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The Phoenix of American Railroads Runs Again in 2024

by Kimberly Inlander

May 17, 2024

© Robert Hale | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / North America

An amazing story in railroad preservation and operation is back for family travelers to enjoy in 2024: the narrow gauge East Broad Top Railroad in Pennsylvania. The 150-year-old railroad with steam engines, passenger cars and caboose shut down in 1956 and was on the verge of being scrapped before the scrap dealer actually saved it due to historical significance and charm. Today, its back up and running, attracting tens of thousands of visitors on its 28 miles of track.

 

Opening weekend was May 3, and the train operates Friday, Saturday and Sunday through Oct. 27. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the schedule includes Wednesday and Thursday. The experience includes one-hour, round-trip scenic train rides through central Pennsylvania’s hills, farmland and forests. Most departures are pulled by one of the railroad’s iconic locomotives and passengers can choose to ride in an enclosed coach with large viewing windows, a shaded open-air car or a historic caboose at the rear. Trains depart 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., with fares beginning at $22 for adults and $16 for children ages 2–12. Those 1 year of age and younger ride free with a fare-paying adult.

 

The railroad’s historic shop complex is also ripe for exploration, with regular guided tours on offer, including The Roundhouse, where steam engines are stored; and the railroad’s belt-driven machine shop, the largest and most intact of its kind in the country. Special events are held throughout the season, like PEANUTS The Great Pumpkin Patch Express in the fall and many more.

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