Sprawled across 10 acres in Ronks lies what, at first glance, looks like an old-fashioned train sat against the rural landscape, waiting to continue on its journey. The brightly colored train cars – yellow, red, blue, and green – draw curious visitors who will quickly discover the Red Caboose Motel and Restaurant.
Pennsylvania entrepreneur Donald Denlinger had a problem back in 1970. The previous summer he had purchased 19 unwanted train cars but, as he quickly discovered, transporting them elsewhere proved both difficult and expensive. So, he dug in his feet and turned the train cars into what is now the Red Caboose Motel and Restaurant on the land that sits along the Strasburg Railroad.
The Red Caboose Motel and Restaurant quickly gained popularity when it opened in Lancaster County in 1970. However, as the decades passed, the popular spot began to fall into disrepair, garnering more complaints than compliments from guests. Then, in early 2016, a father and son duo - Todd and Tyler Prickett - purchased the property and began restoring it to its former glory.
Just passing by the Red Caboose Motel and Restaurant? Grab a quick ice cream cone or a to go meal from the new takeout window in the dining car that houses the Casey Jones Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily.
Or, choose a seat that will make you feel as though you're about to embark on a relaxing rail journey across America. The entrees and other menu items, prepared by Executive Chef J.J. Hutchison, are based on traditional meals Americans ate when they routinely traveled by rail.
In the mood for breakfast? Casey Jones Restaurant has you covered daily until 4 p.m. Choose from such traditional dishes as flapjacks and French toast, farm fresh omelets, breakfast sandwiches, and popular breakfast sides.
Dine on selections from the lunch menu, which includes burgers, open-faced sandwiches, and deli sandwiches while the dinner menu is divided into A Taste of Lancaster County (traditional local foods) and the First Class Dining Car. Enjoy such fresh entrees as broiled crab cakes, beef tips Dijon, and almond chicken from the First Class Dining Car.
The Casey Jones Restaurant is open daily from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and features a kid's menu as well as separate breakfast, lunch, and dinner menus.
Extend your visit to the Red Caboose Motel and Restaurant beyond dinner by booking two nights (minimum) or more in one of the 38 cabooses. Each caboose follows one of nine floor plans that range from the cozy couples caboose with a double bed to the large, welcoming family caboose with a double bed and four single beds. All cabooses feature free WiFi, a flat screen TV, and other amenities.
Guests are welcome at the Red Caboose Motel and Restaurant all year around. Check in to your caboose at 3 p.m. on your day of arrival and leave by 11 a.m. on your day of departure.
This train in Pennsylvania promises a pretty unique experience – whether you just drop by for a delicious meal or you check in to the motel for a few nights – that you’ll definitely want to try at least once. If you enjoy unique experiences,
add this delicious eatery to the places you must visit in Pennsylvania.