Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #43 – 4/02/22 – Summer 2022 Schedules for 20th Century & South Shore; Join us Next Weekend in Green Bay

Saturday, April 2, 2022

As the warm weather slowly begins to arrive, things are once again picking up for the Midwest Rail Rangers… as we roll into our 8th Season of doing onboard educational programs. We are happy to announce our 20th Century Railroad Club and South Shore Line partner Spring/Summer 2022 schedules are approved and ready for release. We also would like to invite you to visit our booth next weekend at a train show in Green Bay.

Let’s start with the 20th Century Railroad Club trips. For 51 years now, the 20th Century Railroad Club of Chicago has been offering fun and exciting rail or motor coach trips for both its members and the general public. The Midwest Rail Rangers have had a partnership with the 20th Century for the past 5 years, where we either staff their trips with an Interpretive Guides who provides narration… and/or we provide route guide handouts for passengers.

This year will be once again be no exception… as the 20th Century returns to doing its popular trips following a two-year hiatus. The first trip takes place on Saturday, May 14, 2022 and is called the “Indiana Doubleheader” and will feature a visit to the Hoosier Valley RR Museum and the Monon Connection Museum. Midwest Rail Rangers Vice President Robert Neil will be your Rail Rangers Guide for the day. The second trip takes place on Saturday, June 25, 2022 and will take passengers to Galesburg Railroad Days. This year, you will have an option to head directly to Galesburg… or take a tour of three historic railroad towns and depots. The Midwest Rail Rangers will be providing handout route guides for passengers on this trip. Finally, the third trip is three days / two nights and runs from Friday, July 15, 2022 to Sunday, July 17, 2022. We will ride the Boone & Scenic Railway, visit the Amana Colonies and the Threshers Heritage Museum. The Midwest Rail Rangers will be providing handout route guides for passengers on this trip, too. Links to more information about the tours can be found below. The 20th Century Railroad Club is a valuable partner of the Midwest Rail Rangers and we look forward to making memories for passengers together for years to come.

As mentioned, late spring and summer 2022 dates for Midwest Rail Rangers programs on the South Shore Line have been approved. Our next three program dates are below. Our complete schedule through August is available on our website, www.railrangers.org. Due to ongoing track work this summer, our South Shore Line programs will ONLY operate from Downtown Chicago to Dune Park… and then from Dune Park back to Downtown Chicago. We will be using eastbound Train #7, which departs Chicago-Millennium Station at 8:45am and arrives in Dune Park at 10:03am. Guides will hold an informal “open house” at the Dune Park station from 10:15am to 11:00am. We will then be using westbound Train #116, which departs Dune Park at 11:13am, and arrives back in Chicago at 12:39pm. Looking ahead, at this point we plan to resume through programs to Michigan City and South Bend between November 2022 and February 2023. When track work picks up again next year and bussing is anticipated to be extended, we will do a mix of shorter and longer programs depending on the season. Because construction work can be quite fluid, it is recommended that riders who specifically plan on traveling to hear our programs always check our website a few days before the trip to make sure there are not any last minute schedule changes.

Finally, we hope you will join us next weekend for one of our last outreach events of the winter season. The Midwest Rail Rangers will have its own booth for the first time at the Titletown Train Show at the KI Convention Center in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Come out from 9am-5pm on Saturday, April 9th… or 9am-4pm on Sunday, April 10th. We will have Interpretive Guides available to talk to you about the many interesting parts of our onboard educational programs. We will also have samples of our popular railroad route guide books which you can then purchase online (get them ahead of your summer trips!)

We love being busy… and hope you will be part of our exciting summer season!

Oh, and don’t forget to watch our newest online virtual program tomorrow night (Sunday, April 3) at 7:00pm CT… we are sharing the second part of our ride on the Texas Eagle from Los Angeles to St. Louis. Here’s the link you will need:

Sincerely,

Midwest Rail Rangers Board of Directors

Robert Tabern – President

Bob Neil – Vice-President

Kandace Tabern – Treasurer & Educational Officer

Michael Pace – Secretary

Interpretive Guides:

Kathy Bruecker, Fred Glure, Joe Kuczynski, Lowell Olberg & Steve Snyder

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #42 – 3/10/22 – South Shore Track Work Changes 2022 Midwest Rail Rangers Programs

Thursday, March 10, 2022

Happy March!

