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“Fun and Educational”

Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train
Ranked #1 of 5 things to do in Ashland
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Tour Pennsylvania's mining history at these mines.
Reviewed 27 August 2017

We really enjoyed our visit to the Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine and Steam Train. The price was fair with the combo ticket, and everyone that works there is super nice. Parking was a bit of an issue, so I would suggest to get there early for your tour. Once in the coal mine, the guide will teach you about the history of mining and the surrounding towns, and let you walk around once you reach the end of the track. Definitely bring a jacket as it is pretty cold down there. The train ride is scenic but the ride is quite bumpy. The view at the end is breathtaking. Nice little gift shop as well. All in all it takes about an hour and a half to see everything.

Thank kellyl5378sales
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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"bring a jacket"
in 27 reviews
"train ride"
in 59 reviews
"coal mine"
in 102 reviews
"gift shop"
in 24 reviews
"tour guide"
in 17 reviews
"hard life"
in 4 reviews
"greater appreciation"
in 5 reviews
"back in the day"
in 5 reviews
"combo ticket"
in 3 reviews
"walk around"
in 7 reviews
"great tour"
in 9 reviews
"knoebels amusement park"
in 3 reviews
"learn how"
in 3 reviews
"strip mining"
in 6 reviews
"anthracite museum"
in 4 reviews
"mines"
in 54 reviews
"bumpy"
in 19 reviews
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16 - 20 of 212 reviews

Reviewed 27 August 2017

We took the coal mine and steam train tours with our daughters, 10 and 7. We all had a nice time. Don't expect the train to be a rip-rorin' mountain adventure. It's a slow train that goes backward for a few minutes to a clearing where they tell you a brief history of mining in the region. It's neat. The coal mine was even more cool. It was surreal to be inside of one of these things, knowing that people actually make their career out of that. Both tour guides were young men and they were both quite good. BRING A JACKET. It is really cold inside that mine. It's also gross, so don't wear anything real nice.

1  Thank Robert B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 26 August 2017 via mobile

I've been on a few different mine tours around the world, this was my first visit to a coal mine and I think my favorite so far. We learned a lot (myself and three children from teen to seven). We enjoyed the ride into the mine not knowing what to expect and felt a tad nervous. The tour guide was great and threw some humor in his talk. As fascinating as it was, we were grateful to see sunlight again and felt a sense of appreciation for the miners and all they did and how it really changed our nation-and the world! Don't stop with the mine, make sure to warm up on the train ride as well. The engine was fascinating and the scenery was beautiful as we traveled the rails into mining history of Pennsylvania. Our guide here was also fantastic and very informative. I think what made this experience different from other mine tours was the personal connection our hosts have to the mining industry. Mining is a very hard life with an unsure future and that was felt on both tours. I'm glad the area made lemonade from lemons by opening up the tours. Go and enjoy some of the nicest, proudest yet most humble people of America!

1  Thank LaNon N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2017

It was a fun way to spend the day. We were lucky and it was the town's 25th anniversary so there were vendors all around. The train ride is short and bumpy but you wait at the top of the hill where there is a very informative guide to tell you of their history. The mine ride is chilly, only about 45 degrees so a jacket might be needed. Also a very informative experience.

Thank plfcowgirlval
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 11 August 2017 via mobile

If you're in the area this place is worth the visit. You take a (very bumpy!) ride into the mine. Our tour guide was very knowledgeable and answered everyone's questions. Our family really enjoyed the time we spent in the mine. I've never been to anything quite like this and it's definitely worth a visit.

The playground is very nice and the bathroom (women's) was clean. The gift shop had some nice inexpensive items. We did not use the snack bar but it looked good.

Some things to know and the reason this isn't a five star review:
-They will pack you into the mine carts like sardines. I don't know if this was just our particular tour (weekday 10:30am tour in early August) or a common occurrence but it was very crowded on the mine tour. We were asked to squeeze in and told repeatedly it's just a short ride. It does not feel like a short ride when you're squished against a stranger with body odor.

-you may get wet. It had rained heavily the day before and there was a lot of dripping going on. Not a big deal, just wish I'd known to bring our ponchos. Halfway through the ride down they stop to show you something and I was stuck right under a steady drip. Because it was so crowded I couldn't avoid getting soaked.

-if your tour is large you will miss stuff. You walk to 5 or 6 points in the mine and the guide talks about stuff. When we were close to the front it was easy to hear our guide and see the things he was pointing out. When we walked to the next area we ended up near the back and couldn't see what he was talking about. He used his headlamp a lot to point things out but that only helps the people who are close enough to see. By the time we got up to see it, he (and his headlamp) had moved on. Picture 40 people trying to look into your unlit hallway closet at the same time.

-the ride is very bumpy. There is one seat on each cart that is not padded because it's also the gate to the cart. Do NOT sit there. The lack of padding made the ride even worse.

Thank AlisonsD4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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