Strasburg Rail Road

As the nation’s oldest continuously operating railroad, this Strasburg, Pennsylvania, destination offers excursions in restored Victorian- and Edwardian-style coaches. 

Strasburg Rail Road in Strasburg, Pennsylvania (photo courtesy of destination)

If you’re looking for a relaxing ride through the eastern Pennsylvania countryside, a trip on the Strasburg Rail Road will put you on the right track. This historic train line, which was chartered in 1832 and began operations as early as 1851, offers an excursion that provides a glimpse into the lives of the Amish people who call Lancaster County home.

As the nation’s oldest continuously operating railroad, travelers get a vintage experience with restored Victorian- and Edwardian-style standard coaches and a roster of locomotives built in the early 1900s. A ride goes from East Strasburg to Paradise and back during a 45-minute excursion that passes through America’s oldest Amish settlement, where thousands reside today and follow the tenets of a centuries-old lifestyle. 

During the 1950s, Strasburg Rail Road’s owners petitioned the state’s utilities commission to abandon it, citing rising costs and track damage. Between 1957 and 1960, a group of stockholders purchased the railroad and repaired the tracks. Shortly after, Number 31 marked the return of a steam locomotive to the nation’s oldest short-line railroad.

Special excursions include Wine and Cheese tastings as well as Escape-Room-on-the-Train, which tasks passengers with figuring out how to open a safe while onboard the moving car. Other offerings include trivia, bingo and holiday trips, while behind-the-scenes tours of the Strasburg Rail Road mechanical shop allow train lovers to see what goes into keeping the machines rolling. 

Before or after the ride, dine at Cafe 1832. Located on the Strasburg Rail Road platform, this casual restaurant is good for lunch, dinner or a quick bite. The menu spans appetizers like zucchini fries and crab bisque to entrees such as a grilled chicken BLT and pulled pork sandwiches. There’s also a kids menu with favorites like chicken tenders and a hot dog with fries. 

301 Gap Rd., Ronks, Pennsylvania, 866/725-9666,