“educating the public about steam-era rail technology”
The Steam Railroading Institute is dedicated to educating the public about steam-era rail technology and its impact on the culture and economy of the Great Lakes region. The institute is home to the majestic Pere Marquette No. 1225, the largest operating steam locomotive of its kind. This majestic locomotive was also used to generate computer images for the Warner Brothers film, "The Polar Express." The Institute also features Flagg Coal Co. 75, a switcher tank-type steam engine resembling the childhood favorite, Thomas the Tank Engine. Visitors can also participate in the “Engineer for an Hour” program for the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to actually drive the P.M. 1225 or the Flagg Coal Co. 75 in a controlled environment. If a scenic passenger ride sounds more relaxing, round trip outings to local cities are also available, including an overnight excursion to Cadillac, Michigan behind the P.M. 1225, allowing passengers to see a part of Michigan they’ve never experienced before. Institute visitors can also see and ride on a fully functional, 100-foot long Pere Marquette turntable used to actually turn the steam engines around in the opposite direction. A full-sized roundhouse and full workshop is currently under construction. Guests also can tour a three-car education train that details the historic timeline of the railroad industry.
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Steam Railroading Institute
- Sun, Fri, Sat: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm
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