Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania
Box 15
300 Gap Road
Strasburg, PA 17579
(717) 687-8628 • ext. 3001 Groups • ext. 3025 Education

One of the great railroad museums of the world, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania has assembled a spectacular collection of motive power and rolling stock dating from 1825 to the present.

For more than a century the railroad was the primary means of transportation of people and cargo. It has been celebrated in song, on film, and in life. The celebration continues here with dozens of great exhibits that preserve this proud heritage and educates visitors.

Just a few of the great engines to be seen within the Rolling Stock Hall include:

  • Virginia & Truckee RR, Locomotive No. 20, 1875
  • Reading RR, Locomotive No. 1251, 1918
  • Pennsylvania RR, Locomotive No. 2846, 1905
  • "Heisler" Geared Locomotive No. 4, 1918
  • Camden & Amboy RR, Locomotive No. 1 (John Bull replica), 1940
  • Pennsylvania RR, Locomotive No. 5741, 1924
  • And some of the cars include:
  • Pullman Co. Lotos Club Sleeper-Buffet Car, 1913
  • Cumberland Valley RR, Combination Baggage/Passenger Car No. B, 1855
  • Pennsylvania RR, Combination Baggage/Passenger Car No. 4639, 1895
  • Western Maryland Railway, Business Car No. 203, 1914
  • Pennsylvania RR, Coach No. 1651, 1906 -- Pennsylvania RR's first steel coach.

Many other cars and engines can be seen and toured. A replica (built in 1928) of John Stevens, an early steam locomotive is on display. The original was built in 1825. Some old handcars can also be seen., as well as a number of other exhibits that illustrate the history of the railroad in Pennsylvania.Steinman Station is a re-creation of a small town depot, including the station master's office and a baggage room (which presents historical films from the Museum's vast collection). To Conquer Endless Mountains uses part of the Museum's model collection to tell the story of railroading in Pennsylvania. Electrified! The Pennsy's GG1 tells of the most famous electric locomotive in railroad history. Railroader's Hall honors the men and women who kept the trains on schedule. Outside, more than two dozen additional cars and engines can be found in various stages of restoration. Yard Tours are scheduled regularly, featuring highlights such as

  • the Reading Company Turntable -- an operating 100' turntable with 17 tracks
  • a PRR Class E6 Locomotive, the "Lindbergh Engine"
  • an 1890's Coudersport & Port Alleghany Railroad Snowplow
  • a PRR Class E-44 Electric Freight Locomotive built in 1963
  • Hoppers, flatcars, and many other types of equipment create a virtual railroad enthusiast's heaven.

Groups can schedule a Yard Tour in conjunction with one of the many educational programs available for people of all ages. Throughout the year the Museum holds a number of special events that are great for the entire family. The May Grand Opening (the Museum is open year-round) includes a full weekend of activities, demonstrations, music, and more. Other events celebrate holidays in a big way. Call for a calendar.Groups are welcome to tour the museum, too, and School Groups of all ages (Adult Groups, too) can choose from a variety of programs that will make a big hit. Each includes a pre-visit pack of materials.

These educational programs are among the most comprehensive programs of any kind offered anywhere. Each offers a variety of great options, allowing programs to last from 90 minutes to an entire day. In addition, the programs are progressive, meaning that a group can take one 90-minute program, then return a month later for a second program that will pick up where the first left off. Yet, each program can stand alone. It's a wonderful concept. A few examples follow.

Workin' on the Railroad "A" (grades Pre-K - 1) introduces youngsters to the world of railroading through role playing. Props and tools give a hands-on approach to learning that gives children a real sense of what it was like to work for the railroad throughout history. A similar program ("B") for grades 2 - 4 goes into greater detail. The "B" program options include a 20-minute Red Cap Race (loading baggage), a Steam Simulation (20 minutes), a 45-minute Railroad Operation Simulation (6 - 10 students operate the Museum's G scale layout, performing all railroad duties), and more.

The Great Steel Trail (grades 5 - 8) combines hands-on activities with a Guided Tour to explore some of the economic, political, and social issues surrounding railroad construction and operation during its historical development. The basic 50-minute program orients students to railroad operation, scheduling, and passenger accommodations, and even includes an introduction to the telegraph. The program can be augmented with a variety of activities including a 90-minute Empire Builders Tour with role playing, a 60-minute Railroad History Scavenger Hunt, a 30-minute movie, a 30-minute Outdoor Yard Mini-Tour, and much more.

Crossroads of Commerce (grade 9 - Adult) is an advanced program using a variety of sophisticated teaching methods to explore the full range of railroad history and operation. The basic 60-minute program is supplemented by an advanced version of the Empire Builders Tour, a 30- or 60-minute Yard Tour, a 45-minute Debate, one or more video presentations, a complex Railroad Operation Simulation (for 6 - 10 students only), and much more.Scouts can earn merit badges here, too.A nice option for any program is a ride on the beautiful Strasburg Railroad (click below for info), but it must be reserved separately.Self-Guided Groups can have up to 60 people. Most programs accommodate 20. Larger groups will be divided.

Hours: Open Monday - Saturday 9am - 5pm, Sunday 12 - 5. Closed Mondays November - March and certain holidays. Call for further details or visit the official website, linked above.
Adults (12-64) $10.00
Seniors (65+) $9.00
Children (3-11) $8.00
Children under 3 FREE
Call for Group rates. School Programs cost about $5.00 per student for most programs.
Group Reservations: At least 6 weeks in advance recommended. Programs must be prepaid by 15 days.
Lunch: Nearby restaurants.
Handicapped Access: Mostly accessible.
Directions: Rt. 30 West to Gap. Take Rt. 41 South to Rt. 741 (Lancaster Ave.) West to Museum. 60 - 90 minutes west of Philadelphia.

Copyright © 1996-2014 by Patrick Tadeushuk. All Rights Reserved.