Lake Superior Railroad Museum

When people think about Duluth, Minnesota’s history, they most likely think about Lake Superior and marine impacts. But, Duluth has a rich railroad history. The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is the perfect location for people to explore the diversified railroad history of Duluth, as well as learn about railroads in general. Photo: Lake Superior Railroad Museum



The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is partnered with the North Shore Scenic Railroad to provide visitors with a comprehensive and expansive historic experience. Housed in the Historic Union Depot in Duluth, Minnesota, the Lake Superior Railroad Museum has one of the finest collections within the Midwest.

Since the Historic Union Depot as built in 1892, it has been a cultural hotspot. One of the highlighted rooms within the Historic Union Depot was the immigrants’ waiting room, which served as an area for people who were waiting for their train connections. This room was often regarded as a small Ellis Island.

In 1969, the last train left the station. Four years later, construction began to turn the Historic Union Depot into a museum. Photo: Lake Superior Railroad Museum

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The Lake Superior Railroad Museum is known for having the most comprehensive and abundant Minnesota railroad heritage collection throughout the world.

Depot Square takes people back to 1910. Throughout Depot Square, visitors will be able to explore various exhibits, such as the Zelda Theater. Depot Square showcases the cultural aspects of life in Duluth in the early 1900s.

Diesel Locomotives is a collection of diesel locomotives from the 1930s to the 1960s. This exhibit has a lot of rare diesel locomotives, such as the Great Northern 192. The Great Northern 192 is one out of ten of the locomotives of its kind.

Steam Locomotives is a display of rare and historically significant steam locomotives. One of the highlighted steam locomotives within this collection is the William Crooks. The William Crooks is among a select number of steam locomotives that are from the Civil War era. Another significance of the William Crooks was its recognition as being the first steam locomotive that traveled in Minnesota.

Passenger Cars displays an array of cars used by passengers. The passenger cars within this exhibit range from the early 1800s to the 1950s. One of the most notable passenger cars within this exhibit is the 1946 Pullman Observation Car.

Cabooses allows visitors to explore the history and significance of cabooses, which are the last part on a train.

Freight Equipment showcases how and where everything was shipped within a train. In the 1900s, freight equipment was the version of today’s semi-trucks.

Service Equipment explores the technology that was used to maintain and service trains. One of the highlighted pieces within this exhibit is a rotary snowplow from 1887.

Electric Locomotives displays some of the first and most innovative electric locomotives. Electric locomotives were developed in attempt to replace steam as a way to power trains.

Miscellaneous Holdings features an array of objects related to railroads and railroad history within Minnesota. Featured objects include; an American-inspired trolley built in Portugal, alog loader from McGiffert and a US Steel ladle car. Photo: Lake Superior Railroad Museum

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»Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities

Education is extremely important to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. That’s why the Museum has an array of educational opportunities. Most of the educational programs at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum cater to school aged children. Common educational programs include; math activities, scavenger hunts, hands-on activities, and interactive games. Most of the educational programs at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum focus on the goals of STEM.

One of the main educational opportunities at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum is the specialized tour. This tour allows large groups, class trips, and other groups to explore the Lake Superior Railroad Museum in an up close and personal way. A specially trained tour guide leads a tour group throughout the Museum and gives relays special information and stories that participants wouldn’t experience if they explored the museum themselves.

For more information about the educational opportunities at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, check out the Museum’s website. Photo: Lake Superior Railroad Museum

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»Special Events

Special Events

While the Lake Superior Railroad Museum usually doesn’t host public special events, the Museum regularly hosts private special events. Typical private special events at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum include weddings, corporate retreats, birthday parties, and other celebrations.

If you’re interested in hosting a special event at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum, be sure to check out the Museum’s website, then contact the museum via phone or email. The Lake Superior Railroad Museum has specially trained employees that are designated to cater to all of your special event needs.

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Historic Union Depot, 506 W Michigan St, Duluth, MN 55802, Phone: 218-727-8025 Photo: Lake Superior Railroad Museum

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Lake Superior Railroad Museum