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Person Ages 10+

Learn About Steam Engine Locomotives In Lancaster County

a person that is on fire

“Ready, Set, Start Your Engines” looks a whole lot different at the Strasburg Rail Road.

See first-hand how our steam locomotives are prepared for the day’s travels to Paradise, PA, and back to the historic East Strasburg Station. Railroaders call it “hostling” the engine. Your small group (of no more than 10) will see the locomotive anatomy and hear some history, fun facts, and intriguing trivia.

It’s also the only time you can climb aboard the engine and get a very up-close look at the mechanicals or peer inside the firebox. You’ll see the iron horse come alive and chug out of the engine house on her way to a day’s work at the Strasburg Rail Road.

Fall 2023 Tour Schedule:

For the fall 2023 season, Hostling Tours are offered Monday through Friday mornings and begin each day at 8:00 a.m. (or three hours prior to the first train of the day). The tours last approximately two hours.

Start time:
8 a.m.

Important Notes:
Please be aware of the following conditions, which necessitate proper attire for this tour.

  • Tours operate rain or shine, and portions of the tour are conducted outdoors.
  • For your safety and comfort, closed-toe shoes are required. Boots or sneakers are strongly encouraged! High heels are strongly discouraged.
  • Skirts are not recommended, as participants will be invited to climb into the cab of the locomotive.
  • Dirt, soot, and steam are part of the entire experience, so expect a few “freckles” at the end! (Please keep this in mind when wearing white or khaki-colored clothing especially.)
  • Due to the length, location, and subject of the tour, children under the age of 10 are not permitted on this tour.