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“Great family experience”

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 31 August 2017

What do two "semi elderly grandparents" do for a daytrip with their 12 year old grandson, who just happened to study rocks and fossils this past year in school? Why they take him to probably the best real life experience in the PA area. And, to make it even better it just happens to be the town where said grandparents were born and raised. We of course have had several trips back to our hometown's tourist attraction over the years but this one was just as interesting.
The Lokie ride over the beautiful mountain where we played as children was great. Listening to the whistle blowing, which in fact can be heard throughout the town was nostalgic. The young man, James Caulfield, who gave us the presentation was informative and gave the impression of really enjoying his job.
The mine tour, was as expected a little damp, cold (pack a jacket) , dark and REAL. I pointed out to our grandson this was the real deal, not pretend as in Disney. Our miner guide, Joe Kehoe (yes that was his real name) , was knowledgeable and humorous. You realize you are deep underground but feel safe nevertheless. We all left with a better understanding , if only a touch, of the hardships our fathers and grandfathers faced just to put food on our table.
What kind of grandparent trip doesn't end in a gift shop where prices are kept cost effective for trinkets and fossils you won't find anywhere else.
Oh and if you have the opportunity to drive down the main street in town notice the hard work that went into the hero banners of all the veterans from the town from all wars and conflicts. .

Thank Flojoh
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 103 reviews
"gift shop"
in 24 reviews
"tour guide"
in 17 reviews
"hard life"
in 4 reviews
"light jacket"
in 3 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
in 54 reviews
in 19 reviews

16 - 20 of 213 reviews

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
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
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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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