You Can Ride on the Oldest Continuously Operating Railroad in the U.S. — Complete With Quaint Vintage Train Cars

The Strasburg Train offers a stunning ride through Pennsylvania Dutch Country.

<p>J. Irwin/Getty Images</p>

J. Irwin/Getty Images

Planes may get you there faster, but there's just something extra special about traveling by train. Perhaps it's the plush seats, the slow-moving view, or the soft rocking of the carriage; the old-school mode of transportation just has all the others beat. But if you want to ratchet up the experience even more, it's time to head to the Keystone State for a ride on the vintage Strasburg Train.

The train, located in Strasburg, Pennsylvania, holds the distinction of being the oldest continuously operating railroad in the nation, with its first rides departing in 1832, taking travelers through the breathtaking scenery in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. For more than a century, the train's website explains, it continued to chug along until it was purchased by local investors in 1958 and was turned into a freight service. Today, it continues that same service, but also offers historic rides you can take too.

Travelers who want to step back in time can board the steam train for a 45-minute round-trip ride through Amish Country (a 4.5-mile ride out and a 4.5-mile ride back), all inside perfectly restored and maintained original equipment.

Travelers can choose between various themed rides, including a lunch or dinner train service, a wine and cheese-tasting ride, a whiskey-tasting train, and even a themed Bonnie and Clyde experience.

<p>Interim Archives/Getty Images</p>

Interim Archives/Getty Images

Guests can also choose between the passenger cars for their rides, including the President's Car, a business-class car used by the "top brass," the First Class Parlor Car, which comes with plush seating for every guest, the First Class Lounge, which has even cozier seating options, and the Dining Car, where you can sit at a real dining table for a fantastic bite.

As for what else you can expect on the ride, the train's website explains you can anticipate a "pace of travel that is appropriate for massive steam engines from the early 20th century — but much slower than today's high-speed trains," along with "more than 2,500 acres of Lancaster County farmland visible from your window, much of which is farmed by our Amish neighbors."

Tickets are available for daily rides, along with specialty-themed excursions for special occasions, including Mother's Day, Father's Day, and holiday rides.

But, perhaps most importantly, the train line notes, "Your ticket purchase also helps preserve this history for future generations as it is reinvested back into the railroad." And there's no better way to spend your travel dollars than that.

See all the trains available at  

Related: The Best Train Trips to Take Across America

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