Reserve Online or by Phone
Book online below. Our trains often sell out, and advance reservations assure you the seats of your choice. It also assures you can pay with Visa-Mastercard, which we cannot always assure you at the train.
There is a small service charge. (it goes to the ticket company, not our museum).
You can also call our Ticket Hotline at (734) 396-0416. It is answered by the ticket company, but the convenience charge is $1 higher. Hours are M-F 7am-7pm -- Sat 10am-6pm -- Sun 2pm-6pm.
Book early, plan ahead and come Ride the Rails!
Is this page secure? This outer page is only a "window frame" for our ticket vendor's ticketing system, which appears in the box just below (titled "WhistleTix"). Is it secure? See for yourself: Right click on it and select "open frame in new window", or click here and the frame becomes the entire page. Then look at the "secure" icon!
Online Ordering Frequently Asked Questions
Which trains require reservations?
None, but in recent years we have found that any of our trains can sell out.
I'm worried about being stuck outside in the wind or rain.
Easy! Purchase a seat in an indoor car.
I'd rather wait and see what the weather's like.
That can work, but it can also be a bit risky. This Fall Color season, we didn't turn away a single walk-up. However, about 15 left on their own when they realized we could not get them indoors. That's the risk you take, and fortunately they understood that.
One more thing. It's Michigan. "If you don't like the weather... wait an hour." Seriously. We often see trains with the open-air car empty going one way, and full coming back! So don't get discouraged.
Can I use Visa/Mastercard?
Yes, when you reserve online or by telephone. For walk-ups, it's touch and go. Because of our remote locations, we use the modern card swiper on a cell phone. They sometimes do not work.
Can I order by telephone?
Yes. Call our ticket hotline at 734-396-0416, 24 hours. The convenience charge is $1 higher.
What if I have a large group?
You need to give us as much notice as possible. For large group reservations (over 25), call our business office at 517-456-7677. We may be able to offer you discounts. Our volunteers answer this number as they can, and it may take awhile for us to call you back.
Frequently asked questions about the trips
I'm looking for a station building, where is it?
We operate from six locations along our railroad. We only have a station building at one of them (Clinton). It would be cool to have stations everywhere, and your passenger fares help our museum move toward that. The most common mistake is going to our Clinton station when our departure is actually from elsewhere. If it's not at Clinton, we put the address on the ticket.
Our downtown Tecumseh trains board right along the track. If you're downtown at Chicago Road (M-50) and Evans St, you're in the right place. We'll be along soon!
I'm at the location. Where's the train?
Either you're early, or we're late. Our train is still coming out of the barn, or it's still on the trip before yours.
Are the trains heated?
No. For the fall trains we recommend you dress warm for the weather. Even on a rainy day when everyone is inside at the start, we often find that the weather shifts, and many passengers will venture into the open car for the return trip. It helps to be equipped! If it's cold, we often run small propane heaters to "take the edge off", but it's not heated like an Amtrak train.
Are there bathrooms on the train?
No. (you wouldn't want to know how historic equipment "worked"!) But there are bathrooms at both ends of the ride. We won't take you more than an hour without a bathroom break.
What about access for the disabled?
The train cars are genuine historic railroad cars. The steps are a challenge and they were not built for wheelchair access. A good rule of thumb is, if you can climb 1 flight of stairs in a commercial building, you'll be OK. You also need to get from the nearest parking area to the train. We'll let you drive up to the train for unloading if we can, but that is difficult in downtown Tecumseh. That said, we carry quite a few people in wheelchairs, usually with a little help from their friends. (Our crews are not allowed to carry passengers on board, but other than that, we'll do what we can to help.) Most of our loading areas are on dirt or gravel. If the wheelchair folds, we can carry it on the train, however the spaces on board are not big enough to maneuver a wheelchair, and see also our advice on strollers.
How about strollers?
First, does your train go somewhere you'll want to get out, unload and go some distance? Some of our trains don't. Anyway, bring the lightest stroller you can (leave strollzilla at home) and we may be able to find a place to stow it onboard. That's easier to do if you're in a caboose or open-air car.
SMRS reserves the right to change equipment, route or schedules due to inclement weather or mechanical failures. The Society is not responsible for lost or damaged personal belongings. Children under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult.