Welcome aboard the Indiana Rail Experience – Northeastern Indiana’s newest attraction!

Enjoy a variety of trips and offerings including 45-minute train rides, 2.5-hour-long evening rides, or enjoy all-day experiences aboard a historic train. In 2022, the Indiana Rail Experience welcomed over 6,000 passengers. Stay tuned for an expanded calendar of events for 2023!

Brought to you by our sponsors

Northeast Indiana's Newest Attraction

The Indiana Rail Experience

At the turn of the 20th Century, Northeast, Indiana was powered by over a dozen railroads and interurban lines. Our communities were connected to every major city in the nation by high speed passenger trains and the revered steam locomotive and very few lives were untouched by the rhythm of the rail.

The Indiana Rail Experience is a celebration of this remarkable history made possible through a special partnership with the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society and the Indiana Northeastern Railroad.

Listen for the whistle

We're preserving and making railroad history!

The Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society offers outstanding, educational experiences through the operation of one of the last surviving steam locomotives in the world: Nickel Plate Road no. 765.

Now in its 50th year, the Indiana Rail Experience is a special partnership between the Fort Wayne Railroad and the Indiana Northeastern Railroad. This collaboration will bring the exciting sites and sounds to our region for years to come.

Locally owned and operated

Connecting community and industry

Formally incorporated 30 years ago in 1992, the Indiana Northeastern has revitalized 100 miles of railroad in Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio that was once almost completely abandoned in the 1990s. The railroad now sees over 5,000 freight carloads a year, serves 25 industrial and agricultural industries and supports over 500 jobs in the region.


What's it like riding your excursion trains?

Riding aboard a vintage train can be an exciting and memorable occasion. Our events are meant to be sensory experiences – from the onboard accommodations and food service to the dramatic sights and sounds of a historic locomotive pulling the train. Depending on your trip, passengers can enjoy standard accommodations in coach and deluxe coach classes, or opt for a special experience aboard first-class lounge cars straight out of the 1940s and 50s. Private, executive class cars are also available to charter for groups.

Food service is generally only available in First Class, Lounge, or Executive Class accommodations, and is available when specified as part of your ticket purchase.

Please check the details for your tickets and trips, as onboard food may not always be available, and always make sure to check your email for your receipt and pre-trip instructions and information.

What things should I know before taking this trip?

Our train rides are memorable outings, but there are key items to keep in mind:

  • Wear sturdy, comfortable shoes (no sandals, flip fops or open toed shoes.)
  • Expect a train on any track, at any time in any direction.
  • Do not walk on the rail head.
  • Our primary attraction is a coal-burning steam locomotive and often produces cinders that fly through the air and can be dangerous to the eyes. You must wear safety glasses if riding in an open vestibule.
  • Due to the special nature of these events, our scheduled times are not guaranteed and can be affected by freight or passenger traffic or other logistics. Please do not make time sensitive plans.
  • All trains run rain or shine.

Are there restrooms available on your trains?

Every other car will typically have its own restroom facility. In the event that a car does not have an operational restroom, the next car ahead or behind you will. Restrooms will also be available at our boarding site.

Are cars air conditioned?

Most cars are climate controlled, but our open-air and open-window coaches are not. Please be sure to read the ticket information with your class.

Are seats assigned?

Generally speaking, seats are not assigned. Only suites in our lounge car are assigned to the ticket buyer at purchase. Groups riding together are encouraged to purchase their tickets and board together. Car hosts will make every attempt to seat parties together. Your ticket may be assigned with a car name or number at the time of purchase or before travel.

Are your trains ADA accessible?

Most of the passenger cars used on these trains were built in the 1940s and 1950s, decades before ADA handicap considerations were implemented, and are historic in nature.

Some passenger cars have narrow hallways, narrow doorways, and small restrooms and these can present guests with limited mobility with insurmountable challenges. 

Passengers with limited mobility need to be aware of these limitations and should expect such situations and should contact the Ticket Agent for planning and accommodations. We make every effort to reasonably accommodate guests with limited mobility and are in the process of converting a car with a wheelchair lift.

If you are traveling in a wheelchair or other such device, you are responsible for providing any person(s) necessary to assist in loading, unloading, or onboard mobility and they must have the proper ticket.

Will there be a diesel in the train?

While our steam locomotive is perfectly capable of operating a train on its own, we plan to use a vintage diesel locomotive on one end of the train in most cases to facilitate return trips to the station or backup movements.

This is necessary for several reasons. First, for safety, operating our locomotive in reverse while pulling the train tender-first provides the operating crew with limited visibility. Second, at this time there is only one location on the railroad where we can “turn” the train around. Nevertheless, the steam locomotive will always be a part of your train ride unless for mechanical reasons it is substituted.

Are these excursions roundtrip?

Yes. All trips return to their original departure location.

Operated by

In partnership with