WELCOME TO OUR PARADISE
Your 45-minute train ride will take you through some of the most beautiful, peaceful and productive Pennsylvania Dutch Countryside, with a stop in Paradise, PA. From this unique vantage point, you’ll see Amish farmers working in their fields, Amish children playing nearby; livestock grazing and farm produce waiting to be harvested. You’ll come to appreciate why so many people choose to live in Lancaster County, PA and raise their children here. You’ll also take pride in the fact that a portion of your ticket will help preserve this landscape for centuries.
More than saving land, the Strasburg Rail Road wishes to preserve the beauty, productivity and way of life that this land provides for our Amish and English farming neighbors.
UNDERSTANDING OUR AMISH NEIGHBORS
The Amish residents of Lancaster County practice a faith tradition that does not allow modern conveniences such as automobiles, televisions and phones in the home. One of three “Anabaptist” faiths (the other two, Mennonite and Brethren, are generally less strict with matters of technology), the Amish practice “believers baptism,” where church members are baptized as adults when they can make a conscious decision to join the church – usually at age 18.
The two most visible differences of Amish life as compared to the rest of the world are the horse and buggy and the style of dress. The horse and buggy is one of the most obvious examples of restricted technology. In the minds of the Amish, automobiles, televisions and electricity tied to the power grid are temptations that weaken a close-knit community. Amish dress is also deliberately modest and symbolic of the wearer’s age and marital status. If you see an Amish man with a beard, that means he is married.
The Amish educate their own in one-room schoolhouses and at home. Children attend Amish schools until grade 8. Church services are also held in the home, with church members taking turns holding the service.
There are approximately 35,000 Amish people in Lancaster County today.