Coronavirus Update: MCRM Closed Until Further Notice

Closure Update

UPDATE: The Wisconsin Supreme Court’s strike-down of the Governor Ever’s Safer-at-Home order on May 14th has not changed the closed status of Mid-Continent Railway Museum. Safety is always our first concern when it comes to our visitors and volunteers. Despite the absence of a state order, Mid-Continent is remaining closed until we are confident we can welcome visitors back safely.


On May 5th, Mid-Continent’s Board of Directors voted unanimously the keep the Museum closed to the public until further notice due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This action was necessary to protect our employees, members, and visitors from contracting the virus while at the Museum.

The Board will re-evaluate on a month-by-month basis when it will be safe to open the museum and coach train rides again to the public.

During the closed period, all buildings and display areas will be inaccessible to the public. There will be no train rides or dining services. Any passengers with reservations on upcoming trains will be contacted and offered full refunds.

Due to higher exposure risk while eating and the very limited ability to social distance within our dining cars, all onboard dining trains are canceled for the remainder of 2020.

Supporting Mid-Continent During this Crisis

Train ride ticket sales represent the largest portion of Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s annual income. The extension of the closure will cause a significant financial strain on the museum. Please consider supporting Mid-Continent in one of the following ways:

Mid-Continent is an independently operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational corporation and is not funded by the state or any other government entity. All donations are tax-deductible.

Thank you for your understanding and support during this time. We look forward to welcoming you back aboard in the future!

Restoration Work Sessions and Operating Department Training Canceled

Due to the continuing risk posed by the Coronavirus pandemic, the following changes have been made to scheduled volunteer opportunities.

  • All Restoration Department work sessions are canceled until further notice.
  • The new Trainman training course has been canceled. This course may be rescheduled for a later date in 2020.
  • The new Conductor training course for 2020 has been canceled and is not expected to be offered this year.

For specific questions relating to these program cancelations, contact the department superintendent or department manager.

Coronavirus Update: MCRM to Remain Closed through June 5th

For the safety of our visitors, volunteers and employees during the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Mid-Continent Railway Museum has taken the proactive step of delaying the start of its 2020 operating season. Previously, Mid-Continent was to open to the public on weekends starting May 9th. This change means the museum will now remain closed to the public through Friday, June 5th. The new season opening date is Saturday, June 6th. This too may be subject to change as the situation develops.

What this Means for Museum Guests

  • All scheduled trains during the month of May are canceled, including Coach/Caboose trains, the May 9th Pizza Train and Elegant Dinner Train, and the May 10th Mother’s Day Brunch Trains.
  • Any persons with reservations for trains in May will be contacted within the next few days. Affected individuals will be offered a refund, the option to reschedule to a future departure, or the ability to apply the balance to a gift card good toward future visits.
  • The museum property, including all displays and gift shop will be closed to the public through June 5th. Please note the museum property is not public land. It is trespassing to enter museum property while closed.

If You Need to Contact Mid-Continent Staff

  • As long as the State of Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order is in effect [currently May through 26th] and possibly longer, the museum’s administrative office will remain closed for the safety of our employees. Phones will not be staffed; however, voicemail messages will be checked regularly and responded to within 2 business days. To leave a voice message for museum staff, call 608-522-4261.
  • Museum email addresses will continue to be monitored and responded to, including the museum’s general email address: inquiries@midcontinent.org. Email is the best method of communication during this time.
  • All U.S. Postal Service mail sent to Mid-Continent continues to be checked and processed like normal.

Additional Impacts on 2020 Schedule

Further changes to the 2020 schedule including additional cancellations may be required as the timeline of the pandemic and its impact on tourism becomes clearer. Please check back on our website for the latest schedule information before your visit. Persons with reservations will be contacted if their departure is impacted.

What this Means for Museum Volunteers

The State of Wisconsin’s “Safer at Home” order is currently set to expire at 8:00 AM on April 24th but may be extended. [UPDATE 4/16/2020: The “Safer at Home” order has been extended through 8:00 AM on May 26th]. During the time the order is in effect no departments will be allowed to work on projects on Mid-Continent property. This order includes staying in private rail cars.

 

Thank you for your understanding and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

The Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society President & Office Staff

Coronavirus Update: MCRM to Close Starting March 24, 2020

Effective March 24, 2020, in compliance with orders from Governor Tony Evers, Mid-Continent Railway Museum will be closed until further notice to help reduce the spread of the Coronavirus. The order applies to all non-essential businesses in Wisconsin.

What this Means

  • Although Mid-Continent was already closed to the public for the winter season, the property is now fully closed to all volunteers and members, including owners of private railcars kept on the property.
  • No volunteer work sessions will be held.
  • The MCRM administrative office will be closed.
  • The April 4th Mid-Continent member meeting and banquet has been canceled. The guest speaker has been rescheduled for our Fall 2020 banquet. If you already sent a check in the mail for the banquet meal, the check will be returned to you.

If You Need to Contact Mid-Continent Staff

  • Museum email addresses will continue to be monitored and responded to, including the museum’s general email address: inquiries@midcontinent.org. This is the best method of communication during this time.
  • The phones will no longer be staffed during business hours, but voicemail messages will be checked regularly and responded to within 2 business days. To leave a message for staff, call 608-522-4261.
  • U.S. Postal Service mail sent to Mid-Continent will continue to be checked.

Impact on 2020 Train Ride Schedule

Our operating season is scheduled to begin on May 9th. Due to the rapidly evolving situation, it is unknown at this time if Mid-Continent will be able to begin normal operations as scheduled. At this time, no new reservations are being accepted for any trains through May 31st. Further announcements will be made in the coming weeks.

Thank you for your understanding and stay healthy.

Sincerely,

The Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society President & Office Staff