to come ride the rails in its refurbished passenger cars.
As part of our trip to Lancaster County last week, we had the chance to check out some of Strasburg’s biggest bragging points. Strasburg is a small town tucked right inside the heart of Amish Country. As we drove to the railroad we passed farm after farm, and yes- saw quite a few horses and buggies trotting along the road.
We arrived at the Strasburg Railroad Station and took in the sights and sounds. Train whistles, coal burning, shops, train themed kiddie rides, a cafe… lots to explore while awaiting our train’s departure.
We boarded our train and enjoyed a 45 minute ride through Amish farmland. Corn fields and other crops as far as the eye could see. Barns, silos, tiny farmhouses all dotted the rich, green landscape.
You probably know by now that I am a total sucker for history. I found it fascinating to imagine what it must have been like to ride on the Strasburg Railroad “back in the day.” Back when the only other form of transportation in that area was by stagecoach or on horseback. Train rides were considered a “luxury” in most cases and your average every day Joe would not have had the opportunity to take such a journey.
Lily Bean LOVED looking out the windows- this was actually her very first train ride!
We enjoyed our ride and before we knew it, were pulling back into the station. We ate some tasty lunches from the cafe and then had some time to wander around. After exploring the shops, Lily Bean and Biker Bob took a ride on this tiny Cagney steam train- how cute is that?
The Strasburg Railroad offers several options for riders: coach, first-class, open air or the dining car.
In addition to the traditional railroad trip, Strasburg Railroad has various themed events that run throughout the year (ticket prices vary by event- you can find more info here). Events still available for this (2010) year:
Wine & Cheese Train – Offered April – November
The Great Train Robbery – October 23rd
Day Out with Thomas – September 11-19 & November 19-21
Trains and Troops – November 6 & 7
Santa’s Paradise Express – November 26-28 & December 4, 5, 11, 12, 18 & 19
This ride was definitely appropriate for any age bracket- young and old. Let’s face it- there’s just something fun and exciting about trains!
Want to check out the Strasburg Railroad with your fam? Tickets start at just $7 for kids, $14 for adults.
Combo Passes with Other Area Attractions
Stay tuned… more from our adventures in Lancaster to come!
Strasburg Railroad invited our family to be their guests which included complimentary passes aboard the train and lunch. All opinions our 100% our own. Everything written above was based on our own experiences.