The Indiana Railway Museum is a tourist railway located in French Lick, Indiana. The Museum was founded in 1961 in the town of Westport, Indiana where the railroad operated a tourist excursion, utilizing one small locomotive, three passenger cars, and about twenty volunteers. Ridership was estimated at about 500 passengers in 1962. The museum and railway remained in Westport until a move was necessitated in 1971. The organization relocated to Greensburg, Indiana where it operated until 1976 when it again, it changed locations. The Museum was relocated to French Lick in 1978 after an agreement with the Southern Railway Company. They deeded the Museum a total of sixteen miles of track stretching from West Baden, Indiana, approximately one mile north of French Lick, to a small village named Dubois, to the south.
The Indiana Railway Museum currently operates as The French Lick Scenic Railway operating passenger trains over twenty-five miles of this track from French Lick to Jasper. The driving force behind the Railway is to provide guests with an experience harking back to a time when rail travel was the primary means of long distance travel. You won’t find a Museum in the traditional sense. There are no display cases full of dusty timetables and lanterns, but what you will find is the opportunity to experience history. Instead of just looking at them, you will be able to climb aboard the train and experience rail travel first hand!
Frequently Asked Questions
The train departs from the French Lick Depot located in the heart of French Lick, IN.
We highly suggest making sure you do not select “shortest route” as many GPS systems will take you on a winding tours of the many back country roads of Orange County.
The depot is open two hours prior to departure and for approximately 30 minutes after the return of the train. On days when the train is not operating, the depot is not open. These hours may vary during special events.
The best way to purchase tickets is to visit the Calendar Page and select the date and excursion you would like to take. You will be able to purchase online and your tickets will be waiting for you on the day of your ride at Will Call. Convenience fees do apply.
You may also purchase by phone, by calling 1-800-74-TRAIN. This phone line is open seven days a week, though hours vary by the day. This is also the best way to receive more personalized service if you have any questions that are not answered in the FAQs. Convenience fees do apply.
You may also purchase in person at the depot on the day of your desired excursion. While there are no additional fees to purchase in this manner, you do run the risk of the ride being sold out. The depot opens two hours prior to departure and in-person ticket purchases may be made at this time.
For special events such as Tasting Trains and Wild West Hold-ups, it is strongly suggested that you purchase your tickets in advance. For THE POLAR EXPRESS™ Train Ride, advance ticket purchase is required.
The French Lick Scenic Railway is located in the EASTERN TIME ZONE. The railroad does observe Daylight Savings Time. If you are traveling from the western part of the state, please ensure that you double check and plan ahead. French Lick is in the EASTERN TIME ZONE.
While this sounds like a silly question, it does come up from time to time. Consistent with most rail travel, trains do operate on a timetable and, the 1:00 pm train really does LEAVE THE STATION at 1:00 pm.
The train typically begins boarding 20 – 30 minutes prior to departure and tickets are collected onboard the train. If you are parking your car at 1:00 pm, you will miss the train.
Parking is available in the depot parking lot. Parking is also available in the Blue Lot of the French Lick Resort. Those driving large vehicles such as large pickups, RVs, or any vehicle with a trailer must park in the Blue Lot.
Parking is free.
Tickets purchased in advance either online or by phone are held in Will Call and are available for pickup at the ticket window in the depot on the day of your departure. Tickets are not mailed out.
Yes. Tickets are required on the train. Please present your online (or phone) order confirmation at the ticket window in the depot to receive your tickets.
If you have already purchased tickets and miss your departure, we may be able to transfer your tickets to another train ride during the present calendar year, however this is not guaranteed. Tickets are sold as non-refundable and non-exchangeable.
Tickets for special events are non-refundable and non-exchangeable.
If you miss the train while at a layover, you are responsible for obtaining your own transportation back to your point of origin.
With the historic nature of the railcars, some built nearly 100 years ago, wheelchair accessibility is challenging. There is wheelchair available seating available in the Coach Class seating aboard the Rock Island cars.
