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“Fun train ride / tour”

Riverside and Great Northern Railway
Ranked #14 of 25 Tours in Wisconsin Dells
Certificate of Excellence
Type: Rail Tours, Tours
More attraction details
Attraction details
Owner description: The R&GN is a 15-inch gauge railway living museum offering fun for young and old. Ride our live coal fired steam trains along a 3 mile roadbed winding through scenic canyons, beautiful wooded areas, and majestic rock cuts beside the Dells of the Wisconsin River. Watch the locomotive being turned on a hand operated turntable at Western Springs, and turned again at the final stop at the Hyde Park depot. Before or after your ride, enjoy a picnic with your family, visit our exhibits and stop by our Museum Store with your children for a wide selection of railroad and museum memorabilia, books and magazines, videos and music, hats and clothing for children and adults, and of course Thomas the Train Products™.
Oakland Co., MI
Level Contributor
23 reviews
11 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
“Fun train ride / tour”
Reviewed 1 August 2011

After hitting the waterpark the previous day, we were looking for something else to do before we went back the next evening. We looked through brochures and Tripadvisor and decided that the kids (5 and 8) would enjoy a ride on the train.

We enjoyed the 1/4 scale train ride through the area where the "big" trains (now just up the hill) used to run. It was scenic and the train moved fast enough to make it interesting.

We also liked that the group that runs the train is a non-profit and that the money raised by visitors paying for rides is put back into the maintenance of the trains and the depot and other buildings. The price for the ride is fair, not cheap but not too expensive, but knowing that the money spent is not only for your entertainment but for a "good cause" makes this a good value in our opinion.

Visited July 2011
Thank grtgonzo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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128 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Elcho, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
28 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Relaxing fun for the family”
Reviewed 30 July 2011

We took our two children, ages 3 and 5, to the Riverside & Great Northern Railway in part because it was very close to our KOA campground. It was a lot of fun. The train is 1/4 scale but the cars were comfortable for myself and my husband (he's 6' tall). The ride is 1.5 miles in open-air cars, then you get out and sit while the engineer and conductor give a little information and give a chance to ask questions, then trun the engine around. Then you ride back. I suggest sitting in the last car when you start out as the conductor sits with you and gives you information and answers any questions that you have, and once they turn the engine around, you are in the car directly behind the engine (be sure to leave something in the car - you can see it the whole time). The cost is quite reasonable, ($12 adult/$8 kids/4 & under free) and all of the people are volunteers, so they enjoy being there and it shows. They have a nice little store and a nice picnic area that we took advantage of during our visit, which lasted about 2 hours. Totally worth the money and a very enjoyable and relaxing afternoon.

Visited July 2011
Thank Debhat70
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
16 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Fun times on the railroad”
Reviewed 13 July 2011

My wife and I took our 2 year old daughter here and we would do it again. The staff there were VERY friendly and welcoming of a two year old with energy. They gave great information on the history of the railroad that exists on the property. Can't wait to visit this attraction again!

4 Thank ssgvacation
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
117 reviews
63 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 98 helpful votes
“an enjoyable stop for train lover's”
Reviewed 12 July 2011

If you enjoy it for what it's worth it's a nice addition to a trip with young children and train fans. You take a small scale train through the area countryside. You depart the train briefly for a history of the train/railway and demonstration of the turntable with the train so it can make a return trip. The short trip is especially nice if you have young children, or lots of other things to squeeze in your trip. They depart once an hr.

The guides are very helpful and friendly and passionate about trains/the railway. To tour the grounds you have to hit the right time when a guide is available either between railway trips or whenever they have available time. You inquire in the gift shop about their availability before/after a trip. We should have asked when we departed the train to the guys running the train, but didn't. The buildings aren't open otherwise. You don't go freely through the museum part, but know that the museum portion is free so if you're lucky to go or save it for the next time. They have a garden railway set up that they must run once in awhile as well. They have a nice gift shop for the train fan. If your expectation is small scale, short ride, good friendly and informative guides than this is the stop for you. There's a couple picnic tables and the shade of trees and nice RR themed setting to enjoy a picnic lunch at as well.

Impressive to us was the level of volunteer help in running and maintaining the railway and the care of the employees towards their job and helping all to enjoy the experience. There's volunteer donation boxes around (one by the train and one by the train stop) that you or your train fan can donate to.

Without seeing the museum it was an hour stop for us, with the museum it might have been closer to two.

Even nicer if you get a Culver's card (free to get, and free admission for kids) than your child/kids 11 and under (see restrictions on card) get the ride for free. www.culvers.com to request one

Visited June 2011
2 Thank hatchpal4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Southern Ontario
Level Contributor
62 reviews
38 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
“Wonderful Attraction - well worth the visit”
Reviewed 27 June 2011

My husband and I took our two young children (20 months & 3.5 yrs old) here. It says to allow for half hour and we ended up spending almost 4 hours there. It was so much more than I had expected. The entire railway and rail station area is run by volunteers and it is wonderful. Very informative and fun for kids. It is a minature steam engine train and everything is minature about the place. You won't regret it if you go here. They also have a nice picnic area that we used to have our picnic lunch.

Visited June 2011
3 Thank MomTraveller12
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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