Discussion in 'The Real Thing- North America' started by RobertInOntario, Jan 2, 2007.

  1. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    I've been thinking of possibly taking the family to Strasburg, PA to see the steam trains, museum, & Thomas stuff, etc., (not to mention Amish country and the outlet malls!) but I've just learned about Steamtown which I think is in Scanton, PA?

    Would it be possible to "do" Strasburg and Steamtown in one trip or should we visit just one or the other? How close is Strasburg to Steamtown?

    Just curious to learn more -- thanks!

  2. N Gauger

    N Gauger 1:20.3 Train Addict

    Google says it's about a 2.5 hour drive each way from Strasburg, to Scranton (Steamtown)
  3. 60103

    60103 Pooh Bah

    You might be able to fit Scranton in on the return trip. You'd have to run east from Lancaster and then north.
    I think Strasburg has enough for one trip, but you should plan an overnight or two in Scranton if you go.
    Drop in on Roadside America -- one of the oldest attractions with model trains and it's in the middle.
  4. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks for looking that up! I basically got wind of Steamtown today and suddenly wondered if it could be combined with a Strasburg trip. It now sounds as if we should do one or the other. It appears as if Strasburg might be the best one to tackle first, what with all the Thomas stuff, outlet malls and Amish attractions. My two young boys wouldn't cope that well with the extra travelling and my wife can only take in so much train stuff! :)
    Thanks again, Rob
  5. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks again, David. As noted in my reply to N Gauger, I think we'd be REALLY pushing it to try to fit both in. It would probably be better to just start with Strasburg, take our time, and really enjoy it. I'll see if we can plan this trip for this year.

    Roadside America, however, sounds great.

    Take care, Rob
  6. e-paw

    e-paw Member

    :cool: if you have the time stop in at jim thorpe pa . it,s just off rt209 on the west bank of the lehigh river in carbon county. you casn see the old cnj station there and take a train up the lehigh on former l.v.+cnj tracks.
  7. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, e-paw! I'll have to look that up on the map. Is that a diesel train that your refer to? Thanks again, Rob
  8. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    I've been to Steamtown and not Strasburg, so I have no comparison to give you, but Steamtown was really cool.

  9. jlg759

    jlg759 Member

    be sure to check schedules if you are going to ride the trains. Strassburg runs pretty much all year. Steamtown has limited trips that don't start till May. If I had the choice this time of year Strassburg is the better choice for a one day trip.
  10. ddavidv

    ddavidv Member

    I live about 30 min from Strasburg, so if you want any local suggestions for your trip, I'd be happy to help. When are you coming? Send me a PM or email as I will be away until April and may not be able to check in here.
  11. doctorwayne

    doctorwayne Active Member

    Strasburg is probably your best choice for a family outing. If I'm not mistaken, there are outlet malls not too far away (the latest in Amish fashions at discount prices and fantastic deals on buggy whips! ;) ), and the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania is almost right across the street. Not sure if it's still there, but there was also a pretty decent car museum nearby. Any of these attractions could take at least the better part of your day, although not all may interest all members of your family. While I've seen the remnants of Steamtown when it was in Vermont, and its beginnings in Scranton, I've not yet visited there. My good friend cn nutbar highly recommends it though, and most of the operating locos are either ex-CNR or ex-CPR, as is one of Strasburg's.
    My favourite train attraction in Pennsylvania, though, especially when the trains are not running, is the East Broad Top: this place is a time capsule and, at least for me, very nostalgic of a whole way of life that's slipping away. Not a bad place for the whole family when the trains are running: there's a short out and back ride in vintage coaches. When the trains aren't running, it's a lot easier to have a look around. The last time that I was there, a few years ago, was a week before their annual fall double or triple header weekend. I fell into conversation with a guy working near the turntable, who was obviously in charge of the area. As he had work to do, he suggested that I go take a look in the roundhouse; more or less "enjoy yourself, and don't get hurt". None of the locos were in steam, and it was too dark for photos, but wow! The sights, the smells, climb into the cab and have a look around, let your imagination run back 50 or 70 years, and just soak it in.

  12. toptrain1

    toptrain1 Member

    You can't do them both in the same day. Strasburg isn't just Amish country. It is The PRR railroad museume. The Strasburg railroad. Their is a roadside model railroad shop with a operating mixed layout. Mainly 0-27. You will be tired after those places. If you have kids, worn out. Good luck.
    frank .....................toptrain
  13. Myowngod

    Myowngod Member

    It's definitely a 2 day trip. My Dad, Daughter and I did the trip last summer. We met at Strasburg about lunch time on Saturday. We spent the whole day there: rode the excursion train, hit the PRR museum across the street and then stayed in the Caboose motel down the street. It's a great trip just by itself. Sunday morning we woke up and hit breakfast at the dining car at the motel. Went to the Thomas store and hobby shop right down the street. Then saw the Toy Train Museum right next to the Caboose motel. the O-27 layout next to the Thomas store. Around lunch time Sunday we headed up to Scranton and Steamtown. It took almost 2hrs to get there but what a drive in northeast PA, beautiful. We got to steamtown with a few hours before they closed. I wish we had more time to hang out. There's alot to see there.
    For a family, I would probably go to Strasburg 1st. But if you have 2 days go to both. I would go to Strasburg 1st because of the Caboose Motel there, then up to Scranton early the next morning.

    How ever it works out for you... ENJOY.

    PS be sure to bring alot of film or memory chip cards... there's alot to shoot!
  14. LoudMusic

    LoudMusic Member

    After looking at the Strasburg website I'd say there's quite a bit more to do there. But I've been to Steamtown and I have to say, it's a polished operation.
  15. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks, Ron! We're actually planning to go in early-July when, according to, the train is running every day.

    Right now, we're planning to spend 5-6 days in Strasburg, which should give us ample time to ride the train, go to the RR musum, hobby shops as well as the model train layouts, etc. I like to relax and take my time (do enough rushing in Toronto!!). We also want to visit some of the Amish attractions & outlet malls -- my wife can only take in so much train stuff!

    In fact, there is so much train stuff there, that I'd be "pushing my luck" to try to go to Scranton and Steamtown as well. That might have to be another trip! There are also some amusement parks, a Christian theatre company, the Thomas store and the Hershey factory -- the kids should really like these.

    I'll make sure I bring my battery recharger for my camera & might buy an extra memory card (mine can hold up to 300 pics I think).

    Thanks again,
  16. RobertInOntario

    RobertInOntario Active Member

    Thanks! As mentioned, I'm going to have to save Steamtown for another trip but I'm still curious. Do they offer steam train rides there and, if so, how far/long are they? Maybe I'll google Steamtown as well.
    Cheers, Rob
  17. e-paw

    e-paw Member

    :wave: yes it 's dieseli powered, I beleave it's the reading and northern . they also service a few coal mines,cement plants, and a brewery or two. have fun.

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