Lake Superior Railroad Museum

Written by K. Hart at
Caboose and locomotive
inside passenger train
steam engine at Lake Superior Railroad Museum
Lake Superior Railroad Museum building


Locomotives are as much an American icon as apple pie and good ole Mom! Whether you're drawn to the Iron Horses of the 1800s cutting across the Old West or their modern cousins with comfortable amenities, trains are part of the American experience.  

When in the Twin Ports area, visit the Lake Superior Railroad Museum for an immersive railroad experience.

Since its inception in 1973, the museum has become one of the country's most esteemed railway museums. The museum is integral to the Historic Union Depot, a significant architectural marvel built in 1892. This location adds to the authenticity and historical appeal of the museum.

The Lake Superior Railroad Museum's primary focus is highlighting the importance of railroading in the Lake Superior region. The museum provides a deep dive into the area's history, and the critical role trains played in its development. It has preserved this history in the beautifully restored Duluth Union Depot complex.

In 2023, the Lake Superior Railroad Museum celebrated its 50th anniversary, marking half a century of preserving and sharing the rich railroad history of the Lake Superior region. 

The museum has grown significantly, featuring impressive exhibitions of locomotives, rolling stock, and Duluth area history.

The museum's foundation is crucial in supporting its mission and future developments. Their efforts ensure that the museum continues serving as a knowledge and history repository for generations to come. 

The Lake Superior Railroad Museum was voted the "BEST Transportation Museum in America" by USA Today, making it a go-to attraction in the area. 

Fun Facts & Cool Features 

One of the standout features of the Lake Superior Railroad Museum is its vast collection of exhibits. 

The museum houses six tracks inside the Historic Union Depot, each one showcasing different types of locomotives and rolling stock from various eras. 

The museum's collection provides a comprehensive overview of the evolution of rail transportation, from immaculately restored steam engines to modern diesel locomotives.

One standout is the grand steam locomotive with a large cow-catcher and bright light. It's a shining example of a bygone era of steam-powered travel. 

A visit to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum is also interactive. The museum offers several hands-on exhibits that allow visitors to explore train mechanics and understand how trains work. 

This interactive approach makes the museum a family-friendly destination, providing an engaging and enjoyable experience for all ages.

Another fun fact is that the museum offers train rides on historic railroad tracks! The North Shore Scenic Railroad provides the first-hand thrill of traveling by train, complete with the sights, sounds, and sensations of a bygone era.

The Lake Superior Railroad Museum offers a captivating journey through time, showcasing the evolution of railroads in the Lake Superior region. When you're in the Duluth area, it's "All aboard!" at the Lake Superior Railroad Museum for an exciting, family-friendly experience. 

Getting There 

Here are the step-by-step driving directions to the Lake Superior Railroad Museum from the Twin Ports area:

  • Start by heading towards 5th Avenue West.
  • Take a left turn onto 5th Avenue West and cross over the freeway.
  • Next, make a right turn onto Michigan Street.
  • Address: 506 W Michigan St, Duluth, MN 55802.


Here's a quick rundown of the ticket prices:

  • Adults (14 and over): $14
  • Children (3-13): $7
  • Children under 3: Free
  • Active Duty Military and Veterans: $1 off per ticket with ID

Prices are subject to change; check their website for updates.

Local Tips

  • Check the North Shore Scenic Railroad website for schedule and ticket information.
  • Museum passes are 50% off with a North Shore Scenic Railroad train ticket. 
  • The museum doesn't offer senior discounts. 
  • If you're a history buff, visit other local sites for railroad history and photos of the Twin Ports of Duluth/Superior.
  • Check out the museum's video tour for a sneak peek before your visit.


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