A Passage Through Time – Experience PA’s Magic by Train

Happy Monday everyone! Thanks for dropping by, I hope you’re weekend was an adventurous one…mine was for sure. This past weekend I was lucky enough to take a train ride through Pennsylvania’s past and beautiful Autumn. Since we’ve spent so much of 2020 indoors I decided I wanted to explore things closer to home (in the safest way, of course). 

I’ve been researching different things I can do that that don’t require a plane ticket…as much as I love my plane rides. This makes is super easy to get some travel companions, which in this case is usually my parents. For this adventure we found about the ColeBrookDale RailRoad. The train itself makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time, giving me Titanic feels throughout the entire ride. 

If you’re a nature lover or a small history buff I recommend taking this trip through some beautiful scenaries. Pennsylvania’s got some history a lot of people don’t know about and the staff does a great job of giving you a history recap through your ride. As you’ve probably guessed through past posts, I love a walk through nature…so a ride through nature was a yes all around. 

The railroad offers different themed rides throughout the year based off the holidays and seasons. For ours, we took the Autumn Foliage and saw some beautiful old time barn houses, Mother Nature’s beautiful Fall painting in the trees, some pretty cool rock formations. Now let me clear that up, I am not at all a scientist buff (that’ll be my brother) but the railroad was built through some pretty narrow rocks. It’s amazing how they did it and seeing how it stood the test of time.

The train itself has different carts, we booked ourselves in the Deluxe Coach, which for first timers I do recommend. Our cart was positioned towards the front at the start of our trip and we were right next to the outside cart where guests could stand if they wanted to see more. You, of course, had the choice to stay in your seat and view the awesomeness through your window. The trip itself lasts two hours, we spent the first hour outside (make sure you’re well insulated with scarfs and jackets).

As always during the year we’ve been going through we have to take some safety precautions. There’s no reason you can’t still explore while maintaining safe procedures, I always do my research to double check what each company or organization is doing. If I don’t feel safe I don’t go…if I feel unsafe when I get there I just leave. I’ve been following this same guideline everywhere I go, I’ve definitely gotten the eye roll from those that don’t care…but it’s about my safety. 

The ColeBrookDale RailRoad definitely took some precautions and there were also things that I think they’ll need to work on in the future. I’ll list some on the right and go through what I thought about it. The website colebrookdalerailroad.com goes through what their COVID precautions are, which you can read further if you’d like. 

As always it’s about what you do, even if the “crowd” is doing something else. I think during these times we need to look past our own needs and what’s best for all. Yes, absolutely there are still things you can do that don’t require large crowds or putting your safety on the back burner. So always do what you feel is right for you that doesn’t put your health last. 

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Masks Required

This should be a given now, masks are required throughout the train ride as in most establishments. While I will say most everyone wore their masks indoor and outdoor, there were a few here and there that didn’t. The announcement on the train itself said masks need to be worn when moving about the train, so I assume some believed it wasn’t necessary when seated. The staff didn’t do much to enforce this, which was a bit concerning. This is why we spent most of the train ride outside, as most people were indoors. 

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Capacity Reduced by 50%

Capacity for the train was reduced by 50%, which of course can seem like a big deal…but I think I wanted to know if that was per cabin or per train ride. When purchasing your tickets the map shows they blocked every other seat and you picked an assigned one. But again, not something the staff enforced, as later people began moving around and not maintaining social distance. I’m pretty outspoken so I did make these comments to certain people, but unless the staff itself enforces it you’re talking to the wind. Another reason we went outside, fresh air and most people want to be in the warm…so less contact. 

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Food Service

The website listed food service as being cancelled for the time being, but snacks and drinks were available for purchase. Of course, this means that masks are being taken off during this time. I will say they limited food purchasing til the last part of our ride, so you didn’t see this happening for most of the ride. 

Overall, yes we had a great time and I definitely want to take the other tours in the future. As for safety measures, I think I’ll wait til we’re through our COVID phase to be on the safe side. It seemed the measures were placed on the website but not really enforced, which pretty much puts a downer on things. If you’re looking for something to do in the future I recommend this for sure, they have Christmas themes, Summer and Spring holidays as well. This is something great for the family and kids…the staff was definitely lovely in regards to customer service. Champagne was given out for free towards the end of the ride as a celebratory event. So add this one to your list and make sure you get it checked off one day…but let’s hold off til we can guarantee some full safety precautions being taken.

If you are looking for a safe and fun activity to do during this time of the year go check out my post on the Great Pumpkin Blaze http://fivethousandroses.com/thepumpkinblaze/ 

This is such a great event that happens every year, it’s safe and fun for everyone!

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