In case you haven’t heard… “street running” in Michigan City, Indiana on the South Shore Line is officially a thing of the past. Midwest Rail Rangers Vice President Bob Neil ended up hosting our last onboard educational program on the South Shore that featured “street running” at the end of February.

At one time, the South Shore also operated on local roadways in East Chicago and South Bend, too. However, that was eliminated in the 1950s and 1970s respectively. The “street running” on the South Shore Line down 10th and 11th Street in Michigan City is being cut to speed up service between Chicago and South Bend. While most everyone welcomes the quicker time-keeping, a piece of history is also being lost unfortunately. The South Shore Line has been called ‘America’s Last Interurban Railroad’ due to the street running in Michigan City.

The on-going track work for this project will also have a big impact on those who ride the South Shore Line during the months ahead. According to NICTD, which operates the South Shore Line, ALL passengers on ALL trains will be bussed between the Dune Park Station and the Michigan City-Carroll Avenue Station. This will allow for the building of the new track, just off the street, through significant portions of Michigan City. This bussing will last through Fall 2022.

After much consultation with NICTD, the Midwest Rail Rangers Board has decided that our onboard educational programs will only operate between Chicago and the Dune Park Station this spring, summer, and fall.

Midwest Rail Rangers President Robert Tabern explains, “The seats on the bus between Dune Park and Michigan City should be for paid passengers… and we would not do narration on a bus anyway… so until through trains resume this fall… our programs will be from Downtown Chicago to Dune Park and back. We look forward to returning back to our longer program schedule to Michigan City and South Bend in seven or eight months from now. We very much appreciate the NICTD allowing us to continue to do our onboard educational programs on the train when so many other components going on right now with the busing.”

One of the positive things of the temporary schedule is it will allow Midwest Rail Rangers Interpretive Guides to have an informal “meet and greet” with people at the Dune Park Station from 10:15am to 11:00am on days the programs will be given. Even people who do not ride the train can come out to the train station located near U.S. 12 and Indiana Highway 49 and meet the Rail Rangers and learn more about the programs on the train.

The Midwest Rail Rangers’ South Shore Line schedule in March and April has been adjusted (see below). Our May through August schedule will be posted in a few weeks from now. Programs will be presented mainly on weekdays this spring, summer, and fall… until programs resume to Michigan City/South Bend.

Sincerely,

Midwest Rail Rangers Board of Directors

Robert Tabern – President

Bob Neil – Vice-President

Kandace Tabern – Treasurer & Educational Officer

Michael Pace – Secretary

Interpretive Guides:

Kathy Bruecker, Fred Glure, Joe Kuczynski, Lowell Olberg & Steve Snyder

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #41 – 2/05/22 – 2022 Outreach Events Planned

Saturday, February 5, 2022

Happy February!

We wanted to remind you that our onboard educational programs on the South Shore Line continue year-round. So, if you are looking for something fun to do over this winter… come out and ride with our Interpretive Guides between Chicago and Michigan City or South Bend. It’s a very economical thing to do… and you will learn so much about the people, place, history, and more.

Our next programs take place on Thursday, February 9, 2022. We will be on westbound South Shore Train #7, which departs Chicago-Millennium Station at 8:45am CT. We will also be on eastbound South Shore Train #116, which departs Michigan City-Carroll Avenue Station at 10:55am CT.

You can also join us on Saturday, February 26, 2022. We will be on westbound South Shore Train #503, which departs Chicago-Millennium Station at 8:40am CT. We will also be on eastbound South Shore Train #506, which departs South Bend-Airport Station at 1:05pm ET.

Our Interpretive Guides will also be doing a “meet and greet” with the public at the MadCity Train Show in Madison, Wisconsin. Join us at the Alliant Energy Center from 9:00am to 5:00pm CT on Saturday, February 19, 2022… and from 9:00am to 4:00pm CT on Sunday, February 20, 2022. Browse through some of our railroad route guides, which you will be able to purchase online.

Finally… we would like to welcome Michael Pace to the Midwest Rail Rangers Board of Directors. He was elected to a two-year term as Secretary. Michael will be a wonderful asset to the MRR Board. He had ridden on almost every mile of the Amtrak and VIA Rail systems and enjoyed riding the rails in Japan back in March 2020. Michael has been a supporter of the Midwest Rail Rangers, too, since the program was founded in 2015… riding many times aboard the South Shore Line and on the organization’s partner private rail excursions. Michael has spent most of his working life as an electrician in Massachusetts… and has even helped with the repairs of our speaker systems on occasion.

