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.

2024 Dates of Operation

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

2023 DatesStatus
Jan. 1 – May 10CLOSED
May 11 – June 9Open Saturdays and Sundays (plus Memorial Day)
June 11 – Sept 2Open daily except Mondays (plus July 3 and Labor Day)
Sept. 7 – Oct. 20Open Saturdays and Sundays
Oct. 21 – Nov. 30CLOSED
Nov. 30 – Dec. 8Open Saturdays and Sundays for Santa Express event
Dec. 9 – April 2025CLOSED

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).

Train Ride Schedules and Booking

View by Type

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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 for most trains, but are encouraged. 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 Weekends, Pumpkin Special, and Santa Express. These special events often sell out in advance.

Reservations are required on trains with food or beverage service such the Freedom Flyer, Root Beer Float Train, Harvest Flyer, and Holiday Flyer.

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 Event2024 Dates
Stars & Stripes SpecialJuly 4-6
Freedom FlyerJuly 6 at 5:00 PM
Root Beer Float FlyerAugust 26 at 5:00 PM
Vintage Rail Car ToursSept. 28-29
Autumn Color WeekendOct. 5-6 and 14-15
Pumpkin ExpressOct. 19-20
Harvest FlyerOct. 19 at 5:00 PM
Santa Express/Holiday FlyerNov. 30-Dec. 1
and Dec. 7-8


Coach Class

Coach Class Tickets (Summer and Fall Fares)

Fare ClassCoach Car Fare
Senior (62+)$22
Child (3-15)$13
Infant (2 and Under)Free (ticket required)

Caboose Tickets

Fare ClassCoach Car Fare
Senior (62+)$24
Child (3-15)$15
Infant (2 and Under)Free (ticket required)

Locomotive Tickets

Fare ClassCoach Car Fare
Senior (62+)$72
Child (3-15)$13
InfantsNot Permitted

Note: Special Events may be subject to different pricing.

Group Tickets

Group pricing varies depending on group type, size, and whether the group is visiting on a day Mid-Continent is open to the public. Visits and train rides may be scheduled on days of non-operation by contacting the museum office at 800-930-1385.

Fare ClassPublic Operating DayCharter Day
Adult Group* (20-39 people)$19$21
Adult Group* (40+ people)$17$19
Child Group**$10$11 ($400 min.)

*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.

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