Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Ride on the Strasburg Railroad

As I said in my post about the Railroad Museum, across the street was a steam engine that you could ride on.  Little did I realize that Railroad had a history of its own.
 Since I was across the street from the museum and the pictures weren't too bad, I decided to take some pictures of the engines I didn't get on the day I visited the museum.  This is one of the Pennsylvania engines.
 Another one of the Pennsylvania engines.
 A closer shot of that particular engine.
 This particular engine came from the Norfolk and Wesetern Railroad and is used by the Strasburg Railroad.  I'm not sure if it is the main workhorse though.  It is designated as #475 by them.

 The Strasburg Railroad was established in 1832 when it was discovered that the town would be missed by the main rail line out of Philadelphia.  So they decided to build a rail line to link up with that rail line.  Construction was finished in 1837 and operations started with a horse drawn rail line until a steam locomotive was acquired in 1851.
 In 1863, the line was acquired by new owners who then replaced the old rails with heavier rails that could accomdate the bigger trains.  The station was moved from the center of Strasburg to it's current location, depicted in the picture above.  In 1873, it was sold to a Senator whose family controlled it until 1958, when it was bought by a railfan who converted it to a tourist line.  Because it is still in operation today, it is the oldest continuously operated railroad in the country.
 This is the car that I would be riding on.  I decided to spring for the first class ticket which turned out to be a wise decision because I had the car all to myself.
 Looking down the station area.  I will have to admit, there is something cool about steam engines.
 The interior of my car.
 Another shot of its interior.
 This place is kind of neat.  It is a hotel that is made out of old cabooses.
 The front of that hotel.
 The train itself goes through mostly farm country.  Apparently, a portion of each ticket sold is used to keep this farm country.
 Another farm.
 As we got to the other end, the engine had to switch to the front for the ride home.
 The engineer and coal handler waving as the train passes by.
 Before they could get moving, they had to blow steam out of the tank.  This was a pretty neat operation.
 And the train gets moving again.
 Another farm.
 And another farm.
 This farm was operated by a person who built wagons  and sold provisions for the trips west.  So it had a hand in settling the west.
 I believe this was an Amish farm.
 Another farm.
 A picture of a cow in front of a barn.
 One of the Strasburg gas engines.
 The engine heading back to the other side of the train.
 I think I am getting the concept of the golden light.  As a result, I really like this shot because it throws me back to a time when you would see steam engines commonly.
 A shot of the engine without some of the distractions.
 A straight on shot of the engine.
 I'm not sure which shot I like better.
 I think I would like this one more if I cropped the train.

During the summer months, they have two trains running, so it is one of the few places where you can see two steam engines pass each other on a regular basis.  All in all, I thought it was worth the price even though it was a pretty short ride.


Isaac said...

Strasburg runs 4 steam engines, and no. 475 and no. 90 do most of the work. Definitely a blast to the past.

Mikoyan said...

I guess I need to work my way over to Scranton. They have longer steam engine rides.

Aging Ophelia said...

Love the framing on the pic from inside your train car-- biut there are plenty of good pics here. Excellent work!

Peace, Mari