In 1810, Thomas Leiper introduced North America to his new invention, a railroad that ran between Crum Creek and Ridley Creek in Pennsylvania. This was all part of the Industrial Revolution, which changed the world. Two-hundred years later, the world is searching for ways to renew, reuse, recycle and rebuild all elements that came to be in that machine-driven, incredible age of invention, including railroad cars.
Museums, city parks and visitor centers are all using old railroad cars, especially cabooses, as civic booths to house tickets or information, plus as entrances to social areas.
are renovating train cars and putting them back into use in Buffalo, Chicago, and Philadelphia for about $1 million which is one-third the cost of a new car. The process is time consuming and not all of the materials can be re-used but these companies are doing their best to use what they already have.
In Strasburg, Pennsylvania, the Lancaster County’s Red Caboose Motel and Restaurant is a family attraction to experience the history of trains and the heritage of the Amish community. The train motel has:
- 46 sleeping cars
- Dining cars
- On-site family activities including a children’s park of Thomas the Train
Another train attraction is in Toronto, Canada where a restaurant’s entire structure, minus the roof, is made up of old railroad cars. The façade is the only caboose used.