BOYERTOWN, Pa. (WPVI) -- "There was a time when it was every little child's dream to be the engineer of a great locomotive," said Nathaniel Guest.
He knows this first-hand, since he's been dreaming of running a tourist railroad since he was 5 years old.
His opportunity came at the turn of the 21st century, when the already-historic Colebrookdale Railroad was at risk of abandonment.
"The citizens brought the railroad back to life," said Guest, who is the Executive Director of the Colebrookdale Railroad Preservation Trust.
Built from 1853 to 1869 with help from Civil War soldiers, the tracks now serve as a tourist attraction.
The railroad peddled years worth of successful trips through fall foliage and winter wonderlands. Santa Claus would visit children while they feasted on cozy hot chocolate and cookies. However, the festive cabins would quickly become empty at the turn of the new year.
"Y'know, we went like, eight months without any trains," said Engineer John Davis in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. "It was disappointing, but we're glad to be back."
Also known as the Secret Valley Line, the Colebrookdale Railroad is once again roaring and rumbling between Boyertown and Pottstown, PA. Although it is a cornerstone treasured between the two communities, it attracts tourists from around the world.
The Colebrookdale Railroad was recently ranked the second-best Best Scenic Train Ride in the country on USA Today's 2020 10 Best Readers' Choice travel awards.
To learn more about the train, how to purchase tickets, and other safety measures, visit their website.