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“A truly unique experience!”
Review of The Station Inn

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The Station Inn
Ranked #2 of 2 Cresson B&B and Inns
Reviewed November 27, 2009

Question: Where can you see 75 trains a day from your bed, work on your website, and watch the stock market, all at the same time?

Answer: At the The Station Inn in Cresson, PA!

I had seen the ads for years but finally got around to the 6-hr drive from CT recently to stay here to celebrate a newspaper article being done about my website [www.tylercitystation.info]. My only regret now is that I have waited so long to get here.

Innkeeper Tom Davis has put together something that may be truly unique in the country, possibly even the world. An 1866 former hotel converted into a mecca for railfans. This is 150 feet from the old Pennsy, now Norfolk Southern, mainline that moves freight both ways between the East and West Coasts. The trains are frequent and seemingly endless, even in this down economy. Tom says he will give you a discount on your stay if you don’t see at least a train an hour. Fat chance he ever has to deliver on that promise! Figure on two or three or more per hour, with pushers on the rear to help conquer the crossing of the eastern Continental Divide, the grades at the Allegheny Tunnel, nearby Horseshoe Curve, Altoona and Juniata, all storied names in the railroading history of this nation. A side-trip to the east took us to the abandoned MG tower, the Curve, and the Railroaders Memorial Museum, with lots of trains all along the way.

The fact that the helper engines are housed at Cresson and that the Clearfield and Irvona subdivisions meet up with the NS here means that you will also see bright red R.J. Corman engines interchanging traffic, all clearly visible from the town’s official railroad-viewing platform at the junction or right from Tom’s huge front porch. Lap blankets are provided for the cool nights. The roar, the throbbing, and the taking up of slack are heard constantly as NS, Conrail, and sometimes Union Pacific or Burlington Northern Sante Fe engines pass by with coal drags, unit tanker consists, trash trains, and long hauls of double-stack containers. This is a place like no other to witness the grace, efficiency, beauty, and sheer brute strength of the railroad in action, moving the nation's goods. The only thing missing is the sound of the whistle because there are no nearby grade crossings. Perhaps not a bad thing at 3AM. Even then, an occasional toot is needed as a warning or a friendly gesture to the front porch. The train guys know what Tom is up to here.

About the inn. The simplicity of Tom’s house is well reflected in his neatly designed website where he goes out of his way, almost comically, to destroy any illusions about luxury here. No jacuzzi, no TVs in rooms, no telephones, etc., etc., he says. The fact of the matter is that the house is very well kept, done in kind of a homespun, Arts and Crafts style. The rooms and suites, named for railroads (B&O, O&W, Erie) are clean and comfortable, with monogrammed linens, coffeemakers, writing desks, Wi-Fi access, cute little railroad lamps (the PRR room had a teddy bear with an engineer’s cap!), soap baskets (I loved the lime glycerine), Pullman chairs rescued from old passenger cars, and comfortable twin beds that can be pulled together to make a king. While Tom can’t conjure steam engines (except in the wall photos that are everywhere), steam heat is generously thrown off from the sculpted antique radiators he has kept. Hooks, shelves, and nightstands are placed just where they ought to be.

Hungry railfans start the day with a hearty breakfast that long-time staffer Sandy makes right out of Grandma’s kitchen: sausage gravy over eggs, pancakes, French toast, fruit, lots of fresh coffee and Tom joins his guests at the table for conversation in a common room that overflows with books, videos, brochures, and maps to railfan vantage points. Complimentary soft drinks are offered as well as a 24-hr goodie jar that says “Life’s hard. Cookies help” as soothing classical music plays in the background. Tom’s attitude toward payment also reflects a simpler time. Cash and personal checks only, and when we ran short of both, his ‘Send me a check’ response was indicative of a man who cares more about whether his guests are comfortable and have enough to eat than someone who is worried about getting paid. Try to find that anywhere else!

I could go on, but I think you get the idea. Come enjoy the mountains, the attractions, the hospitality of the house. One word of caution: If you are a light sleeper, ask for a room in the back. The 24-hr street-side action probably means you will only doze between trains all night long. There is something very haunting about the sounds and the eerie lights gliding past you in the dark that makes you have to look. But people who suffer from 'hyperphilia ferroequinologica' - ask your shrink what it means - really don’t come here to sleep anyhow. They come for the trains and there is no better place east of the Mississippi to see them than at The Station Inn!

- Bob B., Prospect and Tyler City, CT

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled solo
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2  Thank bobbTylerCityCt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 - 59 of 63 reviews

Reviewed November 20, 2009

I am an avid railfan that has found what in my opinion is the finest place to stay to get away and enjoy some big time mountain railroading. Owner Tom Davis and his staff make you feel wecome and at home when you arrive and during your stay. I have made 8 trips to the Station Inn during past 6 years or so and I look forward to the next trip anxiously. It is always difficult to leave and say goodbye.

