Do you know someone who has always dreamed of operating a train engine?  Now is the time for you to fulfill their dream or cross it off your bucket list.

Don a blue and white striped hat, toot the horn, sound the bell, and operate a diesel engine up and down the tracks. Men and women have come in from as far away as New York, Louisiana, and California for this experience at the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson. They all leave with huge smiles on their faces!

The Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum, an all-volunteer, not-for-profit organization, is offering two different Guest Engineer Programs. All guest engineers must be at least 18 years of age, have a valid drivers’ license, and be physically able to climb into the engine cab.

The half-hour guest engineer program is in the HVRM yard which is about a mile long with side tracks. Yes, the guest engineer is in the engineer’s seat the full time, under the supervision of a qualified engineer.

For the hour-long guest engineer/throttle time program, the guest engineer completes the same program as the half-hour guest engineer program before coupling up to several cars and pulling them out on the mainline for the last half hour.

Prices are $100 for a half-hour ride and $240 for the one that is an hour long. Payment is due when your guest engineer program is scheduled.  If you are interested in giving a guest engineer program as a gift, a flyer can be sent you to give as the “gift”.

For both of the guest engineer programs, one person is usually allowed to ride in the cab of the engine with the guest engineer.  A guest engineer is not allowed to pull cars with passengers on them.  Guest engineer programs are scheduled on Saturdays, according to State of Indiana Covid-19 guidelines.

Advanced reservations are required. To make your reservation, email ridership@hoosiervalley.org or call 574-896-3950. Leave a voicemail and one of our volunteers will get back with you as soon as possible. Additional information is available at www.hoosiervalley.org.