Frequently Asked Questions


Planning Your Visit

Yes. A portable wheelchair lift is available at the North Freedom depot, allowing access to the train. There is no lift available at Quartzite Lake (the end of the line) to allow alighting from the train.

The museum's depot, gift shop, restrooms, picnic shelter are wheelchair accessible. The Coach Shed is not wheelchair accessible.

With the exception of some special event trains, all are scheduled for 55 minutes. Typically, visitors spend an additional hour or so browsing the museum displays and visiting the Gift Shop.

Yes. Purchasing train tickets is not required to gain admission to the museum grounds. There is no charge for viewing museum exhibits.

As a non-profit organization, train ticket sales represents our primary source of revenue which is needed to maintain the museum. If you choose not to ride the train, please consider putting a few dollars in the depot's donation box or stopping in our Gift Shop.

Yes! Special group rates are available and there is plenty of free parking for buses and larger vehicles. To make sure we are best able to accommodate your group, please contact the museum office for more information at 608-522-4261 or email inquiries@midcontinent.org.

The Gift Shop and Ticket Office in the depot are open from 10:00am until 5:00pm on days the trains operate and the museum is open. Hours may be expanded during special events.

Yes. Reservations can be booked through our website or by calling 608-522-4261 or 800-930-1385.

Reservations are generally not needed during the regular summer season as the museum will add additional coaches for more capacity if traffic warrants. Those wishing to ride in the caboose, locomotive cab, or large groups should reserve in advance to ensure they can be accommodated.

For special events, reserving coach-class tickets is recommended due to higher demand. Reservations are required for First Class, brunch and dinner train tickets. Due to the the brunch train and dinner train's popularity, reservations should be made well in advance. Inquire early!

A local restaurant, the Railroad Inn Cafe, offers limited food service in the museum pavilion building during weekends. The Railroad Inn Cafe offers full-service dining at their location in downtown North Freedom. Many more restaurants are located in nearby Baraboo.

Yes. Picnic tables are available for use free-of-charge in the pavilion building. Soda vending machines are also available there.

Onboard the Train

No. Restroom facilities are only available at the museum grounds in North Freedom and at Quartzite Lake, the far end of the line.

No smoking is allowed on the train or inside museum buildings.

Only bottled water is permitted onboard. Soda vending machines are available at the picnic shelter adjacent to the depot.

The train takes 20 minutes to travel from North Freedom depot to the end of the line. Each round-trip is scheduled for 55 minutes, but allow up to a little over an hour during busier days.

Some special events include trips scheduled longer than one hour. Examples include brunch trains and dinner trains.

Coach, caboose, and the locomotive cab are not air-conditioned. Windows open to allow air circulation, just as was done when the cars were built.

Mid-Continent's First Class cars used for First Class, brunch, and dinner trains ARE air conditioned.

No. However, personal assistance animals are allowed on trains and premises.

We prefer strollers be left in your car. The narrow walkways on the train must be left clear at all times in the event an emergency exit is required. If brought onboard, the conductor may instruct you to place the stroller in the baggage room so that it does not block the aisle.

Mid-Continent's steam engines are currently under restoration and are not operational. All train rides are currently pulled by diesel-electric locomotives. The primary engine is MCRY #1256 and, to a lesser extent, MCRY #7. Learn more about our progress toward running steam engines again on the Steam Status page

**Information current as of Spring 2014**