Field Trip Friday: Strasburg Railroad and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania

Windy Day at Strasburg!

All aboard!! What little boy isn’t obsessed with trains? I think most children want to be a train conductor at some point in their lives and mine are no exception. They were thrilled to learn that they were getting a ride on a vintage carriage pulled by a real steam engine. This trip is a great experience for anyone young or old that is interested in trains. I’m actually talking about two different places today because they fit together wonderfully and are across the street from each other. They even offer a discount on combined tickets.

While we enjoyed both parts of this trip, the ride on the steam engine was far and away the most exciting and memorable. You purchase your tickets and board the train for a 45 minute ride through beautiful Amish farmland. The children loved hearing the sounds of the train and feeling it jolt into motion. Then they looked for cattle and other animals as we rode past various farms. This is a short line train that goes down to the end of its route, the engine moves around to the back of the train (which then becomes the front) and makes the return trip on the same track. The seats on the train were even designed so that the seat backs could switch positions when the train turned around. You can make the trip as a round trip in about 45 minutes or you can get off at a picnic area and enjoy some time playing and eating before catching a later train back to the station. They advertise this as the ONLY scheduled steam passenger serve in the world. Unfortunately the day we went it was unseasonably chilly and we decided to skip the picnic. This ride was one of the highlights of our eight day vacation.

After enjoying the train ride, we walked over to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. This is a very large museum with dozens of train cars and engines on display. They had train cars for different purposes as well as from different time periods. Some of the cars you could only look at from the outside but a few were open for interior tours. There were even dishes and other artifacts from older trains. In addition, there was a room where the children could work with model trains to solve a problem and younger children could play with toy trains. There is an introductory movie that will tell you more about the history of the railroads. They also had a lovely little gift shop with a wide variety of books, toys, and souvenirs.

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Where: Strasburg Rail Road 301 Gap Road, Ronks, PA 17572

Hours of Operation: There hours vary greatly. This link will show you a calendar and the train times for each day:

Costs:  Price varies widely depending on type of ride, day, etc

Homeschool Discount: Group discounts available



There is a restaurant available at the train station. There is also a grassy field that is great for a picnic or a picnic area available on the train ride. You can also ride on a meal car and purchase food on the train for an additional fee.

Where: Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania 300 Gap Road • PA Route 741

Hours of Operation:

November through March:
Tuesday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
Sunday, Noon-5pm

April through October:
Monday-Saturday, 9am-5pm
Sunday, Noon-5pm

Costs:   $8-$10 (also available as a combo ticket with train ride)

Homeschool Discount: Group Discounts Available


Food: There is a restaurant available at the train station. There is also a grassy field that is great for a picnic or a picnic area available on the train ride. You can also ride on a meal car and purchase food on the train for an additional fee.



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