Facebook Page

Strasburg Railroad 4/9/2007

by Chris Guenzler

I pulled into the Strasburg Railroad parking lot at 8:30 AM and learned that the first train I could ride would leave at 11 AM. Since it was very cold and windy, I decided to look around.

I quickly saw smoke which led me to Thomas the Tank Engine 0-6-0 1.

Line of equipment at the Strasburg Railroad.

I found Lancaster, Oxford and Southern Car motor car No. 10.

Strasburg Yard scene.

Pennsylvania Railroad 44-tonner 9331.

Strasburg Railroad snowplow 66.

Line of freight cars at the Strasburg Railroad Yard.

Pennsylvania Railroad Union Line boxcar 96415.

Great Western 2-10-0 90 was steamed up and ready to start the day pulling the Strasburg Railroad passenger train. As I did not want to wait in the cold weather for two hours, I decided it to visit the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum across the street.

At 10:35 AM, I finished at the museum and recrossed the highway to the Strasburg Railroad. I bought my ticket and went to the offices to look for Katie Stafford who would be my host for today's trip. My ticket was refunded and I was given a ticket plus a 12:00 PM shop tour ticket. They called Katie on her cell phone and I walked outside to wait for her. A few minutes later Katie and her friend Kimberley Carlo arrived and we walked over to the waiting train.

The Trip on the Strasburg Railroad 4/9/2007

Great Western 90 would pull the train backwards to Paradise. Our train consisted of Great Western 2-10-0 90, Coaches 62 "Gobbler's Knob" built in 1897, 72 "Mill Creek" built in 1906, 59 "Grasshopper Level" built in 1904, 65 "Walnut Hollow" built in 1910, 105 "Warren F Berner", diner 93 "Lee E. Brenner" built in 1909, table/parlor 75 "Henry K. Long", and parlor 88 "Marion". The three of us boarded "Gobbler's Knob" and took seats in the middle of the car.

My hosts for the trip were Katie Stafford, media contact for the Strasburg Railroad and her friend Kimberly Carlo. We left on time at 11:00 AM, passing the shops and a rather large farm. The train whistle blew for our crossing of Paradise Lane.

We next passed the Red Caboose Motel where I would be spending the night. To the south there was a rather large Amish Farm.

Another Amish Farm to the south of us. The three of us enjoyed ourselves getting to know each other, as I took pictures every so often. I told about my stay at Intercourse and they thought Theory 3 made the most sense. We passed the Esbenshade Turkey Farm and Katie told me that ticket sales not only pay the bills, but assist in helping local farmers. Since we already have "Farm Aid", I guess this could be called "Train Aid".

Another Amish Farm through the smoke. The train stopped and they said if you listen closely, you could hear the whistle of the ghost train. The 90 blew its whistle several times before we continued.

Another large farm to the south. The train ran through the Groffs picnic area.

The train was crossing the rural landscape before we entered Paradise next to Amtrak's Harrisburg to Philadelphia corridor.

Great Western 90 then cut off our train.

Great Western 90 then was run around the train to be on the point of for our return trip.

Here came the Great Western 90 running around our train. We had an enjoyable journey back to Strasburg and spotted Thomas the Tank Engine following us. Once back in Strasburg, Katie gave me a tour of the rest of the train.

Inside of the Coach 59 Grasshopper Level.

Inside of Diner 93 Lee E. Berner.

Inside of the Parlor/Table 75 Henry K. Long.

Inside of the Parlor Car 85 Marion.

The Bar in the Parlor Car Marion.

Next we went to the 12:00 PM shop tour and on the way there, we passed a live steamer that pulls the children around on a miniature railway.

Strasburg Railroad Shop Tour 4/9/2007

We all met inside the shop office and signed our releases. We then started our Strasburg Railroad shop tour.

Inside we found another Thomas the Tank Engine, which is of the four dummy versions which means they do not steam and can not move by themselves. There are currently five Thomas the Tank Engines in North America and only one can steam live down the tracks.

Inside the machine shop, Tim Heller was our tour guide, showed us one of Strasburg Railroad's small diesel engines.

View inside the Machine Shop.

Strasburg 4-8-0 475 was undergoing restoration.

I photographed the crank pin for Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 3985.

Tim Heller our tour guide at the wheel lathe.

Rio Grande Southern 20 is also undergoing restoration here.

The cab end of the Strasburg 475.

Wheels and tires for the Union Pacific 4-6-6-4 3985. Next on the tour was the car shop.

After the Car Shop we headed to the restoration shop where we found 99 "Valley View".

There was another Thomas the Tank Engine here. We walked outside and walked by the engines outside.

Once outside, we walked by the engines, passing the steaming Thomas the Tank Engine and Strasburg 0-6-0 31, which would pull the afternoon trains. The 31 was 99 years old this year, 2007.

Inside the engine house, we found another small diesel engine

Also here was Strasburg 2-6-0 89.

Members of our tour group in the Engine House.

I also photographed new flues on flat cars and that ended our fantastic tour of the Strasburg Railroad shops. I said goodbye to Katie and Kimberly before I continued to look around.

Strasburg Railroad 90 returned into Strasburg.

Pennsylvania Railroad 9331.

Strasburg 31 and Thomas the Tank Engine.

Great Western 90 returned into Strasburg.

After arriving back in Strasburg, the Great Western 90 run around its train to do one more trip on this cold and windy day.

Coupling up to its train.

Ready for the next trip which I would chase for pictures.

Strasburg Railroad Chase 4/9/2007

I drove out to Black House Road to wait for the 1:00 PM train to Paradise with Great Western 90 pulling the train backwards. Next I drove to Paradise, where the steam engine switches ends, and waited a few minutes for the train to arrive.

The Great Western 90 switches ends at Paradise. I headed back to Strasburg, stopping at the grade crossing at Cherry Hill Road. After picking up some passengers at Groffs, the train headed forward, charging by my location.

Finally I drove to Paradise Lane, by the Red Caboose Motel, and set up for a picture while the Amish were playing a large volleyball game at their farm behind me. I checked into the Red Caboose Motel and drove back to Strasburg to get some cash from a local bank. I stopped at the Strasburg Railroad again and this time bought a T-shirt.

View from the Tower that overlooks the Strasburg Station.

Across the highway is the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum.

Steam engines right across the highway at the museum. I drove back to the Paradise Lane grade crossing to wait for the train to return.

I noticed a different locomotive coming towards me; it was Strasburg 0-6-0 31 which was pulling the late afternoon passenger trains.

Next came Thomas the Tank Engine steaming back to Strasburg.

Next, an Amish horse and buggy came down Paradise Lane. I returned to the Strasburg Railroad.

I photographed Great Western 90 sitting in the afternoon sun. I returned to the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania and parked before walking behind the museum.

Behind the building I found Pennsylvania Railroad GG-1 4935. After that I returned to Paradise Lane grade crossing.

Here came Strasburg Railroad 31 steaming at the Paradise Lane grade crossing. I went back to my New Haven caboose at the Red Caboose Motel before going back to the grade crossing again to wait for the last eastbound train of the day.

The Strasburg Railroad 0-6-0 31 pulled the last eastbound train of the day.

I returned to the Red Caboose Motel for a rest. Later I drove to the Esbenshade Road grade crossing and waited for the last westbound trip of the day.

Strasburg Railroad 0-6-0 31 working hard at Esbenshade Road. I returned to the car and drove to Highway 741 for one last set of pictures.

Strasburg Railroad 31 heading back to the Strasburg station, ending my coverage of a very interesting railroad. I returned to the Red Caboose Motel.

Click here for my stay at the Red Caboose Motel.