2021 Schedule

The Steam Railroading Institute is following all CDC and State of Michigan Guidelines regarding Covid-19. With the uncertainty of future restrictions or when it will be safe to reopen, we are not currently selling tickets for 2021 events and excursions at this time. We do not have a wait list for ticket sales so please continue to check our website and Social Media for updates!

Age Restriction

19 months and up require a ticket, 18 months and under may sit on a parent's lap without purchasing a ticket.


Board the train 30 minutes prior to departure.

Buy Tickets

Phone Number: (989) 399-7589
Website: www.michigansteamtrain.com
On destination excursions, such as the Fall Color Tours, where we are away from our home in Owosso, there is no depot. A mobile box office will be located at the front of the train for ticket pick-up.    

Print out your receipt and place the Institute phone number on it (989) 725-9464. This number is invaluable if you run into any trouble.

Departure Locations

Steam Railroading Institute: 405 S. Washington St. Owosso, MI 48867

Alma: 207 Prospect Ave. Alma, MI 48801

Boyne Falls: Railroad St. and Mill, Boyne Falls, MI 49713

Cadillac: 225 N. Lake St. Cadillac, MI 49601

Fife Lake: 211 E. State St. Fife Lake, MI 49633

Hamburg: Merrill Rd. Crossing/Manly West Bennett Park, Hamburg, MI 48169

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 Code

No dress code, but please dress accordingly for the weather.


Drinks and snacks are for sale on the train’s concessions car.

Food Allergies: We have a variety of snacks & treats available for purchase but cannot guarantee they are allergy safe for you. Please ask us questions and read all labels before purchasing. We do allow passengers to bring their own food. Coolers are prohibited.

Gluten Free: We do not guarantee gluten free options will be available, but we try to accommodate all passengers. We do allow passengers to bring their own food. Coolers are prohibited.

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 ON THE TRAIN! IF ALCOHOL IS FOUND, IT WILL BE CONFISCATED* We do not serve alcohol on the North Pole Express trips, but we do serve alcohol on some of our other excursions. Check out our full trip schedule for details.

Gift Cards

At this time, gift cards can only be processed through the computer at the 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.


Limited seats are available for handicap seating, but the passenger must be able to board the coach unassisted by SRI personnel. The cars are NOT wheelchair accessible. Wheelchairs can be brought onto the train if they are collapsible.

There are NO wheelchairs for rent.

We can store the wheelchair at our departure location. There is no room to store a wheelchair on the train if it is not collapsible; however, the person in the wheelchair needs to be able to walk up a few steps to board the caboose. All our equipment is historical and does not have ramps or lifts.

North Pole Express: Riders with walking issues can be dropped in front of the Welcome Center of the Steam Railroading Institute. They should contact the gate keeper for assistance into the building. We have transportation available to move our guests from the Welcome Center to their assigned car.


Please visit the Shiawassee County Lodging and Camping page by the Shiawassee County Convention and Visitor Bureau.

Lost and Found

Contact us to ask about lost and found: (989)-725-9464.


Free parking is available in the lot between the NCG Movie Theater and JC Penney’s directly across the river from us. We ask visitors to be considerate of designated business/residential lots around Downtown Owosso and keep them clear for their customers/residents.

Handicap parking is conveniently located on the north side of the Institute’s Welcome Center.

Paid Parking: Directly across the road from us is a parking lot that is available to you if you choose to pay the owner a fee. We are not associated with the owner of the parking lot and do not receive any of the fees collected from our passengers who decide to park there.


Cash or Card (We accept all major providers, except AmEx).

Pets/Service Animals

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 www.ada.gov/service_animals_2010.htm

All Service Animals must be leashed and wearing proper Service Animal identifiers (vest, jacket, etc.) always.

*No pets allowed under any circumstances*

Refund Protection

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 “Refund Protection” 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. 

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 Welcome Center of the Steam Railroading Institute. During the North Pole Express, we have additional heated restrooms at the west side of the building.

There are 8 restrooms on the train. Those are in our vintage coach car section of the train. 

Caboose Riders: There are NO traditional restrooms in the cabooses and unfortunately those who are riding will not be able to leave the cabooses once the train is moving. These cars are vintage and have an old fashioned (out-house style) restroom. (The A909 caboose has nothing.) We only use those restrooms in case of an emergency.


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 to board 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.

Customers can walk between cars except for the 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.

Sold Out

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) their tickets will automatically open on-line. Always be watching.

We DO NOT have a waiting list. 

Please check our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram page where guests, 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.

Souvenir Tickets

We do not sell the souvenir tickets in the gift shop. The only way you can get a ticket is by purchasing a ride on the train.

Upon your arrival at either the Steam Railroading Institute or our other offsite departure locations, you will pick up your tickets at our box office desk. These tickets are designed to be souvenirs, a memento of your experience with us.

Steam Locomotive

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.


We are requiring strollers be 25lbs or less and fold up. We need strollers to be lightweight and be able to be easily lifted onto the train. Storage space for strollers during the train ride is very limited. Strollers that are too large and or heavy will be denied access to the train. Double and triple strollers are highly discouraged. 


All our cars are heated and cooled accordingly.

Travel Times

All times are approximate. Because track conditions can change (always do!), a normal excursion can fluctuate depending on the speed we have to travel.

Village of Ashley Country Christmas


Events and excursions operate regardless of the weather; guests 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 or traded for the next year’s based on your preference.

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