Iron Horse

The Strasburg Rail Road is a heritage railroad operating an excursion train line pulled by steam locomotives through the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch and Amish farm country in Lancaster County, Pa. The Strasburg Rail Road began operations in 1832 and was horse drawn until 1851 when the railroad purchased a Norris built 4-2-0 steam locomotive named The William Penn. The Strasburg Rail Road is the oldest, continuously running passenger railroad in the world. My family and I enjoyed the four and a half mile, 45 minute coach car ride in 1995. An optional ride, one we didn’t take, is lunch in the wooden dining car. This is said to be the only operating wooden dining car in the United States. Our trip took us from Strasburg to Paradise — and back. Naturally, I photographed our adventure. Here are some of the pictures:

Strasburg RR loco 1

Strasburg RR Amish

No. 475 is a 4-8-0 (wheel alignment) built at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in 1906.

Strasburg RR 1

2nd enging & tank 1

Strasburg RR 2

A passenger coach like the one we rode in.

Strasburg RR 3

The passenger coach we’re riding in.

2nd enging & tank

Below, Amish traveling by horse and wagon.

Strasburg RR Amish 1

More views of Amish farmland.

Farmland & PRR Car

Farmland & PRR Car 1

End of the line:

Strasburg RR

Below, on a siding, sits an old Pennsylvania Railroad passenger car — not so old that I don’t remember riding in one of these on my many Pennsylvania Railroad journeys, starting when I was very young. I remember standing on the Pennsylvania Railroad 30th Street Station subterranean platform in Philadelphia, being enveloped in clouds of steam when the steam engines would pull the train into the station.

For you to get an idea of the locomotive in motion and what it feels like to ride the train I have included the link to this four minute video:

Strasburg Rail Road featured on BBC’s Great American Railway Journeys

–Samantha Mozart