Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #31 – 5/10/2021

Monday, May 10, 2021

Dear Friends and Supporters,

If you are planning to head “UP NORTH” for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend, we hope you will consider a stop off at the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad in Trego, WI… one of our key historical partners. The Midwest Rail Rangers will have our Interpretive Guides helping out at a special OPEN HOUSE EVENT taking place there.

Join us from 10:00AM to 4:00PM on Saturday, May 29th and Sunday, May 30th at the Wisconsin Great Northern Depot, N6639 Dilly Lake Road, Trego, WI, 54888.  We are located just off U.S. Highway 53 and U.S. Highway 63, between Spooner and Trego, WI.

Midwest Rail Rangers Guides and Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad Staff will be offering guided tours of the interior of the three passenger cars of the Mark Twain Zephyr (“Tom Sawyer”, “Huckleberry Finn”, and “Effie Dean/Car #500”, which have been undergoing a major rehabilitation this past year. See what incredible progress has been made in just really nine months of reconstruction.

Self-guided tours of the exterior of the cars and interior of the Museum Car/Display Car “Becky Thatcher” will also be available.

The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad owns the Mark Twain Zephyr, while the Midwest Rail Rangers occasionally partners with them to enhance visitor’s historical knowledge about the train set and to provide special programming… much like we have succefully done with their ex-Santa Fe/Amtrak Hi-Level Lounge Car over the past two years. 

A book signing, model railroad exhibit, video presentations, and more will take place.

And yes, there is even such a thing as a “free lunch”!  From 11:00am (until gone) every day, stop by and grab your choice of a hot dog or sloppy joe sandwich with sides, on us.


We will be having a Midwest Rail Rangers Board Meeting on the evening of Monday, May 17th. Leaders of the group will be discussing what our Summer and Fall 2021 Season might look like on private rail cars, the South Shore Line, 20th Century Trips, and more.

Unfortunately, the TSA and FRA decided to extend their federal mask mandate for all train passengers through September 13, 2021.  Federal regulations apply to trains regardless of local or state mandates. The federal mandate on masks was initially set to expire later this week. 

Giving narration for a long period of time with a mask on can be quite a complicated task and is not something all of our Guides are or may be comfortable with.

On the flip side, others on our Board and many of the Guides are also eager to provide some programming to passengers this summer… at least in a limited capacity.

This is something we are seriously thinking over during the weeks ahead with our partners and will have more information for you in the next Midwest Rail Rangers E-Newsletter.


“Save The Date” for July 23-25, 2021. We received word of a POSSIBLE private car trip opportunity the Midwest Rail Rangers MIGHT be involved in. Once it becomes more definite, we will pass the details along to you.  While not “rare mileage”, this is a route that the Midwest Rail Rangers has never provided an onboard educational program on before.


          Midwest Rail Rangers Board of Directors

          Robert Tabern, President

          Bob Neil, Vice President

          Dave Poole, Treasurer

          Kathy Bruecker, Secretary

          Kandace Tabern, Educational Officer