Vintage holiday trains get decked out for Christmas in a hidden valley in Pennsylvania

(EAST BROAD TOP RAILROAD) – There are not many who remember when the only holiday was Christmas Day, and the two most valuable things to receive were coal (to keep you warm) and an exotic orange (because it was truly exotic and rare). We’re talking pre-WWII coal country in the US. And deep in beautiful and wonderfully rural Pennsylvania, the East Broad Top Railroad, a small narrow-gauge railroad (yes, the trains and tracks are smaller than “normal” standard gauge trains) and the adjacent Rockhill Trolley Museum keep the tradition of family and the value of time off alive.

Throughout November and December, Pennsylvania’s most unique holiday rail experience is driven by nostalgia. Mining was hard work, and work was year-round. Christmas was one of only a few days the mines were closed allowing people to be with their families. A gift of a bag of coal was of value for heat, and cooking, and oranges were a super rare treat and given the exotic nature of the fruit. People used to hang them from trees for children to pick.

The East Broad Top Railroad, and its neighbor the Rockhill Trolley Museum, are celebrating in true retro style with a unique one-ticket/two-ride event themed “Christmas in Coal Country.” Passengers will enjoy a one-hour train ride aboard a selection of heated cars. The train will depart from the historic Orbisonia Station and travel north, where you will encounter Santa along the way and he will give every child a special gift. Trains leave at 5p.m., 6:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Each “Christmas in Coal Country” ticket automatically includes a ride on a vintage trolley car through the Blacklog Narrows, which will be decked out in holiday lights. Trolley rides depart frequently throughout the evening and can be enjoyed before or after your train ride. Tickets also include writing letters to Santa. Every passenger enjoys a cup of hot chocolate and a cookie and each child takes home a gift!

Tickets are $25 for adults and $20 for children. If you want to ride in the caboose, the cost is $30 for adults and $25 for children

For more information visit

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