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 in May 1963, 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. Our guides are experienced miners who know mining thoroughly. Visitors ride into the Tunnel on mine cars rebuilt to carry passengers; the motive power is provided by an electric mine motor. Deep inside the Tunnel, guests alight 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 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 3,000 feet along the side of Mahanoy Mountain. Pioneer Tunnel is owned and operated by Ashland Community Enterprises, a non-profit corporation established for this purpose with the further provision that profits will be used for community welfare, notably parks and playgrounds.
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we hope to see you soon at Pioneer Tunnel Coal Mine & Steam Train.