Snow Train 2019 Cancelled

Snow Train, Mid-Continent’s longest running special event is taking a break this year. What was to be the 44th annual event was originally scheduled to operate February 16-17, 2019. The cancellation will allow construction crews enough time to replace an aging 91-year-old wooden trestle over Seeley Creek. The trestle is located about 2-1/2 miles south of the museum near La Rue, Wis.

Barring weather delays, the new bridge is expected to be open to train traffic in time for the start of Mid-Continent’s summer season on May 11th.

2019 Calendars Now Available

Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s “Whistle on the Wind” 2019 calendars are now available. The calendar features three color and ten black & white high quality images. Images included are a mix of historical railroad imagery as well as more contemporary scenes from Mid-Continent Railway Museum. Many dates feature “this day in history” factoids about railroads of the Upper Midwest and Mid-Continent’s own history. Quality metal binding keeps the calendar flat against the wall.

calendar cover

To arrive before December 25th, orders must be placed by December 19th. All orders are shipped via U.S. First Class mail.

Mid-Continent Railway Historical Society members receive one copy free as part of their membership benefits. Members also receive discounted pricing when ordering additional calendars.

Quantity Public Price Member Price Shipping*
1 $9.25 $6.75 $3.00
2 $18.50 $13.50 $6.65
3 $27.75 $20.25 $6.65

*Price shown is for shipping calendars to a single US address.

Order Your Calendar

To order your calendar, call the Mid-Continent office Monday-Friday 9 AM to 4 PM at (608) 522-4261 or toll free (800) 930-1385.

You can also order online using any major credit/debit card. Shop with confidence using the secure PayPal online order form (PayPal account not required). Select the appropriate button below to begin your order.

Public Price Member Price


1385’s Boiler Assembly Continues

The following is an update on C&NW #1385’s new boiler progress comes courtesy of Continental Fabricators. Continental is the company creating the new boiler for the 1385.

The wrapper sheet has been removed and welding is complete except for the wash out plugs.

The wrapper sheet was fit to ensure all of the firebox stay locations lined up correctly then removed so that we could drill the firebox, as you can see the doorsheet is all that needs to be drilled.  After this is complete the wrapper will be fit and welded for the last time and the entire boiler assembly will be welded together, followed by stay installation.

This photo shows the test fit of 1385’s wrapper sheet and progress with drilling. Photo courtesy Continental Fabricators

When the boiler is completed it will be delivered to Wisconsin where the locomotive will be assembled at the shop of SPEC Machine.

Tender Moved to Live Track

On October 25, 2018 a team of cranes were at Mid-Continent. The cranes were primarily there to install locomotive #1256’s new wheels, but the 1385 Task Force took advantage of the presence of the cranes to move Chicago & North Western #1385’s tender to live track.

For the past five years, ever since arriving from the fabrication shop, the 1385’s tender has resided on an isolated display track along the passenger platform. The covered platform display area provided a cozy home for the tender where the public could learn more about the restoration while the locomotive itself was overhauled off-site.

All photos courtesy Richard Colby.

With the boiler nearing completion and reassembly of the locomotive’s major components set to begin in the coming months, it was a good time to also prepare the tender for the locomotive’s eventual return.

Volunteers and members of the crane crew set about removing the tender from the shelter. First it was chained to the museum’s Lull forklift and towed out into the open where the crane could get at the tender to disassemble it. The trucks were then moved to the museum mainline and the tender reassembled. Once done, Mid-Continent’s yard switch engine, MCRY #4, coupled on and took the tender to the museum’s Engine House.

The tender, mostly while mostly complete, still has some finishing touches needed including items such as the air brake system, steam heat pipes, and electrical systems (for reversing headlight, class lights, safety lights, etc.) The wheels will also need to be jacked and the roller bearings inspected for possible damage from the August floodwaters.


New Boiler Photos

Continental Fabricators has supplied three new photos showing the current state of progress on  Chicago & North Western #1385’s new boiler construction.

C&NW 1385’s new boiler firebox end. Oct. 31, 2018.