Saturday, November 17, 2012


"A railroad car is not an acquired taste-
                 one takes to it immediately.”

Taking a train ride on the Strasburg Railroad was sandwiched in between taking an Amish Buggy Ride and Visiting An Alpaca Farm on our day of LIFE LIST fun- while we were on our second trip to Pennsylvania this summer. 

I wanted to take my little girl on the Strasburg Railroad because it's something she could identify (now she's talking up a storm but at this time just a few weeks ago her vocab was very limited and 'train' and 'cho cho' were words she already knew). It's one thing to show a child a picture of a train in book, but you can't really understand something until you experience it. It's true even with adults-that was how I felt on my trip to Valley Forge. After this train ride and actually seeing the massive Thomas The Train (the reason I didn't get a picture still makes me mad and is not worth telling)....(now I have to tell you-I was rushing from the Amish Buggy Ride to the Train and desperately had to go to the bathroom-I was not sure if there would be on the train-so frantically with sheer minutes to spare I had to FIND the bathroom and then hop on the train about 1 minute before it departed. The larger than life actual Thomas the Train was hiding quietly in the giant train barn and we got a quick peek. I wanted to poke around the train station afterward but we had to get on the road to get to the Alpaca Farm!  Anyways, after she got to see the trains and ride one I can see that she makes that connection when she watches Thomas the Train on tv. Also, there are bathrooms on the train-it was imbecilic to think they would hold hundreds of paying passengers bladders hostage for an hour.

The Strasburg Railroad was a working railroad in the 1800's transporting cargo and passengers.  It was turned into a tourist railroad in the 1950's by a group of people who loved trains and didn't want this station to fall by the wayside.

If you do visit I suggest making time to linger, there's a gift shop, a place to eat, and a train museum across the street that looked really interesting. I would strongly recommend planning to spend at least 3-4 hours minimum at this train station in order to fully appreciate all that it has to offer.

The ride lasted an hour which was long enough for my energetic 2 year old. I think this is a wonderful experience for kids, it is just that my child is more of an explorer. I think she would rather drive the train than be a passenger, so asking her to sit still in one place for an hour is a tall order. The nice thing about being on a train, she could walk around a little.

In order to keep her happy I did have to give in and very discretely nurse her. There's no food or drink allowed in the non dining cars...does breast milk count? After 2 years of breastfeeding, you better believe I've got it down to a science and thanks to my long hair I can do it anywhere unnoticed (including in front of the White House). It actually turned out to be a really beautiful moment, my sweet little girl snuggled in my arms, a warm breeze wafting in the window, as we watch horses and corn fields pass by-it was perfect.

The interior of the train was charming. It was impeccably clean and well maintained, the wood was freshly polished and the vintage velvet seats looked brand new. Oh, how I love trains! The allure of trains is so bewitching to me. Visually I think they are really something to see, nostalgically I appreciate the sentiments trains invoke as they make me think of my Grandpa when he was a self proclaimed 'hobo' and hoped on trains all over the U.S. with no real destination in mind. And practically, I know that trains are all but irrelevant these days but I don't really understand why. To be able to get from point a to b without the stress of driving, while being able to take in all the natural surroundings, all the while doing whatever you want-you can eat, have a cocktail, play cards, meet new people, read a book, it's like a dream! Not to mention it's substantially less terrifying than flying. Yes, it's a little slower, but think of all the activities you can do while you travel.

This is the actual reading railroad! How cool is that? 

I thought the ceiling of this train was so beautiful, old fashioned with character. 

Enjoying the breeze from the window- I couldn't really keep it open...she kept trying to climb out.
I saw an awesome train motel while on the ride that I have added to my LIFE LIST and I meet a quirky couple who were not only Civil War reenactors but also trainmen aboard the Polar Express in Ohio so those were quickly added to the list too! 

The Strasburg Railroad operates year round and offers a plethora of fun experiences such as a ride aboard Thomas the Train, Ride the train with Santa at Christmastime, stops along your little journey and there are also dining cars on the train.

This trainman in particular was my favorite!
These trainmen here are extensions of this majestic steam engine and exude the same air of poise, elegance, and class. 

A ride aboard the Strasburg Train is a great thing for kids,couples...really anyone, of any age! It is very affordable with many different price ranges, it is a must if you live in the area and worth making a special trip for the Day Out With Thomas The Train and/or Santa's Paradise Express


  1. Looks like a very busy day for you guys!! Bet it was nice to kind of rest on the train!

    I love steam trains and that style of travel, minds me of a classic way to get around.

    I also like the way that the guards get all dressed up and really get in to their roles.

    I would like to travel on the orient express one day, great train journey, but unbelievably expensive!

    Some great new goals to add to your list, i love how you can be doing something and then see or hear about something else and then you've got another goal to add to the list!xx

    1. One day I want to ride the transsiberian railroad from russia to china- is the orient the same thing? Yes, it's insanely expensive!


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