September 18, 2005
The train runs daily and departs from the New Hope station all day at 20 minutes past the hour. The station is a picturesque small town train station that was opened in 1891 and has been lovingly restored to include a small museum, gift shop and ticket window. The cost for the regular round-trip excursion is $11 for adults and $7.75 for kids. If you reserve early you can ride in the locomotive for $50 (you must be over 18 to ride in the locomotive).
The day we picked was hot, sticky and extremely humid. For an exta $10 per person, we could buy tickets to sit in the only air conditioned car on the train. We jumped at the chance to stay cool. The upgraded price also included a soft drink and a pretzel. This was rather expensive as it made the hour train ride for our family of four $76.
The extra ten dollars was not worth the air conditioning. The two window units barely spat out any air, and the kids sat up against the unit in hopes they would get a little satisfaction. It barely spat out any air. I think the dining car we were in was even hotter than the open cars, where at least you could open the windows.
The ride does not go far. It's scenic in a rural way. You don't see much but dense trees. From time to time during the ride, you get to peek into a backyard of one of the huge manor homes in the area. However, other than the trees and a few backyards the scenery does not change much. The train then stops and the engine is moved from one end to the other for the ride home. You sit at a stand-still for quiete a long time.
The train is fun and it is loving restored. The folks working on the train seem to have a love and a passion for the era and railroad.
They do theme trains during the year, like an Easter Bunny Train, Fall Foliage Train, Sing Along Train and a Santa Claus and a Polar Express train with Santa and hot cocoa. Every Saturday night they do a fancy dinner train. These special trains seem like they would be more fun than the regular hour long excursion. However, if you are a train buff or you want to expose your kids to a bygone era of travel, then a ride on The New Hope and Ivyland is worth it.
From journal A weekend in the country