Thank you for reaching out to us! The Steam Railroading Institute is now open for museum visitors and tours on Fridays & Saturdays from 10am-4pm, but we have no train excursions scheduled at this time. We cannot give a date as to when we will resume train rides, but we will continue to follow all CDC and State of Michigan Covid-19 guidelines until we can safely operate.
We are very optimistic that we will be able to operate the North Pole Express this year. With restrictions lifting, we have begun preparations in anticipation of excursions, and we hope to have exciting news soon. Please keep an eye out on our website and social media!
19 months and up require a ticket to ride our trains, 18 months and under may sit on a parent's lap without purchasing a ticket.
Board the train 30 minutes prior to departure.
Consent to Photography and Video Recording
Upon entering the Steam Railroading Institute or participating in any events or excursions operated by SRI and by your presence here; you are giving consent to be photographed, filmed and recorded.
Your entry constitutes your consent to such photography, filming and recording, and to be used in all media. You hereby authorize the use of your appearance, voice and name for any purpose whatsoever in connection with SRI. You understand that all photography, filming and recording will be done in reliance on this consent given by you when entering the museum property including but not limited to grounds and train excursions.
Your support and participation are greatly appreciated!
This is a list of locations our various excursions travel between. Please read all information pertaining to your excursion so that you arrive in the correct location on time!
Steam Railroading Institute: 405 S. Washington St. Owosso, MI 48867
Alma: 207 Prospect Ave. Alma, MI 48801
Cadillac: 225 N. Lake St. Cadillac, MI 49601
Fife Lake: 211 E. State St. Fife Lake, MI 49633
Howell: 128 Wetmore St. Howell, MI. 48843
Kalkaska: 354 S. Cedar St. Kalkaska, MI 49646
Mount Pleasant: 506 W. Broadway St. Mt Pleasant, MI 48858
Petoskey: 923 Baxter St. Petoskey, MI 49770
All Sales are final, no refunds unless Refund Protection Insurance is purchased before sale is completed (Refund Protection Insurance will allow for a full refund up to 72 hours before event). Steam Railroading Institute reserves the right to change out motive power or rolling stock at any time. Departure times are subject to delays due to freight traffic. All firearms (Concealed or Open Carried) are Prohibited on the property or on any locomotive, car, or equipment of the Steam Railroading Institute. Smoking on the train or in the SRI Welcome Center is also prohibited.
No discounts are offered.
Entire coaches can be reserved by large groups.
Dress for the weather as you will be outside. We strongly encourage that visitors and passengers wear comfortable, closed toed walking shoes. Sandals, heels, or open toed shoes are generally prohibited.
Drinks and snacks are for sale in the Welcome Center of the Steam Railroading Institute and on our excursion train’s concessions car.
Food Allergies/Gluten Free: We have a variety of snacks and treats available for purchase on concession car but cannot guarantee they are allergy safe for you. Please ask us questions and read all labels before purchasing. We do allow guests and passengers to bring their own food.
No Coolers: For security reasons and space constraints we must ask that no coolers be brought on the train.
Alcohol: *ABSOLUTELY NO OUTSIDE ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES MAY BE BROUGHT ONTO THE STEAM RAILROADING INSTITUTE GROUNDS AND ON THE TRAIN! IF ALCOHOL IS FOUND, IT WILL BE CONFISCATED. Fall color tours have adult beverages available for purchase. Other excursions have designated train cars that serve alcohol.
At this time, gift cards can only be processed through the computer at the Steam Railroading Institute’s Welcome Center, so please stop in and see us! You can purchase your tickets with a Gift Card, but you will have to call us directly to do so. Please call Terry Bush at (989) 720-3954.
Please provide prior notification to the Steam Railroading Institute staff of any special physical needs that are required by a patron visiting the Institute or riding our trains. The museum grounds and excursion cars are not fully handicap accessible due to the historical preservation nature of the property and equipment.
Handicap parking is available on the north side of the Welcome Center with a ramp leading up to the door. Everywhere else throughout the Institute is on one level. Please note that the Welcome Center, outdoor displays, hobo camp, 7 ½ gauge miniature railroad and backshop/turntable are spread out with some uneven surfaces. Transportation is available to easily move our guests throughout SRI.
There are NO wheelchairs for rent.
While we often make every effort to accommodate passengers with disabilities, due to the historic nature of our excursion cars, they are generally not handicap accessible. We sometimes have a limited number of seats available for passengers with limited mobility. Please contact us for more information before ordering tickets.
Hold Harmless Agreement
Upon entering the Steam Railroading Institute or participating in any events or excursions operated by SRI and by your presence here, you and your fellow visitors or passengers agree to hold SRI harmless in the event of sickness (Including Covid-19), physical risk or damage. You assume all related liability for accidents, negligence, combined negligence, and omissions.
Lost and Found
Contact us to ask about lost and found: (989) 725-9464.
When visiting; free parking is available at the Steam Railroading Institute, handicap parking included.
