The Extraordinary Give November 17

We’re excited to be a part of The Extraordinary Give again this year and are asking for your support on Friday, November 17.  Why?  Because you have the power to help us preserve and advance our nation’s railroad heritage during this 24-hour online giving marathon. Your tax deductible donation to the nonprofit Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania, now in our 40th year,  will go a long way to ensure that the important work needed to preserve our historic trains, and to educate today’s and future generations about the rich legacy of railroading, continues. Thanks to the Lancaster County Community Foundation, presenting sponsors and community sponsors, a stretch pool of more than half a million dollars will be distributed to organizations like the Friends based on their number of unique donors throughout The Extraordinary Give. Use your smart device or computer, when and where it is convenient for you,…

Trains & Troops Come Marching In

Join our salute to American railroads and the United States military, service men and women, during the 23rd annual Trains & Troops at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania on Saturday, November 4 and Sunday, November 5. The Red Rose Veterans Honor Guard will present the colors at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday and at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. The Lampeter-Strasburg Community Band will perform a repertoire of Americana and patriotic music on Saturday from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.    The Victory Society will present a period fashion show on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. A fascinating array of military, railway and homefront vehicles, uniforms, equipment, field gear, maps, books, photographs, memorabilia and collectibles will be on display.  Visitors also will encounter military, railroader and civilian living history re-enactors from various eras in our nation’s history throughout the Museum.  Scheduled for Trains & Troops at press time were: 2nd Infantry Division Korean War…

Rocket Launch October 27

A launch of the 185-year-old Rocket steam locomotive into the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s world-class collection will take place during a ribbon cutting on Friday, October 27 at 10:30 a.m. The public is invited to attend. Following the ribbon cutting, Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania director Patrick C. Morrison will give a presentation on the history of the Rocket.  The presentation will be on a first come basis for the first 50 people.  Both the Rocket ribbon cutting and subsequent presentation are included in the regular Museum admission. The Consolidated Rail Corporation (Conrail), the owner of the Rocket, selected the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania as the new permanent home for the locomotive, which spent the past 90 years at The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia.  Completed in March 1838, the Rocket was the first of eight English-made locomotives purchased by the Philadelphia & Reading Railway from 1838 to 1841.  The others, all…

On Track With Trains & Treats

There will be no tricks, just a fun family time with Trains & Treats at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania on Saturday, October 21. According to volunteer/program coordinator Elizabeth Myers, children visiting the Museum during Trains & Treats can tour some historic locomotives, railroad cars and interactive exhibits inside Rolling Stock Hall. They’ll pick up a treat bag when they arrive to collect a variety of candy — nut-free — and small, non-food items at each stop along the way. And, if they like, they can come in costume! Trains & Treats is recommended for children ages 3 to 12 and is included in the regular Museum admission.

Jump, Jive & Swing: 1940s Swing Dance

Tickets are now on sale for the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s 20th annual 1940s Swing Dance on Saturday, November 4, 2023, from 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. This toe-tapping tribute to the Greatest Generation features the fantastic Moonlighters big band playing live among the historic trains in the Museum’s Rolling Stock Hall.  Dress to impress in your best 1940s vintage attire or military uniform, if you like, to add to the fun!  There will be light refreshments, and there is free, on-site parking.   The venue is climate controlled. Tickets are available on Eventbrite and in the Whistle Stop Shop museum store and are: $25.00 per person general admission. $20.00 per person for students, U. S. military veterans, current U. S. service personnel (active, guard and reserves) and current Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania members. ID will be requested at the door for holders of $20.00 tickets. A limited…

Railroad Heritage Day Set

Railroad Heritage Day is set for Saturday, September 9 at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.  Some highlights of this family-friendly event include a: “Down By The Station” tour at 11:00 a.m., presented by Museum director Patrick C. Morrison. “Pennsylvania Railroad Board Rooms” presentation at 1:30 p.m., offered by Museum volunteer/program coordinator Elizabeth Myers. “The Solari Board” spotlight talk at 3:00 p.m., presented by Museum educator Jesse Shetrom. Marklin/LEGO® train display. Coloring table for kids. A number of the Museum’s historic locomotives and railroad cars also will be open for visitors to experience.  Railroad Heritage Day activities are included in the regular Museum admission.

Story Time With The Educator

Beginning September 5, the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania will launch a series of train tales for tots during a new, twice-monthly Story Time With The Educator program. Designed for children ages 2 through preK and led by a Museum educator, Story Time features a reading of a specially selected children’s book and a hands-on activity, craft, song or poem. “Education is an important aspect of our mission,” says Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania director Patrick C. Morrison.  “We are adding Story Time With The Educator to our family programming like Reading On The Rails and summer day camps in order to encourage literacy, reading and social skills for children and to provide sensory friendly activities for this particular age group. Story Time With The Educator is included in the regular Museum admission and will be held on the first Tuesday and repeated on the third Friday of the month.  Individuals must…

The Rocket Takes Off

In its first move in 90 years, the 185-year-old Rocket steam locomotive recently took off from The Franklin Institute in Philadelphia to make its way to its new home at the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania. Completed in March 1838, the Rocket was the first of eight English-made locomotives purchased by the Philadelphia & Reading Railway from 1838 to 1841.  The others, all made by London-based Braithwaite, Milner & Company, were named Firefly, Spitfire, Comet, Dragon, Helca, Planet and Gem, most of which remained in service for decades.   The Rocket is all that remains from this group and is the oldest surviving Reading Railroad locomotive.  The steam locomotive Rocket originally weighed 17,000 pounds and is 17 feet long. As with most early locomotives, it did not originally have an enclosed cab to shelter the engineer. “In many respects, in the early 19th century, England was a few years ahead of the…

Three Days of Model Railroading

Who doesn’t love model trains?  The Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania will offer three Model Railroading Days on Friday, August 18, Saturday, August 19 and Sunday, August 20.   It’s a fun family event for all ages. Watch the world of operating model trains in action and see static displays from a variety of different participating groups and clubs including the Train Collectors Association Atlantic Division, Baltimore Area American Flyer Club, Capital PenNScalers NTRAK, Capitol Free-Mo, DC Area Indepent Hi-Railers O-Scale Modular Layout, Lebanon Valley Rail and Lower Susquehanna Valley Modular Railroaders.  Also, the Northeast Corridor Historical Society, Strasburg Model Railroad Club, Stillmeadow Crossing Modular Train Group, World’s Largest Lionel 0-72 Layout and Yesterday Once More. Experience the Pennsylvania Middle Division HO scale operating layout in the second floor gallery and the Pennsylvania Landscapes HO scale operating layout in Stewart Junction railway education.  Both layouts are crafted and maintained primarily by Museum…

Garden Railways Tour

Tickets are now on sale for the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania’s Garden Railways Tour on Sunday, October 1, 2023, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.  It’s a train family fun outing for all ages! Choose from among the five stops on this year’s 16th annual, exclusive self-guided tour of operating model trains in various outdoor and garden settings, located in Wrightsville, Lancaster, Lititz and Manheim.  Tickets are just $10.00 per person for ages 6 and over.  Children ages 5 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets are on sale on Eventbrite and in the Whistle Stop Shop museum store and will not be sold at the individual tour sites.   A roster of Garden Railways Tour homes will be emailed/given to you following your ticket purchase.  It is recommended that you plan the sites you want to visit in advance. Garden Railways Tour proceeds benefit the nonprofit Friends of the…