The One Train Ride In Wisconsin That Will Transport You To The Past
If you love trains, then you definitely need to take a trip to the Mid-Continent Railway in North Freedom, Wisconsin. This incredible museum has tons of vintage train cars, and offers train rides that will transport you right back to the past.
Please note, the Mid-Continent Railway Museum is temporarily closed.
The Mid-Continent Railway Museum is a train lover's dream come true.
This outdoor museum and railroad is a place where you can go to see vintage trains, and be whisked back in time to an era when the train brought visitors, mail, and shipments of goods to small towns. From the Civil War period to well after World War II, trains were the center of small town life.
The museum carefully restores vintage cars and train engines.
Its goal is to collect, preserve and restore vintage trains and put them into use so that the public can enjoy them, and get a little taste of an era long gone by.
The rail yard and coach shed are full of cars and engines.
Some are already restored; others are waiting their turn. You'll find informational signs to help you learn more about these historic beauties. Currently, you can see around 40 cars and locomotives on display.
In the Coach Shed, you'll find several restored wood passenger cars.
These cars were in operation during the heyday of rail travel, and some of them are just exquisite.
In addition to visiting the trains in the yard, you'll definitely want to hop aboard for a train ride.
The rides take you on a 55-minute trip through some of Wisconsin's most beautiful countryside.
You'll depart from the little Train Depot, which was built in 1894. Trains typically depart at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3 p.m.
You'll find the Mid-Continent Railway Museum at E8948, Museum Road, North Freedom. It's about one hour northwest of Madison.
The conductors are dressed in vintage attire - just one of the many historic touches you'll enjoy on your journey.
While the running engines are all currently diesel, some of the passenger cars are heated with steam.
The interiors of the coach cars have been lovingly restored to reflect the time period in which they were built.
The 3.5-mile journey takes you to Quartz Lake, then back to North Freedom.
Along the way, you'll learn more about the trains and see some beautiful scenery.
The Great Northern 3261 is a wooden coach car built by Barney & Smith Car Co. in 1906.
It was recently restored and used during the Autumn Color train rides last fall.
You'll find a themed train ride for just about every month of the year here. For instance, the 43rd annual Snow Train ran during the month of February.
The Great North Number Six, shown here, was built in 1913.
Join Mid-Continental for a special dinner train ride.
Dinner rides are hosted throughout the year, with themes ranging from BBQ to Italian to pizza. Watch for the pizza trains and elegant dinner trains coming in May.
Visit the Mid-Continental Rail Museum this spring; regular service resumes in May.
Check out the museum's
for more information about the trains and upcoming train rides.
Have you ridden one of Mid-Continent Railway’s trains? Tell us about your adventure!
If you’re feeling nostalgic, you might also want to check out
Wisconsin’s oldest amusement park.
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