As we move full steam ahead, Strasburg Rail Road is our next stop. I can say with full confidence that Strasburg knows how to cater to the train enthusiast. Nothing is more exciting than a good ole fashion train ride on a vintage steam locomotive for a 45 minute journey through the tranquil Amish country side to Paradise, Pennsylvania. I highly suggest getting tickets to sit first class in the parlor car for a truly memorable experience. Just tell the ticket master, “…first class tickets to paradise, please.”
The benefit of first class starts off with the guarantee of a stress free departure; it was a relief to skip the longer line for coach. I always hate the concept of hurry up and wait when you have kids. Another advantage is having table service; an attendant will take your order at your seat and return promptly with drinks and snacks to suit the tastes of every member of your family.
There is more Freedom to move around, my kids could shift from windows to the left and right of the train safely and without getting into other passengers space. The cabin is climate controlled. With the heat of summer, air conditioning was refreshing. The seats are extremely comfortable and set up for optimal views and conversation. The parlor is beautiful, step back in time with vintage decor. The stain glass windows and painted ceiling are detailed and gorgeous.
One of the most exciting perks of sitting in the parlor car is that you get to witness the coupling process. At the end of your journey to Paradise; the engine will switch tracks and couple up to the other end of the train. Watch out your window and get an up close view of the engine coupling up to your car. The conductor is in your cabin for a good portion of the trip. This is a huge advantage for curious little boys with lots of questions, who get excited about interesting facts.
Last but not least, at the end of the trip you exit at platform 1; putting you right in the perfect spot to ride the L.O.& S. an additional trolley experience that most people miss out on. This trolley was originally a narrow gauge engine that has since been converted to run on the standard gauge used in Strasburg
We happened to book our trip to Lancaster during ‘A Day Out With Thomas’ by coincidence. Some of the added activities include: photo opportunities with Thomas, Percy and Sir Topham Hatt, entrance into the activity tent with mini train rides, coloring station, temporary tattoo table, storytelling, train tables to play at and live entertainment.
You don’t need an excuse like ‘A Day Out With Thomas’ to plan a trip to Strasburg Railway though. There is so much for kids to do any time of year. In addition to the train ride; there is a little park for kids to play on at for no additional fee. The cranky carts and puffer belly narrow gauge train ride are an additional activity that my boys love to do. Feel like a kid in a candy shop with all the cool train toys, apparel and souvenirs in either of the two Gift Shops.
As my boys obsession with trains grows, so does mine! It’s on my bucket list to go on an evening excursion…Leave the kids with a sitter and get tickets to The Great Train Robbery or Steampunk Unlimited. I know for a fact we will return in the fall to go to the Vintage Base Ball Game; hopefully the Pinball Pendolino cars will be available!
Thank you Steve and Strasburg Rail Road for inviting our family to visit your station and experience the full steam adventure!