Pennsylvania Scenic Train Trips

Two properties on the Monopoly board pay tribute to Pennsylvania's train heritage -- Reading and Pennsylvania Railroad -- but they aren't just spaces on a board game. With it's rich history in coal and steel, Pennsylvania also has railroad roots-- after, all, it was the steam engine that transported these goods. Many of these historic railways and cars are now preserved and today visitors can enjoy scenic train trips at many locations across the state.

Lehigh Gorge

One of the prettiest train tours in Pennsylvania -- especially in the fall -- is aboard the Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway, located in Jim Thorpe. Formerly known as Mauch Chuck -- an Leni Lenape Indian name for "big bear" -- the area is called the Switzerland of America with its steep hillsides and narrow roads and breathtaking scenery.

The train consists of old style passenger coaches from the 1920s. There is also an open air car called Summer Wind. The train tour is an hour round trip and covers16 miles on the former main line of the Jersey Central Lines. The curvy route runs along the Lehigh River.

Strasburg Railroad

The Strasburg Railroad dates back to 1832. Today it's one of the most popular tourist destinations in Lancaster County. Riders on this scenic train tour are treated to a 45-minute round trip ride from the East Strasburg Station to Paradise, Pennsylvania and back.

The Strasburg Railroad offers a variety of riding options, from coach and open air to beautifully restored cabins, the President's Car and First Class Parlor. Prices vary based on the chosen car. The railroad also has a dining car, where riders can enjoy lunch, dinner or meals with live entertainment. Special themed train tours include murder mysteries, a traditionally "PA Dutch" dinner and a wine and cheese car. There is also a walking ghost tour on the premises each October.

Train enthusiasts will be delighted to know the Pennsylvania Railroad Museum is located right across the street from the train station. and it is close to Amish Country, creating more activities options.

Pioneer Tunnel

Pennsylvania's coal heritage and railroad roots combine at the Pioneer Train Tunnel, a popular tourist destination in Northeast Pennsylvania. Visitors can go beneath the ground to explore a real coal mine. Aboard the Henry Clay visitors can explore a different form of mining -- strip mining. The three-quarters-of-a-mile-long train ride weaves through Mahanoy City along the Mammoth Mines. The ride lasts about 30 minutes. The Pioneer Train Tunnel offers a special price for admission to both attractions.