The Keystone state is noted for hosting some of America's most famous railways, including those that can be found on the classic board game, Monopoly. These railroads included the PRR, B&O, and the Reading. Along with the NYC, Erie, Bessemer, Delaware & Hudson, Lackawanna and Lehigh Valley they formed the foundation for rail transportation in the early 1900's. Along with it's 50 short lines and tourist railroads, it is easy to see that it ranks as one of the top 3 states for railroading. Norfolk Southern operates on 2,340 route miles.
It was also home to the Baldwin Locomotive Works steam locomotive builder that began in the 1830s.
Pennsylvania has both the first and the oldest all-iron railroad bridge still in service. The Richard Osbourne's Manayunk Bridge on the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad line, predecessor of the Reading Co. Railroad, was built about 1845. (One of its cast and wrought iron trusses is on display at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.) The oldest iron railroad bridge still in service, designed also by Osbourne, is the Reading Railroad's Hall's Station Bridge, erected in 1846, that now connects a private farm to a branch of the former Reading, just east of Williamsport.
Today, GE produces their diesel electric locomotives in Erie.
America's first tourist railroad, the former Mauch Chuck Switchback, began as a coal hauler at Jim Thorpe.
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Located near the famous Pennsylvania Railroad Horseshoe Curve, the Altoona Rail Roaders Memorial museum houses railroading artifacts and is dedicated to revealing, interpreting, commemorating and celebrating the significant contributions of railroaders and their families to American life and industry. Directions
The Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train runs a scenic train rides along Mahanoy Mountain. Steam power features a narrow gauge 0-4-0T, the 1927 Henry Clay steam locomotive, and includes tours of the Mammoth Stripping . Directions.
The Bellefonte Historical Railroad runs a 60 mile scenic trainride over the Nittany & Bald Eagle RR. Restored 1888 station houses museum of historical railroad memorabilia.
PIONEER LINES SCENIC RAILWAY
Pioneer Lines Scenic Railway operates scenic trainrides through portions of the Civil War battlefield and the Pennsylvania countryside. Other excursions include the Gettsyburg Ghost Train, a Murder Mystery Train, an Evening Paradise Dinner Train and a Santa Train train ride. Cornell family uses its privately-owned trains for tours through the surrounding countryside, including the Gettysburg battlefield. Web site is longer available and phone has been disconnected.
National Railway Historical Society (NRHS) - Harrisburg Chapter. On display: GG1 #4859 is an ex-PRR electric locomotive built in the Juniata Locomotive Shop (Altoona, PA) in 1937. It was the first electric locomotive to arrive in Harrisburg. Also, N6b #980016, an ex-PRR wooden offset-cupola cabin car that was built June 1920.
The Lehigh George Scenic Railway travels over the former Lehigh Valley Railroad. This 16 mile scenic train ride now travels through some of Pennsylvania's most scenic landscape. Originating from "the Little Switzerland of America", this one hour excursion train ride crosses the Lehigh River several times as you travel aboard vintage 1920s open air coaches. Directions.
Scenic train rides on the Reading & Northern Railroad Co vary and have several departure points. The newly-rebuilt steam locomotive No. 425, a 1928 Baldwin 4-6-2, is also used on occasion. See schedule for details.
Weekend train rides from May through October. The Wanamake, Kempton & Southern offers special events throughout the season including the popular December season finale Santa Claus Special. Private charters, caboose rentals also available.
The WGHSEA runs steam locomotive rides from April through September. Want to ride in a steam locomotive? The Williams Grove Historical Steam Engine Association also offers the opportunity for you to run their former Pennsylvania Railroad 0-6-0, #643. Built in 1901 in the PRR’s own shops in Altoona, PA., No.643 has been a favorite at Williams Grove since 1961. Qualified locomotive crew will teach you the basics of how to operate a locomotive, and then you will take her out on their mile of track! Slots are available in 30 minute increments.
Relax and enjoy an 11 mile, 1 hour and 15 minute, train ride aboard the Middletown & Hummelstown Railroad along the Swatara Creek, while learning the history of the area. Passengers board 1920’s vintage Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad coaches at a 1891 Freight Station in Middletown, PennsylvaniaDirections.
Ride aboard vintage 1920s coaches on the New Hope & Ivy Railroad scenic dinner train, pulled by either a 1925 Baldwin 2-8-0 steam locomotive, No. 40, or a diesel locomotive through Bucks county. Departure from New Hope is from a restored 1891 Victorian station. Directions.
A National Historic Landmark, the East Broad Top Railroad is a narrow gauge scenic excursion steam train ride that operates a combination of antique wooded coaches and open air flat cars built in the 1920s. The four and a half mile excursions run weekends from June through October. Steam train rides are pulled by a BLW 1914 2-8-2 Mikado. Directions. East Broad Top Railroad officially announced that it will not be operating steam powered excursions for the 2012 season.
Relive the golden age of steam railroading with the "Live Steam" experience. Steamtown operates the Canadian Pacific 4-6-2 #2317 steam locomotive, built in 1923 for passenger service and the 1917 Canadian National 2-8-2, No. 3254 that pull excursion trains through the woodlands of Northeastern Pennsylvania. Museum complex includes visitors center, theater, history museum, round house and technology museum. Steamtown scenic train rides include a short excursion aboard vintage commuter coaches on the Scranton Limited. Locomotive cab rides are also available. Displays include the only Union Pacific Big Boy No. 4012, that is exhibited in the eastern US. Directions.
Traveling aboard the Strasburg Railroad is like traveling back in time when you arrive at the oldest railroad company in the America. The historic Strasburg Railroad's nine mile steam train ride runs though Amish farmland and features several different travel accommodations, including fully restored open air coaches, a deluxe lounge car and a first class parlor coach. Steam train rides are powered by theex-GW 2-10-0 #90. Special excursions include a Wine & Cheese, Dinner & Murder Mystery Trains. Check schedule for "Day Out with Thomas" trains as well. Listed in Parade's "Unforgettable Day Trips by Rail". Directions.
Located across the street from the Strasburg Railroad, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvaina has an extensive collection of former Pennsylvania Railroad Locomotives, cars and artifacts. Among the restored locomotives on display, the PRR"s No. 460, 1914 built Atlantic Class 4-4-2, known as the “Lindbergh Engine,” and the 1920 Pacific Class 4-6-2, No 3750. Museum also includes extensive model train layout used to allow youngsters to learn how real trains are assembled, routed to their destinations, and serviced.
A two and a half hour scenic train ride aboard the Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad runs thought the Oil Creek State Park. Departure is from an 1892 - vintage freight station. Bicyclists and canoeist welcomed, as they will drop you off along the route. Fall Foliage, the Santa Train ride and Murder Mystery Dinner excursions are very popular. Directions.
Fayette Central railroad runs weekend themed excursions train rides that include Easter Bunny, Pumpkin Patch, Fall Foliage and Santa Claus trains through the foothills of the Laural Mountains. Due to increased traffic on the SWP the Fayette Central Railroad will no longer be able to operate after 2012.
The Tioga Central Railroad of Wellsboro, Pennsylvania operates excursion and charter train rides on a thirty-four mile, 90 minute, railroad extending north from Wellsboro, Pennsylvania to a location about three miles south of Corning, New York. Scenic train rides run weekends from Memorial Day through October. Excursions include All American BBQ Dinner Train, Sunset Special, Fall Foliage Express, Fireworks Special, and The Lake Shore Twilight.Directions.
The West Chester Railroad runs nostalgic 90 minute scenic, round trip, train rides between Market Street in West Chester, Chester County and the village of Glen Mills, Delaware County, Pennsylvania.Directions.