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Visit the Amazing Duluth Train Museum this Winter

Red wheels of a steam train locomotive at Duluth train museumThe Duluth train museum, called the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, also includes the depot for magical holiday excursions on the North Shore Scenic Railroad. Step back in time to the golden age of railroad travel and shipping that built the city of Duluth and our very country. This impressive Duluth train museum holds an amazing collection of historic railroad equipment. See, touch and climb into immaculately restored locomotives, in addition to viewing the magnificent collection of railroad memorabilia. Housed in the original Historic Union Depot, built in 1892, the Duluth train museum is located in the city’s center. It’s a wonderful way to spend the day when visiting Duluth for the holidays.

Duluth takes great pride in its history and the craftsmanship that is found in the city’s  architecture. Continue your journey into Duluth’s romantic past and stay at a member bed and breakfasts of The Historic Inns of Duluth. The six unique and beautiful inns offer a special retreat for a holiday getaway. All are located in downtown Duluth and close to all the holiday activities. Find romance and the magic of the holidays this winter in Duluth. 

8 Fascinating Exhibits at the Duluth Train Museum

As soon as you enter the Duluth train museum, the love and attention to detail is clear. The exhibits at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum are meant to be enjoyed up close. The immersive experience invites visitors to touch and climb into grand locomotives, passenger cars and cabooses. You can even walk the Duluth streets from 100 years ago. Each of the wonderful 8 exhibits make the past come alive:

  1. Service Equipment – Here visitors will find the workhorses of the railroad industry. These unique cars do the big jobs such as wreck clean ups, rebuilding bridges and clearing away heavy snow from the tracks.
  2. Freight Equipment Cars – The goods we use every day are still shipped by freight cars. The historic boxcars, tank, flat, and orre cars of the past are what made Duluth grow into the shipping hub of its heyday. 
  3. Depot Square – Walk through a recreation of old Duluth city streets from 1910. Peer into period storefronts, complete with goods from that time. This immersive exhibit includes a hardware store, clothing store, candy shop, bookstore, apothecary, and of course the train depot.Valves on steam train at Duluth train museum
  4.  Cabooses – This collection honors the cabooses from 1884 to 1966 and explores their many uses. These sturdy cars served as the “office” for the train’s conductor and even living quarters on longer trips. Come climb inside these wooden and steel built cars at the Duluth train museum.
  5. Passenger Cars – The museum displays many heavyweight and lightweight passenger cars. The older heavyweight cars date back to the 19th century and were constructed usually of wood or steel. These cars could be quite ornate and showcases woodworking and glassmaking artistry of the time. While the sleek stainless steel passenger cars of the 1930’s introduced a new lightweight design.
  6. Electric Locomotives – These locomotives and trolleys were used to eliminate smoke and take advantage of the new high efficiency motors of the time. 
  7. Diesel Locomotives – These internal combustion machines began replacing the steam locomotives because of significant cost and operating advantages. The Duluth train museum is lucky to have examples of these powerful locomotives from the 1930’s through the 1960’s.
  8. Steam Locomotives – Sit in the engineer’s seat in a historic steam locomotive and touch the very beginning of railway history. These grand machines were the main passenger and freight transportation for the United States from the 1860s to the 1940s.

3 Magical Holiday Rides from the Duluth Train Museum

The Duluth train museum also serves as the depot for excursions on the North Shore Scenic Railroad. They offer several scenic tours during the summer months and very popular fall foliage tours as well. However the holidays are also a special time for the railroad and they have three holiday themed trips available in November and December:

  1. Christmas City Express – Get into the Christmas spirit on this 30 minutePeople in lit with colored lights tunnel at Bentleyville Tour of Lights from the Duluth train museum ride along Lake Superior while sipping hot chocolate and listening to holiday tunes. Carolers and a reading of the new Christmas City Express story will warm your heart.
  2. Bentleyville Shuttle Train – Skip the parking hassle at Bayfront and just enjoy the thousands of twinkling lights at this magnificent holiday display. 
  3. Julebyen Express Train – Take an all day excursion north to Knife River, Minnesota and join the traditional Julebyen Christmas Festival. Julebyen (pronounced YOOL-eh-BE-en) means “Christmas Village” and has centuries-old roots in Scandinavia and Germany. 

The Duluth train museum gives the gift of history and tradition this holiday season. What could be more charming than the romance of classic passenger cars and sleek locomotives. Find your perfect romantic bed and breakfast at the Historic Inns of Duluth for an unforgettable winter escape.


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