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #40 – 1/23/22 – Winter is a Great Time to Ride on the South Shore Line

Sunday, January 23, 2022

With the holidays now behind us — and the grips of winter here… it can be quite a challenge to find something interesting to do. How about a ride with the Rail Rangers on the South Shore Line? One of our goals when establishing the program almost five years ago was to be able to present our popular onboard educational talks year-round. And the South Shore was a perfect fit for this… as the route between Chicago and Michigan City/South Bend is truly beautiful ANYTIME of the year! 

Our next programs will be Thursday, February 12, 2022 and Saturday, February 26, 2022. We look forward to seeing you then!

Several community magazines in Northwest Indiana recently featured a great article about he Midwest Rail Rangers. If you haven’t had a chance to see a copy, we decided to include it as part of our monthly e-Newsletter.

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #39 – 12/16/21 – Merry Christmas & Happy New Year from the Midwest Rail Rangers

Thursday, December 16, 2021

It’s hard to believe… but Christmas is now just nine days away… and we will be rolling into 2022 in just over two weeks from now. With that… we dedicate this portion of our e-Newsletter to a quick “look back” at the year that was — 2021.


First, we want to thank you for your continued support of the Midwest Rail Rangers through the early part of COVID-19 pandemic. In the end, we were off trains for a period of nearly 16 months. This time last year you may recall we weren’t sure if we would even be back on at all in 2021. There were days we thought about throwing in the towel on our onboard Interpretive Programs… however we put in too much effort… and received too much encouragement and positive feedback from you, our passengers, to actually do something like that.

2021 will be remember by the Midwest Rail Rangers as the year we returned to doing our regularly scheduled programs on the South Shore; this happened on July 1, 2021. We have done multiple runs over the past six months between Chicago and Michigan City and South Bend. We are happy to report a lot more passengers riding with us thanks to the Indiana Dunes State Park promoting our programs on their website and through a poster at the Dune Park South Shore Line station. Starting this summer our onboard talks on the South Shore Line are an official interpretive program of the Indiana Dunes State Park. This is a win-win partnership for both the Rail Rangers and the State Park, as our guides receive extra training from the Indiana Dunes professional staff… while the state parks gets to count our volunteer hours in their totals. We look forward to working even closer with the Indiana Dunes SP in the year ahead… including attending additional training sessions and getting advice on enhancing our programs aboard the South Shore even more.

We also returned to doing private railcar programs in July 2021… which is what started up the Midwest Rail Rangers in the first place, circa July 2015. We performed multiple trips during the last week of July between St. Louis and Kansas City. Unfortunately, there are fewer and fewer private cars operating in the Midwest, but we will seek out and provide programs aboard when possible.

Our outreach events also continued in 2021. Three of our Interpretive Guides helped to work an “open house” event at the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad for the Mark Twain Zephyr over Memorial Day weekend. Between 600 and 700 people showed up and toured the partially restored trainset. We look forward to having our Guides back up at the WGNRR in 2022, as it appears passenger operations is likely to resume (more on this in future e-Newsletters!).  We also had two Guides attend a train show in Green Bay this year for the first time. Unfortunately, Milwaukee’s Trainfest was cancelled for the second year in a row… but seems to possibly be returning next year. We are already signed up to attend train shows in Madison (February) and Green Bay (April) in 2022… so there will be plenty of time to catch us at various outreach events.

We also resumed our onboard educational programs with the 20th Century Railroad Club of Chicago, who reserves space or charters various Amtrak equipment for short trips. In September, one of our Guides headed to Indiana and Michigan with the group. The following month, another one of our  Guides took an excursion to Springfield, Illinois. As many as five excursions are in the possible works for 2022 with the 20th Century Railroad Club. We will also have more details about this in future E-newsletters as their plans progress.

Our “Rail Rangers on the Road” virtual programs have also continued to grow this year. Through the entire year of 2021 we provided two virtual programs per month for people to enjoy. Starting in March 2022, we will be cutting our virtual programs back to one per month… in order for our Board and the hosts to focus more on our in-person programming. “Rail Rangers on the Road” programming will air the first Sunday night of every month at 7:00pm Central Time. You can also watch the programs “on demand” after they debut.

You can watch our 2021 Christmas Special on Sunday night (December 19th) at 7:00pm Central Time. We will take you to Owosso, Michigan for a ride on their Pere Marquette Parlour Cars (former Amtrak Pacific Parlour Cars) which will be pulled by the 1225 steam engine. This is part of their “North Pole Express” train.

