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Choo Choo, All Aboard the Tilting Pinball Train

Play America’s favorite forgotten game within America’s favourite forgotten method of transportation!

by Zack Kotzer
Jul 24 2015, 9:00am

A majestic journey of pinball and pretzels awaits you. Image: Strasburg Railroad

Ronks, Pennsylvania is a town after my own heart, and not just because its name is Ronks! The Strasburg Railroad, a family-fun attraction located within the largely Amish community, has introduced the Pinball Pendolino, which will let passengers play pinball on the train.

"Pendolino" refers to the Italian "tilting trains" that can lean the cars on turns in a way as not to disturb its passengers. The newly restored wooden passenger car, which debuts this month, sports 12 vintage pinball machines, such as 1983's Firepower II, 1967's Apollo and 1976's Evel Knievel. According to the site, the Pendolino also offers pretzels, chips, and whoopie pies. Play America's favorite forgotten game within America's favorite forgotten method of transportation! It's second only to a blimp full of whack-a-moles.

Making the silver ball at the center of a pinball machine obey the commands of your flippers is hard enough without the swaying and bumping of a moving train, but Strasburg Railroad is embracing it as an added challenge.

"Are you wizard enough to beat the classic game while the train taunts you with her own unpredictable tilt?" states the Strasburg site, citing the elephant in the room.

Or maybe that's just the ultimate test for the Pendolino. Sure, you won't disturb a sleeping rider or someone pretending to read, but is your train stable enough to keep someone on their hot streak? Are the bumps and curves in your voyage so subdued that they won't cause a silver ball to suddenly change trajectory into the drain and rob its player of their deserved high score?

You can find out by buying a ticket for $18, or $22 with a snack, and who can say no to some pinball and a whoopie pie?