Mid-Continent Railway Museum is made possible by its volunteers. In 2021, over 50 volunteers combined for over 5,000 hours of volunteering. Join us in helping to preserve and share railroad history through the operation of our vintage railroad rides and display of our nationally-acclaimed collection of railcars, locomotives, and railroad equipment.
Use the button to sign up to participate in one or more of the following upcoming volunteer sessions. Museum membership is not required to volunteer in most areas.
Volunteer tasks are available on all our active projects (East Jordan combine, DULUTH sleeper, Soo caboose and LS&I #64 coach. Stop in and give us a day. We have all types of tasks with many that do not require climbing or lifting. All help is greatly appreciated.
Meeting Time/Date: April 20-24. Work starts around 9 AM each morning except on the first day which has a later start time.
Location: Mid-Continent’s Car Shop Building
Project Contact: Bill Buhrmaster, Restoration Dept. Manager
Mechanical Department – C&NW #1385 Tender Project
The focus of the work session will be to jack up the tender one end at a time and inspect the roller bearings. We will also make adjustments to the bolster plates on the tender frame as needed.
Meeting Time/Date: April 23-24 starting at 9 AM
Location: Mid-Continent’s Engine House Building
Project Contact: Ed Ripp, General Foreman of Steam Power
Mechanical Department – Passenger Car Fleet Maintenance
Car wash time! Assist with washing a couple of the museum’s passenger cars to help them look sharp. Will also be cleaning the car interiors, washing car windows, and repainting a car roof.
Meeting Time/Date: April 30-May 1 from 9 AM to 5 PM
Location: Lackawanna railcars (next to museum depot)
Project Contact: Richard Colby, General Foreman of Rolling Stock
Buildings & Grounds Department
Help prepare the museum property for reopening to the public. Tasks include clearing branches, lawn repair, light tree pruning, setting up garbage cans, picnic tables, sweeping floors, window washing, etc.
Meeting Time/Date: April 30-May 1 from 9 AM to 5 PM
Location: Mid-Continent’s Depot/Office Area
Project Contact: Andy Spinelli, Superintendent of Buildings & Grounds
Order your Mid-Continent Railway Museum Whistle on the Wind 2022 wall calendar! This 12-month calendar features 6 color images and 7 black & white images of railroading past, each with an informative caption. Images are a mix of historical Midwestern railroad imagery as well as more contemporary scenes at Mid‑Continent Railway Museum.
Many dates include “this day in history” factoids about railroads of the Upper Midwest and Mid‑Continent’s own history. The calendar features quality o-ring binding to ensure it stays flat against the wall.
How to Order
Calendars are $11.75 plus shipping and handling. They, along with many other items, can be purchased via our online gift shop.
Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society members receive one calendar automatically as a perk of membership. Look for it to arrive in mailboxes in the second half of December. Members may order additional calendars for themselves, family members, or friends at a special members-only price of only $8.25 plus shipping and handling. Members can pre-order additional calendars online using the Pre-Order Now (Member) button.
The membership status of the purchaser will be verified before shipping of discounted calendars.
Mid-Continent Railway Museum is now open Saturdays and Sundays through October 17th. Mid-Continent is dedicated to keeping our visitors safe above all else. This post contains important information regarding visiting Mid-Continent Railway Museum during our 2021 season.
In response to anticipated decreases in the number of visitors and greater operating challenges during a pandemic, Mid-Continent has reduced its museum and train ride schedule to Saturdays and Sundays only in 2021.
Groups of 20 or people may still be able to be charter a train ride on weekdays between May and October. Please contact our office with any group inquiries.
Increased Likelihood of Cancellations
Due to the evolving pandemic situation, Mid-Continent Railway Museum reserves the right to cancel or alter schedules from those advertised. All Onboard Dining Trains scheduled for 2021 have been canceled due to the added challenges associated with offering food service during a pandemic. At this point, all Coach Trains (i.e. non-food-service trains) are operating as scheduled, but additional cancellations are possible. Our website contains the most up-to-date schedule information and can be viewed on our Plan Your Visit page.
In the event train departures are canceled, reservation-holders will be notified as soon as possible and will be offered a full cash-back refund or the ability to transfer the ticket value to a future departure or a gift card.
Book with Confidence
During the pandemic, we understand that last-minute changes of plans may become necessary due to the need to follow self-isolation protocols, quarantines, or if experiencing the onset of COVID-19 symptoms. For this reason, we have adjusted our cancellation policy. If you need to cancel your booking due to COVID-19 related concerns, please contact us as soon as possible to be offered the greatest flexibility on refunds or rebooking.
Passengers are implored to cancel their visit if they are exhibiting symptoms of COVID-19, believe they may be infected, or recently had close contact with someone who is infected.
Health Safety Precautions
Mid-Continent is taking steps to reduce the risk of transmission aboard our trains and around the museum property.
