Welcome to Pioneer TunnelCoal Mine &Steam Train!

We Offer Underground Tours of a Real Coal Mine, as Well as Rides on a 1920's Steam Locomotive, a Gift Shop, Cafe and More!

Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train

About Us

Ashland lies in the anthracite coal region of eastern Pennsylvania. Although the area abounds in mines, in the early sixties, not one was open to the general public. So, on Labor Day Weekend 1962, Pioneer Tunnel, which ceased operation in 1931, was retimbered and reopened as a place where visitors could experience a real anthracite coal mine. The Tunnel affords visitors an opportunity to learn how anthracite coal is mined. It shows how a vein of coal lies between rock and strata; it has a gangway, manways, and chutes. Part of the Tunnel is timbered, and part lies in solid rock and requires no timbering.

Some of our guides are experienced miners who know to mine thoroughly. Visitors ride into the Tunnel on mine cars rebuilt to carry passengers and powered by an electric mine motor. Deep inside the Tunnel, guests will exit from the cars to follow their guides as they give an explanation of deep-mining methods.

Our other featured attraction is a narrow gauge steam train ride aboard the Lokie Henry Clay. Lokie is a colloquial term for a small locomotive. Henry Clay is a steam saddle tank engine of 30 tons used years ago to haul coal cars. Now it pulls passenger mine cars almost a mile along the side of Mahanoy Mountain.

Pioneer Tunnel is owned and operated by Ashland Community Enterprises, a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation established for this purpose with the further provision that profits will be used for community welfare, notably parks and playgrounds.

Enjoy your visit to our website & we hope to see you soon at Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train!


See What Folks Like You Are Saying About Our Tours!


August 27th, 2022

Fantastic tour guide - memorable experience

We took the last tour into the coal mine on a Sunday evening, and there were only five of us (total) on tour. The tour guide, Mark Lawrence, was not only knowledgeable; he was hilarious and made the whole experience memorable. We have been on lots of tours - from dog sledding in Alaska to sea kayaking in Maine - and Mark ranks as one of our favorites. You can read about coal mining, you can watch a documentary about coal mining; but nothing compares to riding a coal train 400 feet below the surface of the earth to comprehend what is involved with this dangerous job - until you take one of these tours with one of the best guides there is. Highly recommend. 👍🏼

Jon Osborn
August 12th, 2022

Great time

We did the coal mine and steam train ride. It was very interesting, and fun. Our guides were very well informed on the history of the mine. We would definitely recommend doing the coal mine and steam train package.

Therese W
July 4th, 2022

Worth the trip

Great tour! Very efficiently run, friendly knowledgeable staff. We also learned about Centralia, which we’d never heard of. Sparked me to buy a book and learn more.

Michelle G
June 21st, 2022

Great Tour/Very Friendly Staff

A guide was very knowledgeable about the history and had a good sense of humor. He tried to get the visitors, especially the kids involved. The place is a little hard to find…..maybe put bigger signs coming into Ashland.

David J
May 2nd, 2022

Fantastic Tour

The staff was extremely friendly, and we appreciated the time the operators took to make it a personal experience. My children had a great time, and I recommend this attraction to anyone who enjoys a great educational tour.

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