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 is open every weekend (Saturdays & Sundays) from May 8, 2021 through October 17, 2021.

Mid-Continent is closed Monday-Friday; however, Mid-Continent’s administrative office is staffed most weekdays to take your calls.


COVID-19 Information

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mid-Continent Railway Museum’s 2021 dates of operation and departure schedules have changed from earlier published schedules and could be subject to additional changes.

Advance ticket sales are recommended so that we can contact you in the event a train must be canceled. Any ticketholders aboard a canceled train will be given the option to rebook or receive a full refund.

For additional info on COVID-19 precautions and impacts, please visit our COVID-19 Notices page.

Museum Hours

Museum grounds are open from 9:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. on days trains operate.

Train Ride Schedules and Booking

When Can I Book My Tickets

Tickets become available for booking according to the following schedule:

Train Ride Departure MonthTicket Availability Date
MayJanuary 1
JuneFebruary 1
JulyMarch 1
AugustApril 1
SeptemberMay 1
OctoberJune 1
November/DecemberJuly 1

Groups of 20 or more can book earlier by calling 608-522-4261.

Advance ticket purchases are encouraged but not required on most non-special event weekends.

Advance ticket sales are REQUIRED for onboard dining trains and are highly recommended for special events.

Browse Train Rides by Type

Browse Train Rides 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.

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 EventDates
Stars & Stripes SpecialJuly 3-4, 2021
Harvest Limited
and Vintage Rail Car Tours
October 2-3, 2021
Autumn Color WeekendOctober 9-10, 2021
Pumpkin ExpressOctober16-17, 2021
Santa Express [EVENT CANCELED]November 27-28
and December 4-5

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. Browse our list of onboard dining events and click on an event for greater detail.

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.

Reservations are required for all onboard dining tickets. Book early! Onboard dining tickets often sell out far in advance.


COVID-19 Related Dining Train Cancellations

The extra challenges of offering onboard dining during a pandemic have caused Mid-Continent Railway Museum to cancel all of our 2021 dining trains. More info…

Departure DateDining Services OfferedStatus
Saturday, May 8, 2021Pizza TrainCanceled
Sunday, May 9, 2021Brunch TrainCanceled
Saturday, June 19, 2021BBQ TrainCanceled
Sunday, June 20, 2021BBQ TrainCanceled
Saturday, August 21, 2021Pizza TrainCanceled
Saturday, September 18, 2021Pizza TrainCanceled
Saturday, October 2, 2021Beer Train
Elegant Dinner Train
Saturday, October 9, 2021First ClassCanceled
Sunday, October 10, 2021First ClassCanceled
Saturday, October 16, 2021Elegant Dinner TrainCanceled


Coach Class

Coach Class Tickets (Summer and Fall Fares)

Fare ClassCoach Car FareCaboose Fare
Senior (62+)$20$22
Child (3-15)$12$14
Child (2 and Under)Free (ticket required)Free (ticket required)

Caboose tickets are not available in 2021 due to scheduled maintenance to Mid-Continent’s caboose.

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. Please refer to the info page for the dining train you are interested in for price information.

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. Other adult supervisors and parents 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