Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #44 – 5/09/22 – Rail Rangers Share History at the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad

Monday, May 9, 2022

For the first time in 26 months… the Wisconsin Great Northern, a tourist railroad in Northwest Wisconsin that partners with the Midwest Rail Rangers, is resuming passenger train operations later this week.

Paid ticket holders for the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad’s Wine & Cheese Train will have the opportunity to view an exclusive new nine-minute movie that was produced in cooperation with the Midwest Rail Rangers. It covers the history of the 1956 double-decker lounge car that was used on the Santa Fe’s El Capitan train and on Amtrak’s Coast Starlight as a Pacific Parlour Car… but now hosts wine and cheese tastings at the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad. The movie will be shown before trips depart in the lower-level movie theater section of the car that once housed the historic Santa Fe Kachina Coffee Shop.

The Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad is the only place in the country offering regular weekly trips on any of the six former Amtrak Pacific Parlour Cars. Two other cars are located in Texas and two others are in Michigan; however, they are currently only used by those railroads around the Christmas holidays. A fifth car has remained parked in a train yard outside of St. Louis for nearly 20 years and is not in operable condition.

Ticket holders for the Wine & Cheese Train at the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad will also have the opportunity to flip through a historical scrapbook aboard the car (pictured above) that was assembled by the Midwest Rail Rangers. It is truly one-of-a-kind and features many original papers and photographs from the 66-year history of the car.

Select trips later in 2022 may also feature a Midwest Rail Rangers Interpretive Guide to further enhance passengers’ trips. You may recall that our Guides rode along on several trips aboard the car and held an “open house event” in Fall 2019, prior to the COVID-19 passenger train shutdown.

Those who are interested in the history of the car will also have the opportunity to purchase a copy of the Midwest Rail Rangers’ Sky Parlour book, which was published in Fall 2019. The railroad will be selling copies of the book for $20 onboard both the train and in the depot gift shop (located at N6639 Dilly Lake Road in Trego, Wisconsin).

Speaking of books, the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad’s gift shop also reopens tomorrow and will once again be the exclusive physical retail location of the Midwest Rail Rangers’ popular Outside the Rails railroad route guidebooks. Stop by during their regular business hours and purchase a book to learn more about a particular train route in the Midwest. It will enhance your trip so much more to know about everything out your window. We will also be selling our Junior Rail Rangers books in the gift shop.

There is a lot of excitement going on at the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad!

To participate, click below to purchase your tickets from the WGNRR… seats are only $50 per person and include a two-hour train ride, plus four different kinds of Wisconsin wine… plus some great cheese and more. Trips will take place Sundays at 11:00AM and 2:00PM between May 15th and October 30th.

We are proud to once again have the opportunity to share the history with the passengers at the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad. Be sure to check out their other trains, too, including the popular Bed & Breakfast Train, Dinner Train, Family Pizza Train, Santa Trains, and restoration of the Mark Twain Zephyr.