Finally —- Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year to you, your family, and friends. We look forward to our adventures together in 2022.

(P.S. — Our offices will be closed between December 19, 2021 and January 4, 2022 in order to allow our Interpretive Guides to spend time with their families. There will be no programs offered during this period, e-mails and phone calls received will be returned in the New Year, as well as any book orders received.)

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #38 – 11/21/2021: Midwest Rail Rangers Announce Winter/Spring 2021-22 South Shore Schedule

Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Midwest Rail Rangers Board and Interpretive Guides would like to wish you and your family a Happy Thanksgiving!  We are VERY thankful for all of you who attend our programs, buy our railroad route guide books, and make donations to keep us rolling. We are also thankful to our wonderful partners such as the 20th Century Railroad Club, Indiana Dunes State Park, NICTD/South Shore Line, Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad, Zephyr Route Tours, Paxrail, Friends of the 261, and our many other private rail groups that we have and will continue to work with.

This year we are EXTRA thankful to have been able to resume our onboard educational programs after quite a long hiatus during the start of COVID-19.  Last year at this time, we didn’t know if or when we would be able to see you again. However, we got rolling mid-year… returning to an outreach event in Green Bay over the summer… resuming several South Shore Line trips per month starting in July… having a series of private car trips between St. Louis and Kansas City – also in July… and going on two trips with the 20th Century Railroad Club in September and October.

2022 plans for the Midwest Rail Rangers are already in the works… and we look forward to a lot of exciting adventures together.

Over the upcoming winter… our popular onboard educational programs on the South Shore Line will be our focus.

Join us on any of these dates:

Thursday, December 9, 2021

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Saturday, January 22, 2022

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Saturday, February 26, 2022

Saturday, March 19, 2022

Thursday, March 24, 2022

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Thursday trips will operate roundtrip on the South Shore  Line between Chicago and Michigan City, Indiana.  Saturday trips will operate on the South Shore Line between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. More details below and on our website.  Hope to see you enjoying the Indiana Dunes by train this winter!

AND… We look forward to seeing everyone on Saturday, December 4th at the Friends of the 261 North Pole Express Train in St. Paul, Minnesota! We will have Midwest Rail Rangers Guides on their 10:00AM, 11:30AM, and 1:00PM departures serving as car hosts. We did receive some calls about this… and want to report that all tickets for this day are SOLD OUT already.  But, we look forward to seeing all of those who were lucky enough to get tickets.

ALSO… Are you or someone you know planning an Amtrak trip in 2022? Please consider purchasing one of our railroad route guidebooks as a Christmas gift! Information is below. This way you can “take us with you”… knowing about everything outside your window. We have traditional book formats for most Amtrak long distance routes… as well as e-books.  Some sections even have MP3 podcasts available. Details below. Not only will you have a fun and unique gift… but your purchase helps to support the Midwest Rail Rangers.

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #37 – 10/10/2021: Midwest Rail Rangers Indiana Dunes Open House on October 20th

Sunday, October 10, 2021

The Midwest Rail Rangers have presented year-round onboard educational programs on the South Shore Line since August 2017. Interpretive Guides give talks to passengers about the history of the south side of Chicago, the historic steel-making region of Northwest Indiana, the Indiana Dunes State and National Park, and the rural farming region of La Porte and St. Joseph County. Since June 2019, our programs have also been an official interpretive program of Indiana Dunes State Park, too.

And now… we will be hosting our very first “open house” event at Indiana Dunes State Park… and you’re invited.

Midwest Rail Rangers Interpretive Guides will be presenting a newly designed slide show about the Midwest Rail Rangers program on Wednesday, October 20, 2021 at both 2:00pm and 5:30pm. The programs are designed for both the general public who are interested in learning about what we do on the South Shore Line… as well as for those who might be interested in becoming one of our Interpretive Guide Trainees.

Our “open house” for Midwest Rail Rangers on the South Shore Line will take place at the Indiana Dunes State Park Nature Center located at the far north end of Indiana State Highway 49.

In addition to the “open house” on October 20th, you can join the Midwest Rail Rangers for programs aboard the South Shore Line on October 16, October 21, November 4, and November 13. Programs on October 16 and November 13 will operate between Chicago and South Bend, Indiana. Programs on October 21 and November 4 will operate between Chicago and Michigan City, Indiana. Program times and details are posted below, and can be found online on our website:  www.DunesTrain.com

We look forward to seeing you at our “open house” or on the train.

