STRASBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — With some historical markers, there’s nothing to see but the markers themselves. That’s definitely not the case with the Strasburg Rail Road. Located along Route 741 just outside of Strasburg, the railroad is an internationally known tourist destination.

What people might not know is that this is the oldest continuously operating rail line in the United States.

The Strasburg got its start in 1832 after the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad bypassed the town. The townsfolk petitioned the legislature to allow them to build a short rail line to the P&C (which later got absorbed into the Pennsylvania Railroad). For the next 126 years, the line moved people and freight from Strasburg to Paradise. But, like many small railroads, it lost traffic to trucks and cars, and by 1958 was on the brink of being shut down.

But a group of local enthusiasts came to the rescue, purchasing the railroad, sprucing things up, and starting scenic rides running 4 1/2 miles between Strasburg and Paradise. When they added steam locomotives in 1960, the Strasburg became a nostalgia trip.

The railroad has all kinds of events, like its Christmas trains, Easter Trains, Day out with Thomas the Tank engine, theatrical rides, and for a limited time, the Norfolk & Western Class J 611.

But even though it’s mostly known as a tourist attraction, the railroad still hauls freight — in fact, it’s expanding that part of the operation.

And it also does restoration and rebuilding of old railroad equipment for other railroads. Its shop has overhauled a number of steam locomotives. Workers also serve as consultants for people working at other railroads, helping to keep the romance of the rails alive both in Strasburg and elsewhere.