Face Mask Usage
Although the State of Wisconsin has eliminated its mask mandate and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has relaxed its mask recommendation for vaccinated individuals, the CDC still requires mask usage aboard public transportation, including all airplanes, trains, buses, and while inside transportation facilities. This includes Mid-Continent Railway Museum. This is a federal regulation and is not up to Mid-Continent. Suitable face masks must be worn at all times aboard Mid-Continent trains and while inside Mid-Continent’s depot building. Masks are provided free-of-charge and can be obtained from the ticket agent or conductor.
Refusal to wear a mask will result in denial of entry.
With the exception of individuals with Special Circumstances listed below, all individuals must wear a mask that: a. Completely covers their nose and mouth b. Is secured to their head with ties or ear loops.
A face shield and/or goggles are not an acceptable substitute for the use of a mask, but may be used in addition to one.
Masks can be either manufactured or homemade and should be a solid piece of material without slits, exhalation valves, or punctures. Medical masks and N-95 respirators fulfill the requirement.
The following individuals may be permitted to proceed without a mask:
Individuals under the age of two (2) years old
An individual with a disability who cannot wear a mask, or cannot safely wear a mask, because of the disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. 12101 et seq.). This exemption does not apply to individuals for whom mask-wearing may only be difficult. For additional information and examples of what constitutes an eligible exemption, refer to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance.
Hand sanitizer stations have been made available at numerous locations around Mid-Continent Railway Museum property and aboard our trains.
To facilitate social distancing/telecommuting of our administrative employees, staffed office hours of the museum’s Administrative Office Building have been reduced. Mail, voicemails, and emails will continue to be checked frequently. Please allow up to 1-2 business days for a response. Any in-person meetings with office staff should be arranged ahead of time to guarantee availability.
Due to the challenges associated with offering onboard dining during the COVID-19 pandemic, Mid-Continent Railway Museum is announcing the cancellation of all ONBOARD DINING TRAINS for the remainder of 2021.
We apologize for any inconvenience these cancellations may cause. The cancellations do NOT affect Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s COACH TRAINS, which continue to operate as scheduled and are better able to accommodate CDC social distancing and mask requirements.
Mid-Continent Railway Museum to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer.
Mid-Continent Railway Museum is pleased to announce that it has joined museums nationwide once again this summer in the Blue Star Museums initiative, a program that provides free admission to currently-serving U.S. military personnel and their families. The 2021 program at Mid-Continent begins on Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 15, 2021, and ends on Sunday, September 5, 2021 – the last day of train rides prior to the program’s nationwide end date on Labor Day, September 6th.
Blue Star Museums is an initiative of the National Endowment for the arts in collaboration with Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and participating museums. Blue Star Museums includes children’s museums, art, science, and history museums, zoos, gardens, lighthouses and more from all 50 states.
The free admission program is available to those currently-serving in the United States Military – Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard as well as members of the Reserves, National Guard, U.S. Public Health Commissioned Corps, NOAA Commissioned Corps, and up to five family members.
Discount Details at Mid-Continent and How to Claim Your Tickets
The Blue Star Museums program is limited to active military members and up to five family members. The serving military member need not be present.
The Blue Star Museums program ends at Mid-Continent on September 5, 2021.
Although the Blue Star program is for active military members only, Mid-Continent offers both active and retired military members a discount of $10 off their ticket every day we’re open all season long. Active and retired military members also can claim a free coach ticket during our Stars & Stripes Special weekend. These discounts outside of the Blue Star Museums program do not extend to family members.
Free or discounted tickets are valid toward coach car seating. Discounts not valid toward onboard dining tickets.
Free or discounted tickets must be claimed at the ticket window and are not available through the online reservation system. CAC card, DD Form 1173 ID card, or DD Form 1173-1 ID cards must be available to be presented to the ticket agent upon request.
About Mid-Continent Railway Museum
Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society–also known as Mid-Continent Railway Museum–is an outdoor, living museum and operating railroad recreating the small town/short line way of life during the “Golden Age of Railroading,” with operating trains, educational exhibits, and displays of restored rolling stock. Mid-Continent has operated at North Freedom, Wisconsin since 1963.
About the National Endowment for the Arts
Established by Congress in 1965, the National Endowment for the Arts is the independent federal agency whose funding and support gives Americans the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise their imaginations, and develop their creative capacities. Through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector, the Arts Endowment supports arts learning, affirms and celebrates America’s rich and diverse cultural heritage, and extends its work to promote equal access to the arts in every community across America. Visit arts.gov to learn more.
About Blue Star Families
Blue Star Families is the nation’s largest grass-roots military family support organization, with a mission to support military families to improve military readiness. Its distinctive approach builds stronger communities around military families through knowledge and programs that address the unique needs of those who serve. Blue Star Families’ nationally recognized surveys and analysis give military families an important voice that informs policymakers and its military family programs. It uses the power of its collective resources and cross-sector collaborations to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of thousands of members of military families to strengthen the troops, their families, and our nation as a whole. For more information, visit bluestarfam.org.