What to Expect
Strasburg Rail Road™ is America’s oldest operating railroad with a charter dating back to June 9, 1832. First used for passenger and freight transportation, the short line limped along for more than a century until in 1958, on the verge of abandonment, the railroad was salvaged and given new life as a tourist railroad.
When you visit Strasburg Rail Road, the first thing you can expect is an authentic experience of a real steam railroad. The locomotives and passenger cars, (known as “rolling stock”) are not replicas, and our team members are not reenactors. Strasburg Rail Road has five working steam locomotives and 20 operating passenger cars, including our President’s Car, First Class Parlor Car, First Class Lounge, and our Dining Car. All equipment is restored and maintained on-site in our Mechanical Shop.
- Your ticket entitles you to a 45-minute, round-trip ride through the tranquil Amish countryside to Paradise, PA and back (4.5 miles east and 4.5 miles returning west on the same track). During the ride, you can expect:
- An audio commentary providing interesting facts, history, and information about the railroad and surrounding area.
- A pace of travel that is appropriate for massive steam engines from the early 20th century – but much slower than today’s high-speed trains
- A brief pause at the end of the rail line for the locomotive to uncouple from one end of the train and couple to the other end to pull the train back. (Why?)
- More than 2,500 acres of Lancaster County farmland visible from your window, much of which is farmed by our Amish neighbors. During the growing season, this land supports livestock as well as crops such as corn, alfalfa, soybeans, and tobacco. As seasons change and farmers work their fields, the view from the Strasburg Rail Road changes as well.
- The opportunity to disembark and enjoy old-fashioned fun at Groff’s Grove or Leaman Place Grove, convenient recreation areas along the railroad’s route for mid-way boarding or unloading.
Your ticket purchase also helps preserve this history for future generations as it is reinvested back into the railroad. The locomotives cost about half a million dollars to restore and maintain as operational historic artifacts.
Before or after your ride, the Fun Extras at the Station include our shops, playground, Cranky Cars, Pump Car and Pint-Sized Pufferbelly (open seasonally). We are also in the process of restoring our J-Tower, where eventually our visitors will get a bird’s eye view of the railroad.
Finally, your experience at the Strasburg Rail Road wouldn’t be complete without enjoying a scratch-made meal or snack from our very own Café 1832!
For more information about what you can expect, visit our FAQs page.
We hope you enjoy your visit!