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #35 – 8/26/2021: Ride for free with the Midwest Rail Rangers on Eastbound Weekday Trips on the South Shore – Sept 1 to Oct 31, 2021

Thursday, August 26, 2021 The Midwest Rail Rangers will continue to be busy this summer and fall by providing onboard educational programs on the South Shore Line. And now… YOU can ride with us for free. Here’s how: To show appreciation for passengers continuing to utilize the South Shore Line throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and welcome those who are new or just returning, the SSL announces all weekday (Monday through Friday) eastbound trips will be free throughout the months of September and October 2021. The eastbound free rides will begin Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021 and last through Sunday, Oct. 31, 2021, excluding weekends. Passengers should simply board applicable weekday eastbound trains with no ticket purchase needed. Riders will be responsible for paying all applicable fares on weekend trips and weekday westbound trips. This means every regularly scheduled Thursday EASTBOUND Midwest Rail Rangers onboard educational program is free during the months of September and October. If you have never come out to see what we are all about… here is your chance. We think you will enjoy what we do… and that our narration will add a lot more to your train ride. Upcoming program dates on the South Shore Line include August 29, September 2, and September 19. Additional dates (now listed through the end of November 2021) are listed on our website… just head to www.railrangers.org and click on the “upcoming programs” tab.
If you are looking to make some memories this fall… consider a ride with the 20th Century Railroad Club of Chicago. They are celebrating 50 years of organizing charters and special trips.  The Midwest Rail Rangers have been a partner of the 20th Century Railroad Club since our founding in 2015, with our Interpretive Guides riding along on most of their excursions. The 20th Century Railroad Club is currently taking reservations for the following day-trip excursions: SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 25, 2021ELKHART & SOUTH BEND TRAINS & CARSClick here for the trip planner and how to make reservations SATURDAY, OCTOBER 23, 2021SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOISClick here for the trip planner and how to make reservations Please consider purchasing a ticket and supporting our partners at the 20th Century Railroad Club of Chicago.
Sincerely,Midwest Rail Rangers Board of Directors Robert Tabern – PresidentBob Neil – Vice-PresidentDave Poole – TreasurerKathy Bruecker – SecretaryKandace Tabern – Educational Officer Interpretive Guides:Fred Glure, Joe Kuczynski, Lowell Olberg, Steve Snyder & Bruce Stahl 

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #34 – 7/31/2021: Return to South Shore ‘A Success’ & 20th Century Trips ‘Back on Track’

In-person educational programs conducted by the Midwest Rail Rangers aboard South Shore Line trains were “suspended” for a long fifteen-and-a-half months due to the COVID-19 Pandemic… but now, we are back!

Our first program took place on Thursday, July 1, 2021… with three of the five Board Members serving as Guides to make sure things went smoothly. A second program with Interpretive Guide Bruce Stahl as narrator, took place last weekend, also without any glitches.

Midwest Rail Rangers President Robert Tabern says, “We are very excited to be back on the South Shore Line and interacting with passengers once again. Things are not quite back to ‘normal’ – we must continue to wear masks when on trains and at the stations through at least September 13, 2021 – however being able to share all of the history and nature out the window… even with a mask on… is a wonderful thing. We really missed everyone… and based off the first two trips we have done in July… the riders have missed us too. We had several people who came out just to ride with us and hear our in-person programming. A mom and daughter drove down from Traverse City, Michigan on our July 1st trip. We will continue to present our programs in a safe and professional manner, as we always have done since partnering with the South Shore Line back in mid-2017.”

Two to three times per month, year-round, Interpretive Guides with the Midwest Rail Rangers will be riding onboard select trains between Chicago’s Millennium Station and South Bend, Indiana’s Airport Station. Topics discussed include anything from Chicago trivia to the historic steel-making area of Northwest Indiana, Indiana Dunes State and National Parks, and even information about the rural “breadbasket of America”, when passing through western LaPorte and St. Joseph Counties.

In addition to increased safety protocols, two other noticeable administrative changes are now in place. The Midwest Rail Rangers programs on the South Shore are now official interpretive programs of the Indiana Dunes State Park. During the Pandemic-induced pause, a formal deal was struck between the Midwest Rail Rangers Corporation and Indiana’s Department of Natural Resources. This is a true win-win for both organizations. Also, Thursdays have been added as a date where programs may take place on off-peak trains. This is something the Board had lobbied for, knowing not everyone is off only on just weekends, when programming had previously been offered. This move also makes it easier for volunteers who are free on weekdays, but not on Saturdays and Sundays due to their employment or other concerns.

