Plan Your Visit

Take a memorable, seven-mile, 55-minute round-trip train ride on a former branch line of the Chicago & North Western Railway nestled in a valley between the Baraboo Hills in rural Sauk County. Passengers ride in restored steel coaches built a century ago. An authentically attired conductor will call “all aboard!” before the train leaves from a historic wooden depot, built in 1894.

Mid-Continent is much more than just a train ride. Explore the indoor/outdoor museum filled with award-winning restorations and railroad exhibits. In all, there are over 40 train cars and locomotives on display and more under restoration. See them all in our online Equipment Roster.

Dates of Operation

Mid-Continent Railway Museum is open and trains operating on the following schedule:

May 7 – June 5, 2022: Open Saturdays and Sundays
June 7 – Sept 2, 2022: Open daily except for Mondays
Sept. 3 – Oct. 16, 2022: Open Saturdays and Sundays
Oct. 17, 2022 – April 2023: Closed except for Santa Express event (Nov. 26-27 & Dec. 3-4)

Museum Hours

The museum grounds and buildings are open from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on days trains operate (from 9:00 AM during fall special event weekends).



While Mid-Continent Railway passengers and employees are no longer required to wear masks while on board trains or in stations, masks are welcome and remain an important preventive measure against COVID-19. Anyone needing or choosing to wear one is encouraged to do so.

Individuals exhibiting symptoms or who have been in close contact with an individual with COVID-19 are encouraged to reschedule or cancel their visit. We have relaxed our ticket cancellation policy to encourage this safe behavior.

Train Ride Schedules and Booking

View by Type

View by Date

All trains are powered by diesel locomotives. Read more about our ongoing effort to again operate steam locomotives on our Steam Status page. Mid-Continent reserves the right to substitute equipment without notice.


Are Reservations Necessary?

Reservations are not mandatory but they are encouraged for all trains. Passengers without reservations are encouraged to arrive no less than 20 minutes before the train departure time.

Reservations are highly recommended during special events such as Autumn Color Weekend, Pumpkin Train, and Santa Express. These special event trains often sell out.

When a departure has fewer than 100 seats remaining, the online booking system will begin showing how many seats remain available for booking.

About Coach Trains

Coach class seating is the classic Mid-Continent train ride experienced by most of our visitors. Coach class trains depart at least three times per day during each day the museum is open and are the lowest-cost ticket offered.

COACH: Coach car seating is the most popular fare type and is the traditional train ride experience.

About Special Events

Join Mid-Continent for a trip through the fall foliage, a ride with Santa, and more! Special events mean more departures, more experiences, and a wider variety of ticket options. Click the events listed below for more information.

Special Event2022 Dates
Stars & Stripes SpecialJuly 2-3
Vintage Rail Car ToursOct. 1-2
Autumn Color WeekendOct. 8-9
Pumpkin ExpressOct. 15-16
Santa ExpressNov. 26-27
and Dec. 3-4

About Dining Trains

Experience the tradition of dining aboard a train! Onboard dining ticket holders are welcomed aboard one of two First Class railcars, the C&NW #440 business car or the Soo Line #2017 diner-lounge car. We offer a variety of dining menus and experiences. Reservations are required for all onboard dining tickets. Book early! Onboard dining tickets often sell out far in advance.


2022 Dining Trains Schedule

Mid-Continent Railway Museum does not have any 2022 dining trains scheduled at this time. Dining trains may be added at a later date.

SIGN UP to be notified if dining trains are added to the 2022 schedule.

Mid-Continent is currently without a Dining Services Superintendent to plan and coordinate its dining train operations. If you enjoy event planning and working with fellow volunteers to provide memorable experiences, this volunteer position might be for you! If you are interested, please contact us to learn more.

ONBOARD DINING: Onboard dining is offered during select dates and events. All dining service ticket holders ride in our luxury cars and are waited on by uniformed servers.


Coach Class

Coach Class Tickets (Summer and Fall Fares)

Fare ClassCoach Car Fare
Senior (62+)$20
Child (3-15)$12
Child (2 and Under)Free (ticket required)

Santa Express Tickets (Winter Fares)

Fare ClassCoach Car Fare
Senior (62+)$23
Child (3-15)$13
Child (2 and Under)Free (ticket required)

Dining Train

Dining train fares vary from $40 to $90 depending on which train and your menu selections.

Group Tickets

Fare ClassCoach Car FareOnboard Dining
Adult Group* (20-39 people)$18Please call
Adult Group* (40+ people)$16Please call
Child Group**$9Please call

*Bus driver and group leader ride free with adult groups.
** Bus driver and group leader ride free with child groups. Additional adult supervisors and chaperones pay the child group rate.

Special trains can be scheduled for school and adult groups on days of non-operation by calling 800-930-1385. Museum tour guides can be made available if arranged in advance by contacting the museum office.

Additional Information

How to Find Us

Mid-Continent is located at North Freedom, Wisconsin, about one hour northwest of Madison, and 30 minutes southwest of Wisconsin Dells. See the Contact Us page for our address, directions, and contact information.

The Train Ride Route

Mid-Continent Railway Museum operates its trains on a former Chicago & North Western Railway branchline. The line extends southward from North Freedom, Wisconsin and passes through the unincorporated town of La Rue. The line terminates at a rock quarry at a location called Quartzite Lake. The train then returns to the museum depot along the same route.

The leisurely roundtrip journey takes approximately 55-minutes, including a brief layover at the end of the line while the train is reconfigured for the return trip. Ride times are extended for some onboard dining trains by reducing train speed, or in the case of the Elegant Dinner Trains, making the roundtrip journey twice.

Museum Facilities

There is ample free parking at the museum. Public restrooms, a picnic shelter, and Pine Tree Park are adjacent to the depot. There are no camping facilities at the museum.

Frequently Asked Questions