Whether you're a railway enthusiast, a curious traveler, or simply someone intrigued by the power and beauty of trains, this blog is your ticket to explore the world of locomotion in northern Indiana. So, hop on board, sit back, and let's embark on an exhilarating ride through the fascinating world of trains!

Hesston Steam Museum

Hesston Steam Museum & Doc’s Soda Fountain 

The Hesston Steam Museum, built by local volunteer train lovers,  is not your typical stuffy museum. When you visit you walk right into an era long past. A simpler time where big machines did work, powered factories, moved mountains, fed the country or just entertained humanity. These railroad exhibits demonstrate the tremendous power of the steam locomotive and how the innovation of steam power has been applied to many different industries and hobbies.

While you are here you can ride on three different trains. The first is a magnificent steam-powered narrow gauge railroad that runs over a 2-mile line through woods, past farms and up steep grades. 
Their Historic Miniature Railway takes you on a 1-mile trip on a ¼ sized railway that was originally developed to be used for transportation in World's Fairs that encompassed hundreds of acres and transported people around these large areas but also in the small amusement parks and roadside attractions. 

Hesston Historic Miniature Railway

The museum's smallest railroad is a study in S.T.E.A.M. (Science, Technology, Art & Math) as these machines are usually built in home machine shops and designed on paper. This small, hobby railway will take you on a 1-mile trip over little covered bridges and next to creeks. 

Rides are offered on select weekends and holidays. They also do special events like their Hesston Ghost Train, Kids Halloween Train, and Santa’s Candy Cane Express.

Hesston Steam Museum Doc's and mini train

Be sure to check out Doc’s Soda Fountain during your trip! Here you can sit down and enjoy rich hand scooped ice cream treats and sodas made from traditional recipes. They also offer birthday and party packages.

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum - Bock - Lumber #1

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum (HVRM) has been preserving railroad history in northwest Indiana since 1988 and has slowly evolved into the premier tourist destination in Starke County. HVRM started with little more than a single stub of track, an old steam locomotive and the dream of creating a working railroad museum that everyone can enjoy. Driven by that dream, HVRM was literally built from the ground up through the hard work and dedication of its volunteer members. 

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

Situated near the former junction of the Erie, Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), Chesapeake and Ohio Railway (C&O), and New York Central Railroad (NYC) in historic North Judson, the HVRM offers visitors a unique opportunity to experience the sights, sounds and smells of railroading during its heydays. Visit their museum and take a train ride on their vintage rail equipment. They offer diesel and steam train excursions on select Saturdays and Sundays through September.

Aboard the diesel excursions, you will ride behind a vintage diesel locomotive in an open-air sightseeing car or sit in the air-conditioned comfort of coach seating. Travel through the rural farm country of Starke and southern LaPorte Counties. Flowers, butterflies, wildlife and a variety of Indiana crops are visible from the train.

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum

Their steam excursions depart from the depot in North Judson and travel through the rural farm country of northern Indiana. Listen for the whistle as you chug along the historic railroad corridor.
The HVRM offers chartered train service for bus tours, business meetings, church groups, reunions, school field trips and other special events. (Charters are available even when the museum is closed.) They also offer several special events throughout the year such as their Easter/Pumpkin/Santa Trains, Mint Festival, Civilians and Soldiers in History Day and a Twilight Pumpkin Ride. 

Monon Connection Museum

The Monon Connection Museum & Whistle Stop Restaurant 

The Monon Connection Museum is home to the largest private collection of railroad items shared with the public in the United States. Their more than 6,500 railroad items will keep both kids and adults entertained for hours.

Monon Connection Museum

They have guided tours which makes the whole experience as if you are magically transported in time on a fun adventure. As you walk through the depot, you’ll see it completely set up as it would have been in the 1800s and many items were found in Illinois Central depots.

There are several railroad cars, railroad cranes, cabooses and signs, and you can even go inside some real railroad cars to experience history! 

Whistle Stop Restaurant

During your visit be sure to stop by the Whistle Stop Restaurant. They offer dine-in, carryout and large party services. This museum is also great for group tours and school field trips. 

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