I was looking at Strasburg Railroad's website and noticed that they only have hourly trains scheduled on weekdays this summer. Didn't they operate two engines a day (on the hourly and half-hourly trains) on weekdays during July and August in years past? 

Original Post

They did run 2 in the past. The hour one had the obs car where you could stand on the rear platform, the half-hour obs you could not. I have a feeling they were not getting trains full enough to warrant 2 per hour. I've ridden these trains since 1975.

They start the modified half hourly service on Saturdays after the 4th.  Supposedly 89 will be joining 90 in providing service on the half hour during the midday/early afternoon.  I’ve pasted in the schedule from their website.

July 1 – August 24, 2019 Fridays & Saturdays

Fridays 11, 12, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7; Saturdays 11, 11:30, 12, 12:30, 1, 1:30, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 

 Curt

Last edited by juniata guy

We rode behind #90 on Monday the 1st and it was the only train running.  The conductor mentioned that they run two trains on the weekends to handle larger crowds.  Our train was pretty full, but not packed.

Bringing back this thread because I just looked at Strasburg's booking website for the summer.

Looks like they are cutting the half hour train altogether this summer once they reopen in mid-June. I wonder if they would be running both hourly and half-hourly trains on the weekends if it wasn't for everything going on or if this was the plan anyway based off ticket sales from last year. 

When I worked there a few years ago the 2nd train was generally empty, unless it was Christmas.  Ridership has gone way down over the years. Its a much different place then it was 20 years ago. Not for the better...

 

When I worked there a few years ago the 2nd train was generally empty, unless it was Christmas.  Ridership has gone way down over the years. Its a much different place then it was 20 years ago. Not for the better...

 

That’s sad to hear...

When I worked there a few years ago the 2nd train was generally empty, unless it was Christmas.  Ridership has gone way down over the years. Its a much different place then it was 20 years ago. Not for the better...

I enjoy visiting the Strasburg RR during the trips to York.  Often just walk around, and always try to support the place by spending money at the souvenir shop.  Probably actually ride the train once each year or two.  It seems like a great operation, and I think it's a national treasure, but how often would a person want to take the same 6-mile trip?

Wish I knew the answer...

When I worked there a few years ago the 2nd train was generally empty, unless it was Christmas.  Ridership has gone way down over the years. Its a much different place then it was 20 years ago. Not for the better...

 

I can back this up.  Attendance was way down.  That's why they invited 611 to visit last fall.  Record breaking attendance for 611

I too, have taken the Strasburg train MANY times over the past 40 years...first with our kids, then with many grand kids. I'm only an hour's drive away. Now, I have no interest in traveling on the RR alone. These days we've been taking overnight trips on Amtrak (Florida, New Orleans, and Phoenix from Philadelphia). I have a feeling we old-time steam lovers are running low on "steam". 

Last edited by Joe Hohmann

When I worked there a few years ago the 2nd train was generally empty, unless it was Christmas.  Ridership has gone way down over the years. Its a much different place then it was 20 years ago. Not for the better...

 

I figured that was the reason, sad to hear nonetheless. Admittedly while we visit Strasburg 2-3 times each year, we only ride the train every other year. 

@superwarp1 posted:

I can back this up.  Attendance was way down.  That's why they invited 611 to visit last fall.  Record breaking attendance for 611

611's visit was such a great event! The crowds at the station reminded me of what Strasburg was like when I was younger. I hope they can repeat the event in the future or bring another "guest" engine. I could see NS possibly be willing to ferry move 611 to Leaman Place again or even NKP 765 given the past relations between FWHS and NS. 

No idea what the margins are on the multiple “Day out with Thomas” events Strasburg RR hosts but, based from what I saw on the webcam at last years events, they pack them in.

Too; based on what I have read, the freight end of their business is supposedly in the black.

Curt

Lets face it, for guys like us, trains are nostalgic, for the younger generations, they are amusement. When my  family was younger and we lived in the Wilmington, DE area, we would drive to the Lancaster area for Sunday dinner and Shoofly pie. After dinner we'd take the kids to Strasburg to visit the Railroad Museum and ride the train or maybe visit the Toy Train Museum. Times have changed and we've moved and the Kids are grown. Now the Wilmington and Western RR operates literally in our old backyard and many other Recreational Railroads and Train Museums have sprung up around the country to satisfy that nostalgia and amusement.

Dominic; I’ll acknowledge they are diehards but, in our O gauge club there are at least two father/son duos who would travel to see 611 operate multiple times each year.  

For the rest of the population, I doubt most folks would want to spend big bucks to see the 611 every year but, every second or third year would likely draw about as many people as they had last year.  

Curt

Due to the locomotive and the steam situation, I consider the 611 event an outlander.  It may never happen again.

But there is this Yogi Berra line:  Nobody goes to that restaurant anymore because it is too crowded.

If/when East Broad Top gets into action, that will be a traffic drain for the SR.  The EBT could become a true Jurassic Park, if they can keep up its charm.

All of this sounds like a lesson from the song EYE OF THE TIGER:  exchanging passion for glory.

Last edited by Dominic Mazoch

EBT is and will be popular, but I don’t see it putting a dent in Strasburg’s ridership.  It’s in the middle of nowhere with nothing else around; Strasburg is in the middle of PA Amish country.  Besides, the two coexisted for many years in the past...

That's not true. Strasburg is not in the middle of nowhere. You know what is in the middle of nowhere, Cooperstown, NY

EBT is and will be popular, but I don’t see it putting a dent in Strasburg’s ridership.  It’s in the middle of nowhere with nothing else around; Strasburg is in the middle of PA Amish country.  Besides, the two coexisted for many years in the past...

I agree, Strasburg has been much more family oriented and is a popular weekend destination for non-railfans because of its proximity to Lancaster and the tourist spots in Amish country. Strasburg/Lancaster is often on the "top-ten day trips" for the Philadelphia Area. The Wilmington and Western is closer to Philadelphia than Strasburg is but doesn't get the same ridership; people like the Strasburg experience. 

Not that EBT doesn't get non-railfans, but the area doesn't give tourist the same experience as Amish country does for people visiting Strasburg. Plus Strasburg offers first class, dinning car, the wine and cheese train in the summer, and other amenities that EBT doesn't. Strasburg has truly done a nice job building the experience surrounding the railroad for both railfans and non-railfans; people come and bring their kids, who 20-30 years later bring their kids. My parents brought me to Strasburg because my grandparents brought them. 

I'm very excited to visit EBT once it's up and running again. I hope I did not come off as critical towards their operation, it's truly one of a kind and a really good experience; however I don't see it effecting Strasburg at all. It might even help Strasburg a little as out-of-the-area railfans now have two cool spots to visit that are only about two hours apart. 

@eddie g posted:

That's not true. Strasburg is not in the middle of nowhere. You know what is in the middle of nowhere, Cooperstown, NY

I’ll agree with that statement.  Went to Cooperstown last year and it is in the middle of nowhere

@eddie g posted:

That's not true. Strasburg is not in the middle of nowhere. You know what is in the middle of nowhere, Cooperstown, NY

I never said Strasburg was in the middle of nowhere...

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