During events and excursions at the Institute, there is only handicap parking onsite. Free parking is available in the public lot located directly north of the museum grounds just across the river. There is a privately owned lot directly across the street from SRI that offers paid parking. We ask visitors and passengers to be considerate of designated business/residential lots around Downtown Owosso and keep them clear for their customers/residents.
For offsite excursions away from our home in Owosso, such as the Fall Color Tours, passengers will receive email communication with recommendations to designated parking nearby our departure locations.
Cash or Card (We accept all major providers, except AmEx).
Beginning on March 15, 2011, only dogs are recognized as service animals under titles II and III of the ADA. Service animals are defined as dogs that are individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Dogs whose sole function is to provide comfort or emotional support do not qualify as service animals under the ADA. For more information regarding ADA Service Animals, please visit: https://www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm
All Service Animals must be leashed and wearing proper Service Animal identifiers (Vest, Jacket, etc.) always. Please call ahead if you will be bringing a service animal onboard.
*Other than the animals defined above, no pets allowed under any circumstances*
Refund Protection Insurance (RPI) gives you a full refund for your purchased ticket price minus the RPI fees if you were to cancel your event or excursion 72 hours prior to your schedule travel time. Without the Refund Protection Insurance, tickets cannot be refunded or exchanged. The fee is a flat fee of $30.00 which covers all tickets on this order.
If a customer who purchased RPI requests a refund on an order that is more than 90 days old, the processor may not allow credits to the card. In that case, manual refunds will need to issue.
The refund can be for individual tickets on the order or for the entire order, however the refund protection fees are not waived and cannot be refunded.
Regarding duplicate orders, refunds approved for the duplicate order if the request is made within one week from date of purchase and the event has not yet passed. Otherwise, no refunds.
There are restrooms located within the Steam Railroading Institute’s Welcome Center when visiting us.
On board the train, there are restrooms in our vintage coach cars. For caboose riders, there are NO traditional restrooms in the cabooses. The Ann Arbor cabooses are vintage and have an old fashioned (Out-House Style) restroom and are only used in case of an emergency.
All events and excursions take place at a working railroad facility, whether at the Steam Railroading Institute or offsite.
Please be mindful of your safety and the safety of your fellow visitors and passengers. Watch your step, be mindful of moving railroad equipment, uneven surfaces or bad footing, and pinch points for fingers, arms and limbs. Please don’t walk on railroad tracks and keep back at a safe distance. Always follow the instructions from SRI staff and volunteers.
Your presence and participation indicate that you as a visitor or passenger accept the limits of liability from inherent risks of all activities and operations.
Seating layout is very similar to airline and/or bus like seating; one center aisle with two seats to each side. All seats on all cars are padded.
Coach: Vintage coach cars hold up to 70 people. Our coaches are historic 1940's and 50's built passenger cars with a single direction/type center aisle with two seats to each side. Seats are grouped in fours with two seats facing opposite of two seats. Some of our cars do have a small table in between the grouping. There are stairs to climb aboard the train. We do not have loading platforms; we load from the ground and people must be able to walk up about four to five stairs.
Caboose: There is seating for 12 people total, this includes children who would not need a ticket. There are no exceptions to this. There is a conductor on each caboose and beverages and snacks are complimentary.
Passengers can walk between cars except for the caboose. Caboose riders may not leave the caboose until the train is at a complete stop.
We will have shuttles available during some of our excursions. Passengers will receive an email communication with all pertinent information the week prior to their trip.
If an event or excursion says sold out online, we can NOT sell any more tickets. If someone refunds their ticket with Refund Protection Insurance (RPI), their tickets will automatically open on-line. Always be watching.
We DO NOT have a waiting list.
Please check our Social Media where customers, who did not purchase Refund Protection Insurance, will often sell their tickets privately. We do not intervene in these transactions, be aware of scams. If you feel like you are experiencing a scam please call us right away by contacting our Media & Merchandising Manager, Ashley Lyon at (989) 720-3957.
Running of the Pere Marquette 1225 and other historic steam locomotives are not a guarantee that we can make. All our events and excursions come with the disclaimer that we reserve the right to switch out motive power. We will do everything possible to run the 1225, but a steam locomotive built in 1941 can be unpredictable.
Strollers are allowed when visiting the Steam Railroading Institute for tours and special events taking place. For train excursions, strollers must meet the following qualifications:
- Strollers must be 25lbs or less and be able to fold up.
- Double and triple strollers are not permitted.
- Strollers must be easily lifted onto the train.
- Strollers that do not meet the qualifications will be denied access to the train.
The Steam Railroading Institute’s Welcome Center and excursion cars are heated and cooled accordingly.
All times are approximate. Because track conditions can change (Always Do!), a normal excursion can fluctuate depending on the speed we have to travel.
Events and excursions operate regardless of the weather; visitors and passengers should plan accordingly. Unless there is a State of Emergency declared by local or state government forbidding us from operating, we will run. We will do our best to contact you in the case of an emergency. If your event or excursion is unable to run due to an emergency, your tickets will be fully refunded.