Jim Thorpe Things to Do: Fantastic Railroad Attractions

In a town as popular as Jim Thorpe, things to do include typical tourist activities such as shopping, dining, and visiting cultural sites and natural attractions. Jim Thorpe is called the "Switzerland of America" because of its very steep hillsides, narrow streets and terraced gardens. However, Jim Thorpe's main draw has been and probably will always be its impressive collection of railroad attractions. In the 1850s, the Lehigh Valley Railroad was formed, and it spawned the birth of Jim Thorpe. The entire town was there solely because of the railroad, and because of this, Jim Thorpe is rich in railroad history.

 

The Lehigh Gorge Scenic Railway
2 Lehigh Avenue
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania 18229
(570) 325-8485
www.lgsry.com/

One popular railroad attraction in Jim Thorpe is the Leigh Gorge Scenic Railway attraction, which is essentially one of the most gorgeous railway tours in the country. The route is 16 miles, and it used to be the mainline of the Jersey Central Lines that leave Jim Thorpe. The train ride takes you through the beautiful countryside along the Lehigh River, and it ends in Old Penn Haven. The train features passenger coaches that were built in the 1920s, and it does not have air-conditioning. However, each seat has a large window, which passengers can open to enjoy the fresh and clean air of the countryside. The train ride departs from the former Central RR of New Jersey, which is located in Jim Thorpe's historic district. You can easily find a public transport that can get you to the station from your Jim Thorpe Inn.

 

The Switchback Gravity Trail
625 Lentz Trail
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania 18229
(570) 325-8255
http://www.switchbackgravityrr.org/sbtrail.htm

 

The Switchback Gravity Railroad was established in 1827, and it was the second oldest railroad in the US. Although it did carry passengers occasionally in the past, it was mainly a coal carrying line. It played a huge part in the formation of Jim Thorpe as well as other outlying areas. Most of the Switchback Gravity Railroad is gone now; only small parts of it were preserved. Instead, there is a trail called the Switchback trail, a foot and mountain bike route that traces the old line and is littered with historical remains. There are four different walking tours that go on this trail, and they are the Mauch Chunk Walker's Tour, Home Stretch Walker's Tour, Summit Hill Walker's Tour and the Experienced Hiker's Tour.  You can find out more information about these walking tours at your Jim Thorpe Bed and Breakfast.

 

Old Mauch Chunk Train Display
41 Susquehanna Street
Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania 18229
(570) 325-4371
www.omctraindisplay.com/

 

The Old Mauch Chunk Train Display is a popular attraction for families in Jin Thorpe. This attraction has numerous model train displays, including a H.O. train display that measures 47 x 22 feet; thirteen separate mainlines with 1,087 feet of track; more than 200 replica structures, such as houses, stores, churches and skyscrapers; over 100 trestles and bridges; a burning house with smoke; and more. This is a truly fascinating place for kids.