Steam Train Engine Trips in Pennsylvania

Steam Train Engine Trips in Pennsylvania
With Pittsburgh in the west and Philadelphia in the east, Pennsylvania has no lack of culturally significant cities. Between these major metropolises, though, the state still retains a lot of forestland, like the Allegheny National Forest, Elk State Forest and Michaux State Forest. There are also a surprising number of steam engines still running through Pennsylvania, offering rides to the public, many of which take riders near to some of the area's natural and historic attractions.

Strasburg Railroad

The Strasburg Railroad offers 45-minute train rides through Lancaster County in restored passenger cars led by a coal-burning steam engine. There is also the Cagney Steam Train, a smaller version of the main train, and an opportunity to operate an old-fashioned pump car.

The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is just across the road and features a collection of more than 100 train cars and locomotives. Literature and displays at the Strasburg train station provide additional information on the history of railroading, the agricultural history of the area and Amish and Pennsylvania Dutch heritage.

Special events take place throughout the year, including a "Day Out with Thomas," when passenger cars are pulled by a full-size Thomas the Tank Engine, and by Santa's Paradise Express during the holiday season.

Strasburg Railroad
Rte. 741 East
Strasburg, PA 17579
(717) 687-7522
strasburgrailroad.com

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway

With a route directly through Lehigh Gorge State Park, riding on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway offers a trip that is 16 miles long and that takes approximately one hour. The train departs from Jim Thorpe, Pa., a small town nestled into a mountainside, and follows the path of the Lehigh River.

Passenger coaches on the Lehigh Gorge train are from the 1920s and guests can also opt to ride in the open-air car or in the train's caboose for an additional fee. Special events on the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway include yearly holiday "Santa Claus" trains.

Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway
Jim Thorpe, PA 18229
(570) 325-8485
lgsry.com

Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train

Located in eastern Pennsylvania's coal region, the Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train affords visitors the opportunity to learn about all aspects of Pennsylvania's once thriving coal-mining culture. Train rides are led by the Henry Clay, a 1920s steam locomotive, and travel nearly a mile around the edge of Mahanoy Mountain to visit the Mammoth Stripping, where visitors will learn about strip mining.

There is also a separate tour through the Pioneer coal tunnel. Experienced miners lead each tour and visitors are conveyed into the mines in mine cars.

Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train
19th & Oak Sts.
Ashland, PA 17921
(570) 875-3850
pioneertunnel.com/home.shtml

Article Written By Alexis Lawrence

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.

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