Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train

Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train

Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train
4.5
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Tour Pennsylvania's mining history at these mines.
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4.5
294 reviews
Excellent
193
Very good
79
Average
13
Poor
3
Terrible
6

Vacationer290334
1 contribution
Family
We took our 13 year old twin grandkids. We absolutely loved the wealth of information we were given. Guides were well versed. It’s hard to imagine what a horrible job it was to be a coal miner. It was about 90* outside and the tunnel is a chilly 54* inside, so make sure you bring a sweatshirt. My only issue… we booked in advance on line for our tickets. The web said that they rarely sell out. But we chose to book a time so as not to be disappointed. The train cars into the tunnel were comfortable, then last minute we were told to scrunch in as about ten more guests came aboard. It was too tightly packed. The track was a rough ride and not too long, then you get off & walk. Upon return to the cars, everyone was mixed in different cars, making it even more uncomfortable. By the time we got off it was time for our steam locomotive train ride. There were only a few seats and the guests already seated were not willing to move closer together to allow more passengers. I felt like the Ashland pioneer tunnel had definitely overbooked. I mean we are only just now coming out from under a pandemic… there was no social distancing.
Written July 18, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Durwoody
Dallas, TX426 contributions
The steam train was not working when we arrived, so we did the coal mine tour. We wanted to do both. It is a little chilly down there so wear a sweater. There are also areas with moisture and water. I learned about coal mines and the conditions/repercussions of the work.

We were grouped into 3 cars pulled by a little engine. You learned about the history of the mine, the workers, and the work conditions. You learned how they did their job and subsequent health problems. Our guide, Juicy, was informative, fun, and could answer all the questions put to him. He never worked the mines but had relatives that did.

There was no social distancing in the carts and most of the people did not have on mask. I did. I purchased items in the gift store and there was sanitizer at the counter and acrylic shields in front of register.

I enjoyed this tour, just disappointed the train wasn’t running that day.
Written July 1, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jason K.
2 contributions
I went here nearly 40 years ago as a kid with my family and I had always wanted to bring my kids. We were planning to make our annual trip to Knoebels and saw that we had time to schedule a scenic train ride. Not only is the train ride really neat (but bumpy and that is well-communicated), but the engineer gave an incredibly detailed history of the area as well as how they are working hard to preserve history and a new appreciation for coal.

We then did the coal mine tour. BRING A SWEATSHIRT (or buy one). It is cold in them there hills! The tour guide has been a miner since the late 90's and shared his and his family's experience as well as how the mines worked. It was absolutely engaging and personally too. The younger kids were a little cold and losing attention, but my older son was really engaged and even bought some chunks of coal to take home and examine.

Everything took a little longer than expected so we ate at the Jellybucket Cafe and it was GREAT! I was super impressed with the burger. Nothing fancy, but it hit the spot. The fries were amazing and handcut and of course Middleswarth chips!
Written August 10, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kim B
Baltimore, MD1,867 contributions
I'm way behind on my reviews so let me start by saying that we visited the last weekend in May of 2019, long before anyone had heard of covid so social distancing wasn't an issue. It was pretty warm outside that day but it was still pretty chilly once we got inside of the tunnel. We only did the coal mine portion but it was so much fun and very informative, pretty bumpy ride for those who have issues so be cautious. Once inside the mine the guide walked us around and told us the history of the area (there's even a coal seam that has been burning underground for years) and we got to see lots of cool displays. The guides are really personable and make the experience very memorable. There's a cool gift shop and also a train ride for those who are interested. My favorite story, though, was the conductor was telling me about a bear that had been stopping by in the evenings to raid the trash can - sadly he had to be relocated or I definitely would have staked out the place just hoping to catch sight of him/her.
Written April 9, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

ForestersWife
53 contributions
Family
We took the last tour into the coal mine on a Sunday evening and there were only five of us (total) on the tour. The tour guide, Mark Lawrence, was not only knowledgeable, he was hilarious and made the whole experience memorable. We have been on lots of tours - from dog sledding in Alaska to sea kayaking in Maine - and Mark ranks as one of our favorites. You can read about coal mining; you can watch a documentary about coal mining; but nothing compares to riding a coal train 400 feet below the surface of the earth to comprehend what is involved with this dangerous job - until you take one of these tours with one of the best guides there is. Highly recommend. 👍🏼
Written August 27, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jon Osborn
Wilmington, DE8 contributions
We had a great time. My kids 7 and 10 really enjoyed the ride into coal mine and the tour. The coal mine and train ride last about an hour and 15 minutes. If you're doing both, make sure you buy the 2 for 1 deal and not each one separately. Everyone who works there is super nice. We really enjoyed ourselves. Now as far as another review on here goes; if you go visit a coal mine, don't be surprised that they maybe support the coal industry. As far as the place being run down, I thought the whole place was charming. It's run by people who are passionate about the place. And finally, yes, it's cold and damp in the coal mine, because it's a coal mine. Bring a hoodie.
Written August 12, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Grace
Frackville, PA1 contribution
Family
The tour guide called my party “a**holes” (but used the full word) in front of the entire group because we didn’t feel comfortable squeezing into a small train car with people we didn’t know who weren’t wearing masks. We were shocked that a business owner would yell that his customers were “a**holes” in front of the entire group of customers. So rude and unprofessional. Not worth the money and I will be telling everyone I know not to go here.
Written August 29, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Denis A
Scarsdale, NY37 contributions
Family
Called to check whether they would be open for Easter weekend and was told yes. Confirmed a week before arriving if they would be open on Easter weekend and the lady on the phone again confirmed they would be open. I drive 1.5 hours to get there on Easter weekend and guess what: THEY'RE CLOSED!!! A few other families were told the same thing and were ticked off they drove so far for nothing. Next time, don't take their word for it - try to book a time on their website before you come. If you can't get a time they're probably closed.
Written April 23, 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Bob W
Olyphant, PA1 contribution
Not really busy this yeare because of the virus. This allows both the Mine Tour Guide and the Train Engineer extra time to explain and provide a history of the area. Both were very informative. Well worth the time and low cost of the adventure.
Written August 25, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jason H
Addison, NY11 contributions
Excellent exhibit. Coal mine tour was great. 5 y/o son really enjoyed it. In the mine they have different scenery set up to recreate old time coal mine experience.
Written January 27, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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