Frequently Asked Questions

We love answering questions! Below are just a few of them:

How large is the museum?

Many of the Museum’s nearly 100 locomotives and railroad cars are housed inside a vast, 100,000 square foot exhibit hall, with additional equipment stored outside in our Train Yard.

Are there any “open” locomotives or cars?

Typically, visitors can get up close to observe closed pieces from ground level. Several key pieces of our collection are accessible to the public on a regular basis, including a steam locomotive cab, a caboose, and a passenger car.  Occasionally, with the help of our volunteers and staff, we open up additional pieces of equipment. And, in many cases, if we cannot allow visitors to actually walk through these pieces, stairways and special platforms allow visitors to get a close-up glimpse at the interiors through the windows of the equipment.

May I take pictures?

Bring your camera! With the exception of our art gallery on the Second Floor, photography for personal use is welcomed, both indoors and out. Commercial photography or other unusual requests are subject to restriction. Please call in advance if you have any questions.

Is the Train Yard always open?

In general, we try to keep the Train Yard open as often as possible. On a typical day, the Train Yard closes at 4:30 p.m. Ongoing restoration work on the equipment, safety concerns for our visitors and weather are all factors in determining whether or not to keep the Yard open. Feel free to call in advance to inquire about the status of the Yard.

Is there anything for kids?

We have many exhibits that are both hands-on and interactive, and they are specifically designed for kids of all ages.  (Yes, adults are welcome to experience these exhibits, as well!)  Many of our interactive exhibits are housed in Stewart Junction, located on the west end of Platform One. However, we have interactive exhibits in other locations in the Museum, as well. There is a place where you can pretend to shovel coal into a mock locomotive firebox. There is an exhibit where you can pretend to sort mail, as in a Railway Post Office car. There’s a link-and-pin coupler you may try, and flip panels where you can explore life in a typical “railroad town” in Pennsylvania, circa 1915. We also have several model railroad displays in several locations in the Museum, including one in the main lobby and others in Stewart Junction.

How long does it take to go through the museum?

An average visit is 90 minutes to two hours. Certainly, some of our guests spend longer, depending upon levels of interest.

Can we leave the building and then come back?

Tickets are generally good for the entire day of purchase, during regular business hours. We’re happy to have you back if you leave to ride the train on the Strasburg Rail Road, or for any other reason. Please retain your receipt and show it to the person at the front desk when you return. Keep in mind, while we close at 5:00 p.m. daily, there are no re-entries after 4:30 p.m.

Do you have food in the Museum? Is there any place to eat?

Although food and beverages are not permitted the main exhibit areas of the Museum, we do have a designated food-vending area, with snack and beverage machines, located on Platform 5 West, next to the entrance to the Train Yard. Credit/debit cards and cash/coins are accepted. A portion of the proceeds benefits the Friends of the Railroad Museum of Pennsylvania.

Do you offer train rides?

The Strasburg Rail Road, located directly across the street from the Museum, is privately operated. For information, call the Strasburg Rail Road at 1-866-725-9666 , or see their web site at www.strasburgrailroad.com.

Are there any guided tours or specific program times?

While many of the exhibits in the Museum can be experienced without a guided tour, we do make every effort to open additional locomotives and rail cars and offer tours and programs, whenever possible. A special behind-the-scenes tour of our Restoration Shop, normally off-limits to the public due to safety constraints, is also offered for an additional fee at 12:00 p.m. on most days, conditions and staff availability permitting. Additional behind-the-scenes tours are being planned. You can always inquire about availability at the front desk, or call ahead to confirm our daily schedule before you arrive.