Posted: 06/29/2022 | by Katie

All Things Train in Lancaster, PA

Train-themed attractions straight ahead!

All Things Train in Lancaster, PA

All aboard! Calling all train enthusiasts, Lancaster is full of train-themed attractions. From museums and history, to rides and restaurants we have plenty of things for your railroad itinerary. We even have our very own “train town,” Strasburg, PA. Plus, there are a number of train events for you to add to your calendar. Read below to see what all there is to do, then start your planning full-steam ahead, just in time for National Train Day (May 14, 2022).

Strasburg Rail Road
Did you know that Lancaster County is home to America’s oldest operating railroad? Strasburg Rail Road was founded in 1832 and is still running today. Visitors can enjoy a 45-minute train ride through the picturesque farmland in Presidential, first-class, coach, and open-air cars. Once you are back at the station children can explore and play on pint-sized Pufferbelly and Cranky Cars. Throughout the year special events like Thomas, wine & cheese trains, trivia night trains, Santa’s Paradise, Christmas Tree Train, Night Before Christmas Trains, and other events are held. Be sure to check the railroad’s website for more information on events and tickets to these popular, themed rides.

Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
At this hands-on museum train-enthusiasts can sit in an engineer’s seat, explore a caboose, experience a turn-of-the-century passenger station, and inspect a 62-ton locomotive from underneath. With more than 100 historic locomotives and vintage railroad cars, the Museum is Pennsylvania’s premier museum of railroading and offers a world-class collection in addition to an education center and working restoration shop. True history lovers can even review their library and archives by appointment. The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania has several themed days throughout the year like Reading Railroad Days, 1940s Swing Dance, Trains & Troops, and more! Dates and more information on these special events can be found on their website.

Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad
Enjoy an 11-mile train ride along the Swatara Creek and learn the history of the surrounding area. This 75-minute ride through the Swatara Creek Valley offers live narration and signalongs as well as special events like the Easter Bunny Express, Chicken BBQ Specials, Mother’s Day Special Dinner, Civil War Train Rides, and more! The original railroad company was founded in 1888 and was used by the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad until 1976.

Choo Choo Barn- Traintown, U.S.A.®
Experience one of America’s largest, most engaging custom model train displays. With more than 1,700 square-feet of special model train display, 22 operating trains, and over 150 hand build animated figures and vehicles this display is sure to impress you. The layout represents many scenes traditionally found around Lancaster County. Such as Dutch Wonderland Family Amusement Park, the Strasburg Rail Road, and even an authentic Amish barn raising. If you are visiting during the holiday season, stop by to see if you can find all the hidden Santas in the display.

National Toy Train Museum
Showcasing an extensive collection of toy trains from the mid 1800s to the present, train collectors will love the National Toy Train Museum. The museum even has seven interactive, operating layouts and represents over 100 different manufacturers. There is also a research library with information on toy trains and their manufacturers. The train displays are revised and updated yearly.

Northern Central Railway
Norther Central Railway offers riders an authentic experience via a replica Civil War-era steam locomotive as well as a mid-20th century diesel locomotive. The trains follow along the historic Northern Central Railway, which was a critical railroad that helped enable the Union victory in the Civil War and played a major role in the Industrial Revolution, allowing for transportation of products to wide geographic markets. President Abraham Lincoln rode the Northern Central Railway to and from Gettysburg when delivering the Gettysburg Address, and his funeral train passed from Baltimore to York via the NCRR.

Activities & Events:

Wine & Cheese Train
Strasburg Rail Road | Select dates through Nov. 12
All aboard at the Strasburg Rail Road for regional wines and cheese from Town Clock Cheese Shoppe in Gap, PA. On the return trip you can select your favorite wine from the samplings, take in the scenery, and enjoy more fruit and cheese. Beer is also available for an additional cost.

The Great Diamond Heist
Strasburg Rail Road | Select dates through Sept. 4
Hop on board as the Strasburg Rail Road makes its inaugural run to Chicago, and beyond! But something seems…off. Not everything is going according to plan. The US Marshalls on board clearly have a secret, but no one can figure out why they are there? Suddenly an explosion sets off a chain reaction, and the true bad guys reveal themselves. Can anyone help get the train back to the Strasburg station safely?

Day Out with Thomas
Strasburg Rail Road | Sept. 16 - 19
Join Thomas the Tank Engine™ for a steam train ride through the beautiful Lancaster County countryside to Paradise, PA.

Legacy of Sleepy Hollow
Strasburg Rail Road | Oct. 6 - Nov. 6
Discover the true Legacy of Sleepy Hollow, only at the Strasburg Rail Road! The greatest ghost story ever told did not tell us the whole story. Join Isabel Crane, the great-great-granddaughter of the legendary Ichabod Crane, as she takes you on a frightful journey filled with sword fights, ghosts, and a centuries-old curse surrounding her family.

Pumpkin Patch Train
Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad | Oct. 15 - 23
Join the Middletown and Hummelstown Railroad for a special ride to a pumpkin patch, where each passenger may select their own pumpkin!

Christmas Trains
Strasburg Rail Road | Select dates & times Nov. 19 - Dec. 24
Hop onboard Santa's Paradise Express, Night Before Christmas Train, the Christmas Tree Train, Santa's Christmas Trolley, or the Christmas Caboose Charter to ring in the holiday season!

Santa's Surprise Train
Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad | Nov. 26 - Dec. 18
Santa visits with gifts for the children on board (infant through age 11). Bring a camera for pictures with Santa! Snack concessions are available on board.

Eateries & Accommodations:

After your ride aboard the historic Strasburg Rail Road you can eat at the Cafe 1832, located right on the platform. This historic atmosphere is the perfect setting for lunch, dinner, or just a quick bite. Under the direction of former Disney Chef and graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, Phillip Ponticelli, Café 1832 is family friendly, featuring a scratch-made menu using fresh ingredients for seasonal dishes including soups, salads, sandwiches, and dinner options. Gluten free and vegetarian options are available.

If you find there is too much to do in one day, why not stay the night in your own train car? At the Red Caboose Motel you can choose from 38 cabooses, a baggage car, and a mail car to sleep in. All cars are decorated in schemes of America’s most favorite railroads.

Also located at the Red Caboose visitors can dine at Casey Jones Restaurant for breakfast, lunch, or dinner in an actually Pullman dining car. The menu features many Pennsylvania Dutch favorites for you to enjoy as you watch trains and buggies go by.

If your family likes camping try the Loose Caboose Campground. Children will love their playground and looking around the real train car on the property. They are also pet friendly.

Related Blogs

Unique Lodging in Lancaster, PA

When you choose one of these five unique lodging options in Lancaster, you are guaranteed not to have a run-of-the-mill hotel experience.

Turkey Hill Experience, Columbia Photo Credit: Brian Evans / DiscoverLancaster.com

Although the weather in Lancaster is often beautiful, the rain shouldn't put an end to the fun.

Bring your furry friends along for vacation and stay at one of these great pet friendly spots!

Events

Partners

Author

Katie