The Red Caboose Motel


This weekend, we took a short trip to Strasburg, PA to sleep at the Red Caboose Motel and ride the Strasburg Rail Road, which just so happens to be 1/4 of a mile away from the motel. 

Planning the trip started back in early August when I saw that Thomas the Tank Engine and his friend Percy would be visiting the Strasburg Rail Road.  Being into trains, I knew Lewie would love the trip, and I also knew that he would enjoy seeing Thomas.  (I'm trying to get these special moments in before Lewie decides he's too old for Thomas.)

Needless to say, our trip didn't disappoint.  After packing our suitcases after work on Friday, we left our house in Connecticut around 7 p.m. and arrived at the motel around 12:30 in the morning.  The main office wasn't open, but they left our key in an envelope with directions to our room right on the front door.  (You've got to love the trustworthiness that  exists in the heart of Amish Country.)  Most people that stay at the hotel sleep in a real caboose; in fact, there's 49 unique ones to be exact.   However, since it was "Thomas Weekend," the cabooses were all taken when I called, so they put us up in their farm house, which turned out to be wonderful and have its own distinct charm.

The next morning, when it was light out, we had a chance to explore the area, and we soon learned that the Strasburg Rail Road could actually be viewed from the motel's front porch in plain sight.  Even cooler, Thomas the Train and Percy were running past the motel every 30 minutes, so we could either see them right at the train tracks or even from the windows in our farm house.  (As you can imagine, my son didn't want to miss a single one, so he stayed planted by the window while my husband and I both took showers.)

Our first daytime view of the country side on Sat. morning...

Lewie waiting for breakfast in a train car...

One of the many, many cabooses...

The view of trains passing by our farm house window.
On Saturday, we ate our breakfast in an actual train dining car and then spent the afternoon and evening riding Thomas, Percy, and the "Executive Train" at the Strasburg Rail Road.   That night, the motel sponsored an outdoor movie night of "Thomas and His Friends" where they actually projected the movie against the side of their white barn.  It was the coolest movie night ever!  We brought our dinner with us as we sat and watched Thomas episodes in the barnyard.  (I could get used to this country living.)

Eating breakfast in a train car...

Another picture of our new breakfast joint.

Waiting for another train to come by...


Riding Thomas...

Yay for Thomas!

In front of the Strasburg Train Station

Waiting in the "Executive Train"

This is how the outdoor movie looked against the barn wall!

In the morning, we woke up at 4:30 a.m. thanks to the dozen or so roosters that live directly below the farm house.  We didn't remember them crowing on Saturday morning, but on Sunday morning, none of us could get back to sleep.  My little boy started yelling to the roosters, "Stop cock-a-doodle-doing!  It's not even morning time."  (Technically, it was morning time, but to my son, morning doesn't happen until the sun comes out.)

We reluctantly got out of bed and started our day early that morning, but we soon forgot about the roosters as we spent most of our day eating a big, Amish style buffet at Hershey Farm and then visiting a 1700 sq. ft. model train layout at the Choo Choo Barn.  Quite honestly, this was one of the best train layouts we had ever seen!

Bunk beds inside a real caboose!

Wonder what a bathroom looks like in a refurbished caboose?  Well, here it is...

Here's the main room of a caboose...

Can you believe that you just saw the inside of this caboose?

My personal favorite...Love the colors!

The Canadian Pacific and Lionel Lines

Our Farm House

One of the little buggers that woke us up at 4:30 a.m.

My two boys and their trains...

Goodbye Thomas!
After the Choo Choo Barn, we decided to make the five hour trip back home.  I had wanted to take a horse and buggy ride, but we were unprepared for the cooler weather, and my family promised me that we could come back to the motel again.  After all, we still have to sleep in a caboose and visit the Amish Village!  For a trip that was planned around our little boy and his love of trains, I have to say that I think Mommy and Daddy enjoyed themselves just as much if not even more!  Thank you Lewie for helping us plan all these wonderfully, crazy adventures; your love of trains has introduced us to this whole, new, exciting world.


  1. How fun! The Chattanooga (in TN) Choo Choo Museum has train that people can sleep in. I've always wanted to try it!

  2. How fun is that?! Strasburg is an easy weekend trip for us. Maybe we'll have to look into that sometime.

  3. Wow this is so cool! It looks to be about 2 hours from Philly, right? That's where I am! I definitely have to check this out because my daughter loves trains and how cuuuute!

  4. I love this post! What a fun experience for Little Lewie! Little Chick would love this also. She has always been a big fan of Thomas and trains. How are you my friend? I have stopped by and said to myself I would comment at night when I would have more time and somehow I have just been going and going since school started. Little Chick has asked if she can have another play dte with her buddy Lewie. Lets plan on a day at the farm! Let me know what works for you. I hope you are well! I love the cooler weather. This is my favorite time of year!
    Have a great weekend!
    Mama Hen

  5. How fun! You always have so much fun together. What a lucky little guy!!!


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