While there are steps to climb to enter each of the railcars, for those who might find them difficult, a wheelchair lift is available, which can also be used for those who find steps challenging. We strongly encourage those with accessibility questions to call us at 1-800-74-TRAIN so that we might better address your questions.
There are restrooms on the train in both coach and the Vistadome (first class and dome class).
Service dogs are always welcome on the train.
It is strongly discouraged that you plan on bringing your pet with you on the train. While the train crew does have the discretion to allow a small pet onboard the train, it is not guaranteed and you should have other arrangements in place. Pets, with the exception of qualified service dogs are NOT permitted on any special event train. Do not leave your pet in a parked car.
Smoking of any type is prohibited on the train. This includes cigarettes, cigars, pipes, cloves, e-cigarettes, and vaping of any kind. All of the above are prohibited on the whole of the depot property and are permitted only in the designated area at our halfway stop.
While everyone enjoys a good beer, due to state liquor laws, guests may not bring their own alcohol on board the train. Beer, wine, and some liquor is available for purchase on most scenic excursions. Alcohol sold on the train must be consumed on board the train. Any guest arriving with alcohol will be asked to dispose of it. The railroad reserves the right to refuse service or boarding to any passenger it deems overly inebriated. Guests removed or denied boarding due to being intoxicated will not receive any refund or other compensation.
Scenic rides and Wild West Hold-up trains do offer a snack bar. A variety of cookies, crackers, candy bars, and suckers are available. Drinks include Coca-Cola products, water, beer, wine, and some mixed drinks.
Credit cards are accepted on the train for some purchases. However, it is suggested that cash be used to save yourself time.
The train is a scenic ride through the hills of Southern Indiana and the edges of the Hoosier National Forest. You will travel past limestone and sandstone rock cuts, past an 1850’s log cabin, and through the second longest railroad tunnel in the state.
As the train ride is in Southern Indiana, and in a forest, you can expect that there will be a number of trees seen on the ride. Sit back, relax, and enjoy experiencing when travel was… when the journey was part of the adventure.
The halfway point is a stop of about 10 minutes. This allows passengers to get off the train and stretch their legs (and smoke if they need to). There are also portable toilets available at this stop; there are also restrooms onboard the train. The stop also allows the crew to prepare the train for its movement back to French Lick. The train travels on the same track back to its origin, making the trip in reverse. After stretching your legs, find a seat on the opposite side of the train and enjoy the ride back to French Lick. During Wild West Hold-ups, the layover is usually around 20 minutes, as cowboys try to keep the bandits from robbing the train.
The simple answer is because there is no loop or any other track back to French Lick. The rail line was built in 1907. It was built as traditional railroads are, with a track that serves traffic running in both directions. There was no need to build different tracks, as it was unnecessary and expensive.
The train averages around 15 miles per hour. This speed is just about right to let you enjoy the scenery that the train is passing by.
A diesel-electric locomotive pulls the train. There are currently no operating steam locomotives at the French Lick Scenic Railway.
Your experience features your party seated at a table with a car attendant for the car. Each guest will receive a take home souvenir and complimentary bottled water. Amenities during special events will vary.
Children UNDER the age of two are free. Children between the ages of 2 – 11 years of age qualify for a children’s ticket. Some special events and classes of service do not have a children’s rate available.
Dinner trains are not currently offered departing out of French Lick. The Railroad expects to debut Dinner Train service out of French Lick in mid-2019. Until then, visitors may opt to check out The Spirit of Jasper, departing from a station on the southern portion of our railroad. This partnership, between the City of Jasper and the Railroad, operates excursions out of Jasper between June and October. Some of these rides do offer a dinner service. Visit spiritofjasper.com for more details.
The Indiana Railway Museum operates under the name of the French Lick Scenic Railway. Here you will ride aboard vintage coaches, some of which are nearly 100 years old. You will begin your journey by departing from an historic limestone depot constructed in 1907. While there will be plenty of history around, what you will not find are displays and exhibits indicative of a traditional Museum.
French Lick, IN 47432