The Inn itself is cozy and comfortable. It is a "no frills" B&B without TV's, hottubs and phones in the room...but at the same time it is just perfect. The front porch is always ready for you to sit down and watch the parade of trains roll by anytime of the day or night. If you enjoy trains and railroading at all...this is the place for you.

  • Stayed: November 2009, traveled solo
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Thank Chrisras62
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 20, 2009

I have been to The Station Inn many times,
Spotlessly clean--Great atmosphere--Great Breakfasts.
Lots of trains and the centerpiece place to stay for
"Railfanning" in that area.
I have a done some videos on Utube-- to watch and see for yourself.-
Around Our Neighborhood Parts 1-9
Life After Horseshoe Curve..
There is nothing better than sitting on the porch, watching trains go by, and just listening to other railfans--ya can learn a lot.
Bert.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled solo
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Thank bertbert14
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 26, 2009

We had the most wonderful, relaxing 3 days that I can remember. Sitting on that big front porch waiting for the trains to come to you is great. I thought my husband was a 'train nut', but he's an amateur compared to most of the people we met while there.

Train enthusiasts are a friendly bunch and we met some really nice ones. Tom and Sandy are great and the breakfasts definitely did not leave anyone hungry. There was fruit, cookies, pretzels and drinks available all day also. The free internet was definitely a plus. While the men watched and talked trains, I sat on the front porch with my laptop keeping in touch with friends.

My biggest fear was that we would not be able to sleep for 3 nights with all the trains. But we did very well. After a while, you don't even hear them.

You feel very much at home at the Station Inn. If there is anyone in your family that loves trains, this is the perfect place to stay. It was sad to leave cause I felt like I had found some long lost 'cousins'.

  • Stayed: May 2009, traveled as a couple
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Thank Aretta
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 12, 2009

If you like trains and friendly innkeepers!! :-) I felt right at home here...Tom made me feel very welcome and cooks a mean breakfast as well!! Definitely highly recommended if you are in the Cresson / Horseshoe Curve area - just be aware that if you don't like trains, then you probably won't like this place as they go by frequently and are not the quietest of beasts! But then, I slept like a log in the comfortable beds, lulled to sleep by the passing locomotives :-)

Will definitely be visiting here again!! This is a must-stay place for any railfan!

P.S. There is a resident cat, so if you are allergic, please contact Tom first. But if you like cats you will find he is the friendliest tabby in the USA! (and he loves his food!)

  • Stayed: March 2009, traveled solo
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Thank PeterRB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 20, 2009

This was my 10+ trip to this wonderful location. My Dad, who accompanies me for most of these, has been a 2+ visit per year lodger since it opened.

The obvious difference between this B&B and others is the “not so silent partner” that frequently generates noise and occasionally generates rumbles through the windows. Having said that, one can still sleep at night even through that- Just ask some of the non-rail fans who accompany their partners to this place!

The Station Inn is unpretentious, comfortable if not elegant, and clean with good breakfasts, and a trio of hard-working folks to make ones stay a nice experience. Tom, Sandy, and Kathy have made the Station Inn a place where every railroad enthusiast (and their partners) should spend a night at least once in their lifetime while visiting this landmark area of eastern US railroad history.

  • Stayed: January 2009
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Thank PRR4483
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 26, 2008

My friends an I wanted a quick road trip through Pennsylvania last weekend (July 19-20) and after trying (unsuccessfully)to find a place in Altoona, we drove over to The Station Inn. I have to admit, I am a mild rail fan, and I had checked out the website many times, I knew what to expect, but my 2 friends, well let's just say they didn't sleep terribly well. It's true what Thomas the #1 railfan and proprietor said, "One thing we have lots of, trains", he forgot to say great rates, warm hospitality, and although we didn't stay, a rib stickin' breakfast. His porch is a comfortable place to put up your feet and enjoy a complimentary beverage (don't get that at the Hilton). Lots of freight NS with a few old Conrail engines, diesels working hard, helpers flying back to pick up another heavy freight. Anyway, a very clean 3 bed room (Western Maryland), great hot shower, nice plush towels and a help yourself attitude towards the cookies, the pop and candies. Wish I could have stayed a few more nights. Too bad the non-believers I was with had to get back to work. Have a great time at The Station Inn, you'll find Thomas will leave the light on.

  • Stayed: July 2008, traveled with friends
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Thank ThePaintMagician
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about The Station Inn

Address: 827 Front St, Cresson, PA 16630-1100
Location: United States > Pennsylvania > Cresson
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 2 B&Bs / Inns in Cresson
Number of rooms: 7

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