A listing of our upcoming onboard educational programs on the South Shore Line are included in this news letter and are posted at www.railrangers.org.

We have more “good news” to share with you this afternoon, too… as the 20th Century Railroad Club of Chicago, one of our closest partners, will return to doing a handful of daytrips this summer and fall. Since 2016, the Midwest Rail Rangers has provided our Interpretive Guides as “car hosts” for some of their excursions on Amtrak charters.

Reservations are NOW being taken for their first trip back… this will be a day-trip on Saturday, September 15, 2021 from Chicago to SW Michigan and NW Indiana. Passengers will get to ride both Amtrak and the South Shore Line… while visiting the National New York Central Museum in Elkhart, Indiana and also the Studebaker National Museum in South Bend, Indiana. Box lunch included, too!

For more information click THIS LINK! Much like Midwest Rail Rangers and most 501(c)(3) non-profits around the country, the 20th Century Railroad Club was hit hard by the lack of funding received during the pandemic. Trip revenue is very important to the future of our organization and theirs. Please consider taking this wonderful day trip. An additional day trip to Springfield, Illinois with the 20th Century Railroad Club is planned for October. If all goes well, the 20th Century Railroad Club plans to resume is normal schedule of offering overnight excursions, come 2022.

Roundhouse Newsletter Edition #33 – 6/21/2021: Rail Rangers Return to In-Person Onboard Educational Programs

Monday, June 21, 2021

We at the Midwest Rail Rangers have some very exciting news to share with you… our in-person onboard educational programs are FINALLY returning!

Writing that sentence is something all of us on the Board of Directors have wanted to share for a very long time now. It is something we are excited sharing with you… as much as the announcement about the formation of our group that was made in July 2015… or the announcement we would be becoming our own independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization in December 2018.

When the pandemic started, our in-person programs were going to be suspended for just 21 days… and everything was going to pass. Then, it was a month… then it was months. Every single month we carried on, never knowing when the thing was going to end because we were never really warned when the thing was going to begin. During that time, we found new ways to do things, we found new ways to reach our passengers (Rail Rangers on the Road virtual programs), we found new ways to communicate with you… and we found new ways to live as human beings. 

While we don’t know if the world will go back to “normal” tomorrow (our Guides will still have to wear masks when doing programs at least through September and we know not everyone feels comfortable traveling now)… we do indeed know the world is striving for a certain sense of normalcy… and we hope the return of our in-person programming will be part of that for you.

Our popular onboard educational programs will resume on the South Shore, effective Thursday, July 1st.  Additional program dates are shown below — we plan two to three trips per months. Our complete schedule of programs through November 30th are available on the Midwest Rail Rangers website. We will be doing programs on select Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Our Board and partners decided to add a weekday (aboard off-peak trains) into the mix for those who work on weekends, but want to hear our programming.

Our first onboard educational program aboard a private rail excursion will take place on Friday, July 23rd. Tickets are still available for the weekend round-trip between St. Louis, Missouri and Kansas City, Missouri. Additional private car trips through the summer and fall are also listed below. The Midwest Rail Rangers was founded in 2015 with the intention of providing narration aboard private rail trips.

Our partnership with the 20th Century Railroad Club of Chicago to do onboard educational programs on Amtrak charters will resume this fall. One trip is scheduled for September 2021 and another trip is scheduled for October 2021; details are listed below. We look forward to putting together custom trips in 2022. This is the 20th Century’s 50th Anniversary Season.

Our outreach events will also kick-up in earnest starting next month. Robert Tabern, Director of Passenger Development for the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad (and President of the Midwest Rail Rangers) will be going on a multi-stop book signing tour for the book he co-wrote, “Mark Twain Zephyr: History, Restoration & Re-birth”. The book was written for the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad, with photographs and other assistance provided by the Midwest Rail Rangers. Stops include: Galesburg, IL; Burlington, IA; Mount Pleasant, IA; Fort Madison, IA; Keokuk, IA; Canton, MO; Quincy, IL; Louisiana, MO; Hannibal, MO; and St. Louis, MO.  Dates and times are posted on our website.

We want to thank you for your continued support during the very difficult time the past 15 months were. We hope our “Rail Rangers on the Road” virtual programming that we did was enjoyable and maybe in a small way helped you through everything. For now, we look forward to seeing you back on the rails whenever you are comfortable traveling again.