Our mission The Steam Railroading Institute is dedicated to educate the public about steam era railroading in Michigan and the Great Lakes Region. This includes the preservation of the skills and technology for maintaining steam locomotives by operating steam era equipment and providing the experience of steam locomotives in actual operation.

Steam Railroading Institute

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Ways to help

Window Glazing

Replace window glazing where necessary.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

HVAC Servicing

HVAC servicing throughout the fleet.
  • Occasional, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Dining & Parlour Car Enhancement

Updating car interiors, including reconfiguring table sizes to improve passenger experience.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Physical, Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Front Desk Liason

For anyone who is not currently on the front desk schedule but is interested in helping.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Restoration Work

Assist with various projects in regards to the restoration of the CNW 175.
  • One-time, Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Physical, Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Parlour Car Retention Tanks

Installation of black water retention tanks on Parlour Cars & Transition Car.
  • One-time, Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Museum Tour Guide

For anyone who is not currently on the tour guide schedule but is interested in learning how.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Rebranding Amtrak Cars

Rebranding the cars from former Amtrak to SRI branding, including exterior painting.
  • One-time, Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Parlour Car Lower-Level Remodel

Remodel of the lower levels of the Parlour Cars to allow for additional revenue space.
  • One-time, Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Window Gasket Replacement

Replacing window gaskets throughout the fleet to stop leaks.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Museum Grounds Maintenance

Organization, clearing clutter, light landscaping/lawn cleanup.
  • Occasional, Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals, Groups (2-10)
  • Physical, Outdoor
  • On-site, Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Track Extension

Extending track in various locations to increase storage space.
  • Occasional
  • Adults
  • Individuals
  • Physical, Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Design & Install Parlour Car Bathrooms

Bathrooms are a necessary addition to the Parlour Cars.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Physical, Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Graffiti Removal

Removing graffiti from the former CB&Q and Northern Pacific dining cars.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Physical, Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Fleet Plumbing Repairs

Plumbing repairs are needed in car bathrooms & kitchens.
  • Weekly, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

PM 1225 Annual Inspection

Assist the backshop with any maintenance or repairs in preparation of annual inspection.
  • Occasional
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Indoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends

Deep Cleaning of Fleet

The entire fleet of cars has sat for over a year and is in need of a deep cleaning.
  • Occasional, Monthly
  • 55+, Adults
  • Individuals
  • Physical, Indoor, Outdoor
  • Formal, Skilled
  • Weekdays, Weekends
How you help The Steam Railroading Institute would not be where we are today without the hard work and dedication from our amazing volunteers. We are proud to say we have the best team of volunteers in the world. With the exception of seven staff members, everyone else that you will see operating trains and working at SRI are volunteers.
About us Today the Steam Railroading Institute is the image of the Michigan State Trust for Railway Preservation Inc. Situated on the site of the former Ann Arbor Railroad’s steam shops and roundhouse in Owosso, the MSTRP and SRI have grown tremendously in the past forty plus years; now housing two steam locomotives, one diesel locomotives, a fleet of passenger cars, plus numerous pieces of rolling stock and historic structures. The Institute is home to the majestic Pere Marquette 1225. The 1225 embodies the characteristics of the last and most powerful steam locomotives and is one of the last steam engines of this size still in operation. SRI offers a variety of events and excursions throughout the year to fullfill the educational mission and the most popular of all is the “North Pole Express,” available during November and December.
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