Owosso MI – After a hiatus in 2020, the Steam Railroading Institute (SRI) is excited to begin the return of scheduled train rides provided by the non-profit organization. Beginning with the “Yard Goat” Caboose Rides, set to debut on July 24th. Inspired by the railroading nickname of a switcher engine, these shorter, diesel-powered train rides will operate solely on the museum property. SRI’s goal for the “Yard Goat” is to provide an educational experience on what it was like to keep the busy train yards operating like clockwork when the little switchers worked tirelessly around the clock that continues to this very day.

Passengers will board the train at the Institute’s Welcome Center for an approximate 10 to 15-minute, round trip through the museum’s yard to the historic New Buffalo Turntable at the other end of the property. Once arriving at the historic turntable, the “Yard Goat” will travel right onto the more than a century year old artifact to perform a 360-degree spin for the passengers onboard. This is before the train reverses on the same route back to the Welcome Center completing the run. SRI’s historic cabooses, which are full of rich history in connection to Michigan’s railroading heritage, will be utilized for these trips. Lower and upper cupola level seating will be offered for the passengers while onboard carhosts serves as educational guides.

The “Yard Goat” Caboose Rides are scheduled for July 24th during normal museum hours from 10AM to 4PM, and additionally from 7PM to Dusk during the Steam Railroading Institute’s upcoming Christmas in July | The Polar Express™ Screening. At this time, the “Yard Goat” is also scheduled to operate on August 28th, during the returning Trains & Tractors event, and on September 25th. All trains depart every 15 to 20-minutes approximately. Tickets are $5 per passenger per trip and can only be purchased at the Welcome Center on the day of the event. No advance reservation and first come serve.      

The Steam Railroading Institute is in the process of planning future events & excursions. At this time, there will be no Fall Color Tours for 2021 and preparations are currently underway for 2021 North Pole Express excursions. We hope to have ticket announcements soon!