• Sharon Shirk

The Strasburg Railroad


The Train Museum, right across from the Strasburg Railroad

At the beginning of this month Carl’s mother’s celebrated her 89th birthday. She still loves to be party’d and, of course, to be doted on by her sons so we came up with the idea of taking her on a train ride at Strasburg Railroad.

We decided to meet for the 7/pm train, arriving there with not a lot of time to spare. There were six in our group and we soon boarded the train. She needed help to get up on that stairway that takes you to the seats and her boys were right there for her. She chuckles when she needs that kind of help, remembering easier days. With a grin on her face, she warns them, “you might get old too some day.” Her humor is enjoyed by everyone. We chose an open-air coach so that we would be able to capture the sights and smells of nature and farms as we passed. It’s a lovely ride and it was a lovely evening.

Carl's Mom watching Lancaster roll by

Soon the whistle blew and we were moving…the ride takes you on a 4-5 mile trip to Paradise ( great advertising, who doesn’t want to go to Paradise? ) through beautiful cornfields and farms, meadows full of happy cows and horses, and at one point the train stops and does a routine of whistle blows just to let you hear the echo in the valley. You pass an Amish school and Amish farmland and picnic area. You feel the change of temperature as the train moves over different farmscapes. You get to see Cherry Crest Farms up close since the rail runs right through their property, you see the corn maize and the sliding area, and the many options of how to spend your day there.

The Amazing Maize Maze at Cherry Crest Farm, as seen from the Strasburg Railroad. Photo snapped during our ride.

And then the train stops in Paradise and does it’s engine exchange from the front of the train to the back to get ready for the return trip. It’s a process that brings all the people on the train together as they take pictures and take time to just watch and see how it all is done. In our open car, you can lean out the window, everyone does it, even though the sign says DO NOT LEAN OUT THE WINDOW. You get great pictures that way from the side of the train. Grama was enjoying every moment and we took pictures of her and us and she loved that too.

Me and Grama Shirk

When the train came back to the station, plans were to take her to the Strasburg Creamery for ice cream. We all ordered ice cream in a cone or a plate and headed for the outdoor patio there. Ate and talked till it got real late, then one of the boys took Grama back home. It was truly a fun evening and I know a little lady who loved it very much. We all were happy that she could enjoy something like Strasburg Railroad on her 89th Birthday. Precious memories for all of us!

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