Railroad museums and displays seem tailor-made for family fun with their big machines and colorful histories. The Tri-State area is richly blessed with local, state and national museums and displays of railroading history.
Here is a sampling, some near, some far, some permanent, some temporary.
Hagerstown Roundhouse Museum
300 S. Burhans Blvd., Hagerstown.
From 1 to 5 p.m. Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Christmas
Admission: $3, adults ; 50 cents, ages 4 to 12.
Locomotives and cars, inside exhibits, railroad memorabilia and model train layouts.
Locomotive No. 202
110 Key St., Hagerstown (in City Park)
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays.
Locomotive used on the Western Maryland Railroad. Also eight cabooses, some railroading artifacts.
Railroading at Harpers Ferry
Lower Town Information Center
Harpers Ferry National Historical Park, Harpers Ferry, W.Va.
Admission: $5 per vehicle.
"B&O: 169 Years at Harpers Ferry" was developed to coincide with the 175th anniversary of the founding of the B&O Railroad. Continues through Tuesday, Sept. 30.
West Virginia Central Railroad
Durbin & Greenbrier Valley Railroad
Excursions: $15 to $28, adults; $10 to $22, ages 4 to 11.
On tracks of the former Western Maryland Railroad, these two short-line railroads offer excursions on several restored locomotives, including two from the Western Maryland Railroad.
Cass Scenic Railroad State Park
Excursions: $10 to $19, adults; $7 to $12, ages 5 to 12.
A century-old lumber railroad with eight restored Shay gear-driven locomotives, a company town complete with store, and a lumber camp.
B&O Railroad Museum
(Closed; under renovation)
901 W. Pratt St.
The biggest railroad museum in the Western Hemisphere with a large collection of 19th- and 20th-century artifacts related to America's railroads. The huge roundhouse, built in 1884, houses 22 locomotives and train cars. Upstairs is a 12-by-40-foot scale model railroad. Heavy snow accumulation this winter collapsed the roundhouse roof.
Steamtown National Historical Site
From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily
Admission: $6, adults; $3, ages 6 to 12. Excursions: $14 to $25 for adults; $10 to $25 for children.
Standard-gauge steam locomotives and freight and passenger cars that New England seafood processor F. Nelson Blount assembled in the 1950s and 1960s on 40 acres of the Scranton yard of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, one of the earliest rail lines in northeastern Pennsylvania. Visitor center, roundhouse, museums have displays. Rides available daily on restored trains.
East Broad Top Railroad
Rockhill Furnace, Pa.
Excursions: Call for fares.
The last original narrow-gauge railroad east of the Rockies and the oldest surviving narrow gauge in America. Workshops contain original machines and tools, a rare example of a complete maintenance facility based on 19th-century technology. Excursion trains run at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. on weekends, June through October.
Rockhill Trolley Museum
Rockhill Furnace, Pa.
From 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends and legal holidays through the end of October.
Excursions: $4.95, adults; $1.95, ages 2 to 12.
Static displays of a dozen trolley cars and five pieces of railroad work equipment; another 13 trolleys take passengers on excursions. Trolleys depart each half-hour.
Mauch Chunk Museum
41 W. Broadway St.
Jim Thorpe, Pa.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays through Sundays.
Admission: $4, adults; $1, ages 8 and younger.