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What Good is a Scenic Railroad?

This story starts with the part you probably already know… The North Shore Scenic Railroad operates excursion trains throughout the year, and these successful trains produce the supporting funds that sustain its parent organization, the Lake Superior Railroad Museum. In other words, all proceeds from Railroad operations feed the hungry museum with necessary funds to continue restoration and curatorial efforts. Meanwhile, it brings history to life, taking static artifacts on excursions for patrons to experience.

But the good goes far beyond that. The railroad attracts guests from all over the country and world. Passengers who travel to Duluth stay in hotels, shop, eat, and enjoy all the Duluth area has to offer. Over 100,000 people just last year alone rode the railroad. The pie chart shown below shows that over 80% of them came from outside the immediate area. This data pulled directly out of the railroad’s ticket registration system.

When hotels are full, our tourism tax is being funded. The small tourism tax applied on hotel rooms feeds the city’s fund used to support other attractions within the tax parameters, including funds that go to the Historic Union Depot, the place our railroad and museum calls home.
The tax also supports important community services such as police and fire and other attractions in town, including the Great Lakes Aquarium, the Zoo, Spirit Mountain, and the DECC, just to name a few.
Our railroad fills hotel rooms, and if you don’t believe that, try and get one during our Day Out With Thomas event. Thomas’ friends who came to the event spent over $8.5 MILLION dollars in our community when they were here last summer. (Zenith Research 2016 Thomas Economic Impact Study)
unnamedIn addition, due to our recent successful years, the railroad is able to donate tickets for use in fundraisers across the state. From little-league teams, to cancer benefits, to scholarships, your railroad contributes over $40,000 value in donated tickets to these causes each year.
Volunteers and members like you make this all possible! Both our museum and railroad are non-profit organizations that operate with very tight budgets, and every dollar contributed and every hour volunteered goes directly towards the greater good of the North Shore Scenic Railroad.
Thank you for being a supporter! Tickets aboard the North Shore Scenic Railroad are for sale online or by calling our ticket office at 218-722-1273