For those keeping track, its day two of our train extravaganza! Today we explored the Rail Road Museum of Pennsylvania. Located in the peaceful town of Strasburg, this traintastic museum is rich with history and full of opportunities to learn through play.
When you first walk into the museum, it’s like stepping back in time. You can stroll along the 1910 era Steinman Station complete with; seating area, luggage carts, ticket counter and windows looking into scenes from the early 20th century. Inside the station is a short film explaining the history of the railway in Pennsylvania.
The museum itself is huge; there are four long rows of train tracks and platforms all with different engines, cabooses, cars and equipment to explore. Each exhibit has been fully restored to its original state to represent locomotives from the mid-19th century to the mid 20th century. As you walk through the display you become awestruck with these grand engines beauty. You feel quite small and meek in comparison to these mighty iron horses.
Don’t forget to step out doors, for an additional bonus area. My son likes to ring the bell and hear the sound echo over the cars. We also enjoy walking down to the end of the yard to see the old turn table. Insider info…I saw a sign saying that the museum is beginning a project to add a building designed like a round house where the current turn table sits.
If you have kids, you will want to save the best for last. The museum has some great hands on opportunity for kids. At the back of the museum is an exhibit where you can scoop coal into a fire box.
There is even a Kids Educational Center that focuses on learning through play; where you will find activities for kids of all ages. The Big Kid Challenge puts your model train skills to the test with a series of remote control trains and line switches that challenge you to get your cargo to the end of the track. There are three different rooms with all sorts of things to explore. There are puzzles, books and games that help kids learn all about trains. My three year old loved the trivia game where you can view a type of car and guess its name. It’s pretty impressive that he knows the difference between gondolas and flat beds and a freight cars and a cattle cars. The reason why I suggest visiting the kid’s corner last is because you won’t be able to pry them away from all the cool toys. They have so many train tables; model trains, legos, track master, wood railroad and imagination track. This section you could spend hours in!
The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is located, directly across the street from the Strasburg Railroad. And is also only a short distance from the Choo-Choo Barn and the National Toy Train Museum, which makes it a central location with lots of things to do in one place. For more information visit: www.rrmuseumpa.org
Thank you Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania for giving us the opportunity to explore your museum.