Jump aboard the railroad express for an excursion down memory lane. The conductor, tour guides and volunteers will provide information that recollects each famous railroad system. There are museums to attract attention for memorabilia pursuits along with views of past railroad cars and depots. These memories peak the interest from childhood model trains and continue with the love of trains, which is great family tradition that can be experienced for kids of all ages.
Oil Creek & Titusville Railroad
7 Elm St.
Oil City, PA 16301
All aboard for an historical tour on the Oil Creek and Titusville express that makes numerous stops to enjoy the beautiful northwestern region of Pennsylvania, which is a pleasant drive from Pittsburgh. The tour winds through the famous oil country of Titusville with stops at museums and places of historical interest for kids to learn about the railroad industry. There is time to walk around the area for awe-inspiring vistas and well-kept memories. Check out the specialty packages and excursions that are offered throughout the year.
Cuyahoga Valley Railroad
2325 Stine Road
Peninsula, OH 44264
If you’re looking for a fun-filled family experience, then a scenic tour through Cuyahoga National Park is the place for you to enjoy the serene environment of the northern Ohio region. There is a two-hour tour that travels through the park to explore the history, wildlife, rivers and scenery of the Cuyahoga Valley. There are opportunities for layovers to enjoy what the area has to offer and that includes specialty packages for the entire family. The versatility of the railroad system may be of interest to bikers, hikers and culinary and wine enthusiasts, but the packages are also geared toward educational experiences, summer programs and birthday parties. Check here for train schedules.
Kiski Junction Railroad
130 Railroad St.
Schenley, PA 15682
Western Pennsylvania has heaps to offer in cultural, historical and recreational pursuits and a stop at Kiski Junction Railroad adds to the splendor of the area. The picturesque tour traverses along freight lines with a clear view of the Kiskiminetas River and a legacy expedition of neighboring communities. Kiski Junction welcomes questions from the kids, as the tour guides explain facts about Schenley Station, history of the trains, equipment and local area interests. The tour continues its journey for enjoyment of wildlife, bridges and recreational activities that are inherent to the area, and it’s no wonder that Kiski Junction prides itself in railroad history. Check here for details on pricing and schedules.
Allegheny Portage Railroad
110 Federal Park Road
Gallitzin, PA 16641
The Allegheny Portage Railroad is a National Historic site that is a wonderful educational tool for both kids and their families. There is a plethora of information available to learn about the history and culture of this region and the importance of the the railroad. Families can walk along trails that replicate the train routes, view locomotives and engines or visit the inclines, tunnels and shelters within the park. There will be walking involved and mountainous conditions, but the pure beauty of the natural surroundings, streams and wildlife is worth the effort. A short distance from the visitor center is a shelter exhibit and engine house that comes replete with a steam engine model and all the equipment that was needed for transportation. Click here for pricing details.
Railroaders Memorial Museum
1300 9th Ave.
Altoona, PA 16602
The Railroaders Memorial Museum is located is southwestern Pennsylvania in an area that is rich in historical and cultural history. The railroad center was an important place for production and repair of the locomotives and served as a transportation location for all future travel over and around the Allegheny Mountains. Visitors will be able to shop and purchase products that will be proud memories of past accolades of the rail industry and view the photographs of hard-working families, along with the equipment that was used to make Altoona a viable asset for success in all railroading experiences. The region offers a host of natural wonders that were part of the railroad success story, and a jaunt a few moments away can relive that history. Check here for hours and ticket pricing.
125 W. Station Square Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15219
The Station Square complex was developed under the auspices of the Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation and the train station and the renovated freight shops are recollections of the vital success of the railroad system. Even though the complex has been changed into an entertainment and dining experience, there are memories of days gone by in the Grand Concourse. The various rooms display seating and fixtures where passengers waited for their excursion. The unique pictures, templates, furniture and edifice have the feeling of the Pittsburgh Terminal Train Station. Families can stroll outside and wait at the ironed gate and peer onto the tracks to watch locomotives drift by or take photos at Bessemer Court, then the kids can hop aboard the Station Square Express for a pleasant train ride past the freight shops and dream about being a conductor.
Gerry Cernicky is a retired health and physical education teacher with 36 years of experience. He is a former teacher of the year and a sports writer for the Vandergrift News. He delivers podcasts, and maintains a website and blog. He currently resides in Pittsburgh. His work can be found at Examiner.com.