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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Visiting the Gettysburg Lincoln Train Museum

No trip to Gettysburg would be complete without a visit to the Gettysburg Lincoln Train Museum located at 425 Steinwehr Avenue in Gettysburg Pennsylvania. The museum is about a 5 to 10 minute drive from the downtown business district and within walking distance of other tourist attractions located on Steinwehr Avenue.

When you visit the museum you will learn about President Lincoln, a little bit about his family, the death of his young son Willie and of course...the death of President Lincoln himself. One thing this museum really focuses on is the funeral procession of Lincoln's body by train from Washington D.C. to his final resting place in Springfield Illinois.

Once you enter the museum you'll be standing in their gift shop where you'll pay your admission. They let you into the museum portion in groups, so if you need to wait, feel free to do your souvenir shopping ahead of time. In the gift shop you'll find all kinds of cool souvenirs like hoodies, t-shirts, toys for the kids, jewelry, collectibles, housewares, candy, beverages, train items and more!

We only had to wait 10 minutes before the group was allowed to enter and once in the hallway you will be greeted by President Abe Lincoln and several television video screens. An actor who plays him will give you some history about the president, his family and his death. The screens walk you down a hallway which is lined with photographs & collectibles. This portion only takes about 5 minutes to go through.

After you are done with that, you'll enter the train museum and will be escorted to some benches in front of a large train display and video screen. A film comes on that lasts about 10 minutes and tells you about the funeral train. Where it started, the major cities it goes through, the millions of people who showed up in each city to pay their respects and then it's arrival in Springfield Illinois. As the video plays, the train goes around the track and stops in various major cities. This gives you a good perspective on how beloved President Lincoln was and how long his funeral procession lasted (by train) going through all of those cities.

Once we were done watching that, they gave us about 15-20 minutes to roam around the train museum to check out all of the various displays. We saw hundreds of different trains, collectibles relating to the railroad, some artifacts & collectibles from the civil war and even some collectibles from the 1970's and 1980's. Hubby loved seeing their very small collection of items from the movie Star Wars!

One of the things we really enjoyed seeing was their large train display that sits in the middle of the room. This display is really large and you can interact with it by pushing varying buttons to get trains to go around the track, to get buildings to light up, carnival rides to move and all sorts of other things. This display was great for both adults and children.

If you have small children or grandchildren along with you during your visit, you'll find a small play area where they can sit down at a table and play with some Chugginton Train Toys and have some fun. I noticed that several families would let their kids sit and play as they walked around and looked at the various exhibits and items on display.

After we explored the various collectibles and items they had on display, we boarded their "mock" train car for the next part of our our. This train car was set up to resemble the kind of car that Lincoln's body would of ridden in until he got to his final resting place. The car has several benches in it, a faux coffin and video screens on the wall. You sit in the car and a video comes on giving you information about his funeral procession by train. As the video plays, the car does rock back & forth and up & down to assimilate what a real train feels like. My husband thought this was really cool. This part of the tour lasts about 10-12 minutes and was very informative.

Once we were done...we headed back out into the gift shop and did a little bit of souvenir shopping. We found their prices to be extremely reasonable, so I picked up a few items for our grandchildren while we were there. After you go outside, you'll find a train car to the right of the building and you can the kids can climb in there for a little bit of fun.

Overall, we really enjoyed our visit to the Gettysburg Lincoln Train Museum in Pennsylvania. It's open daily April through November and then December through March they are open Thursday through Monday. You can visit their website for hours of operation, driving directions and to obtain information about special rates that are available to groups.

Note: All photos are copyright Pennsylvania & Beyond Travel Blog. These photos are clickable, and if you click on each one, it will open up in a new window and in an enlarged size, so that you can view the smaller details up close.

1 comment:

jopb said...

This Lincoln train museum has attraction for both adults and kids. I like the idea of making the Lincoln's train funeral procession seem so real. All of the miniature trains is great for train enthusiasts.