The Strasburg Rail Road is a real, operating steam railroad. The primary difference between this railroad and modern day trains is that Strasburg Rail Road trains are pulled by larger-than-life steam locomotives, and passengers ride in authentically restored, turn-of-the-century wooden rail cars.
No. The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is a separate entity, completely independent of the historic Strasburg Rail Road.
Since opening in 1975, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is part of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s network of state-owned museums. The museum was created in Strasburg because of its rail connection via the Strasburg Rail Road. The Strasburg Rail Road has been and continues to be privately owned by nearly 250 shareholders.
Consistent with most rail travel, trains operate on a fixed timetable; therefore, all trains depart promptly at their scheduled departure time. Ticketed passengers board the train about 10 to 15 minutes prior to the scheduled departure.
All regular train rides are 45-minutes round-trip. This includes special ticketed events such as the Wine & Cheese experience.
As America’s oldest short-line, Strasburg Rail Road trains have traveled the same 4.5-mile track since 1832. Throughout its history, the locomotive has traveled in reverse for the first part of the trip, uncoupled at the end of the line, and recoupled on the opposite end of the train for the return trip.
Why? The railroad played an important role in the transportation network in Central Pennsylvania, and expediency was valued. With no need (or real estate space) for a turntable and no compelling rationale for re-orienting the locomotive, this process was a viable solution that continues today!
Today’s railroad network began as a system of smaller railroads, serving specific purposes within various communities and industrial centers. As industrial America developed, so did the hub-and-spoke railroad system, with longer routes providing vital connections from coast to coast. Despite the advent of these longer railroad companies, today’s short lines continue to play an important economic role within the communities they serve, providing what’s known as the “first mile/last mile” connection where commodities are shipped and/or received. While short lines may vary widely in length, they represent the small businesses of railroading.
The Strasburg Rail Road exists today as the nation’s oldest continuously operating short line, connecting the community of Strasburg across a short 4-1/2 mile single stretch of track which terminates at the main line operated today by Amtrak.
Parking is available on-site in close walking distance to the station. Drop offs are also permitted near station entrances. During special events, remote parking may be used, with free a shuttle provided to the railroad.
First-Class cars – President’s Car, Parlor, Lounge, and Dining – have restrooms aboard. Select Coach cars do have restrooms, and at least one of these cars is always on the daily train. Open Air cars do not have restrooms. We recommend arriving early, using the public restrooms so as not to miss any of your ride.
Due to the historic nature of our railcars, Strasburg Rail Road’s passenger train does not meet current Americans with Disabilities Act standards with respect to accessibility. For individuals who use a wheelchair, a mobility device, or have difficulty navigating steps, we do have a mobile lift (Please note: The mobile lift has a combined weight limitation of 400 pounds). Though we cannot guarantee accessibility, we have a variety of accommodation options available, and we will make reasonable effort to provide each and every guest who wishes to ride the opportunity to do so. If you are concerned about whether you or a member in your traveling party will be able to board the train, we recommend contacting our business office to discuss your particular circumstances. Our business office is open Monday through Friday, 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM, holidays excluded. Our business office phone number is 717-687-8421, or you may email us at email@example.com.
The on-site shops open one hour before the first train of the day.
Strasburg Rail Road does not permit pets or animals on trains or in customer-occupied areas of the station mall and train platform. Signs have been placed at the pedestrian entrances indicating that only service animals are permitted beyond those points. Service animals are not considered pets and are permitted in all areas where customers are allowed. Service animals are animals trained to perform a specific task for the benefit of a person with a disability.