Knowing Your Neighbors: Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad
TREGO, Wis. – Have you ever been on a train? Taken a ride through the scenic north woods? This week, we give you a look inside the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad.
Wisconsin Great Northern trains depart their depot in Trego five days a week all year long.
“We have really found a market,” said Greg Vreeland, President and General Manager. “People that have anniversaries and birthdays in the middle of the winter, there’s not really a whole lot to do up in the north country.”
Boarding one of their beautifully restored cars is like taking a walk back in time.
“It’s amazing how many people that we hear from, it’s on their bucket list,” said Vreeland. “They always wanted to take an overnight train trip and unfortunately there’s just very few opportunities anymore.”
One special opportunity the family owned business offers is the country’s only bed and breakfast dinner train.
“Six o’clock the train departs the station and we serve a four course dinner that is cooked right on board the train while we’re rolling through the North Woods,” said Vreeland.
It’s a scenic adventure that takes riders to an overlook on the Nakekagon River.
“It’s a place totally out in the woods, you cannot see a house, you cannot see a car, you’re just out in nature,” said Vreeland.
It’s the kind of experience you can’t find anywhere else.
“I think people still like trains although people don’t ride trains anymore and I think now it’s kind of a novelty to ride a train,” said Lynton Brooks, the locomotive engineer.
“You ever watch the little ones when they come on the property, their eyes just light up,” said Vreeland. “They see the trains in cartoons and they grow up with a romance of the railroad.”
It’s a romance that people of all ages still haven’t grown out of.
You can visit the Wisconsin Great Northern Railroad online here.