Strasburg Railroad recovers from modern-day train robbery

STRASBURG TOWNSHIP, LANCASTER COUNTY, Pa. — The Pennsylvania State Police are investigating a railroad robbery at a popular Lancaster County tourist attraction.

Police said someone hacked into the email accounts of the Strasburg Railroad, which enabled them to steal tens of thousands of dollars.

Train robberies are a legendary part of the Old West, but this one is a lot more high-tech.

It’s a modern day train robbery on the Strasburg Railroad.

Train enthusiast Abe Rittenhouse said “I don’t know why people do those things, so I don’t really have a good answer except it’s a nasty thing to do.”

Heritage Rail Alliance member Zac McGinnis said “bad people in the world. They really don’t care what it feels, they just want to get what they can, and just so happens it happened to be them. You hate to see that happen.”

The outlaws in this case though are hackers, train robbers who were able to pull of an $80,000 heist without ever stepping on board.

Strasburg Railroad station master Steve Barrall said “the cyber criminals were able to gain access to company information. How exactly, it’s a bit of a mystery, at least to me. But again, we leave that in the hands of the authorities, the investigators, bank officials, and our IT personnel.”

“I think it’s a problem that we deal with now, and new age technology, it’s easy to hack into things,” McGinnis said.

As locomotives blow off some steam, it’s clear that there are many things thieves didn’t get away with on Wednesday.

“It’s noisy, it’s big, it’s powerful, so I just like to see the locomotives and the steam,” Rittenhouse said.

“It’s a very beautiful scenery. The railroad has a great operation, good crews, good people to work with. It’s a very enjoyable time up here,” McGinnis said.

“Certainly, nobody wants to be a victim of this kind of attack, any kind of cyber attack,” Barrall said.

While this great train robbery may not be the same as what movies are made of, at least this story has a somewhat happy ending.

“The amount that was reported, we actually have been able to recover some of that, and the investigation is ongoing with local authorities,” Barrall said.

Barrall noted the other good news is that no customer information was stolen.