Good Morning #14863
Two Strasburg Railroad steam engines double heading together fill the first light of the morning sky with curling ribbons of white smoke. This train at dawn makes for high visual drama playing out across the Amish farmland of Lancaster County. In the pasture beside the tracks, the Jersey cows pay the train no attention at all even with all the clanking, chuffing, and screaming steam whistle racket. Having some breakfast holds a much higher priority amongst those girls this morning.
High above the white churning smoke, the background is a beautiful breaking dawn sky split into deep blue and gold layers. The sun is just about to clear the nearby mountain. When it does, this unlit land below will come to life under the bright new light of day. So begins another workday, just as many others have begun throughout this little railroad’s history.
And that history is a rather long one. In fact, the Strasburg Railroad is one of the oldest continuously operating railroads in the western hemisphere having been started in 1832! Yet even at a little over 100 years old, these old steam locomotives don’t go back that far.
Another interesting tidbit: sometimes the Strasburg Railroad hauls some revenue freight from its connection to Norfolk Southern. That makes it pretty likely the only place in the country where old-fashioned steam railroading is earning money hauling actual commercial freight.
See more working steam engines and big smoke in my entire Strasburg Railroad gallery on this website. You can actually ride this train, so follow this link for more information about the Strasburg Railroad…
Location: Strasburg, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Picture and story © Andrew Dierks
Up Next: Smoke At Dawn #14866