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Letter from the CEO 

Updated: May 19, 2020

Dear Friends,

Last Friday afternoon, Brown County, Wisconsin rescinded the “Safer at Home” order, allowing businesses to reopen. This does not mean that COVID-19 has been eradicated; it is still spreading within our community.  As a community organization, we have been considering the desire so many have to leave their home and resume the activities they enjoy against the current status of the pandemic in this area.  It is important to me that all of our visitors remain safe and healthy, and in anticipation of reopening, we have been preparing the Museum for your visit over the last few weeks.

We will open to the public on Thursday, May 21 at 9:00 a.m. In appreciation of the ongoing work of our healthcare workers, police, firefighters, City of Green Bay, Village of Ashwaubenon, and Brown County employees, we will give them free admission to the Museum May 21 – May 27, 2020. All they need to do is bring their badge.

While the Museum was closed over the last two months, we developed a 40-page document detailing our reopening process and the measures our staff will take to keep everyone who visits safe. It is comprehensively based on the recommendations of the CDC, EPA, WEDC, OSHA, the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, and the best practices from the travel, attractions, events, Museum, and manufacturing industries. We have also done a lot of research on the nature of the virus and the history of pandemics in this country in an effort to better understand what actions we can take to be most effective in preventing virus transmission, and have incorporated this information into the plan.

We have made a lot of changes to our operations to help with social distancing and sanitization, while still maintaining an enjoyable experience. Just a few of those changes include:


  1. 35 people will be admitted to the Museum each hour, and we will be selling timed tickets through 3:00 p.m. We have over 100,000 square feet of covered exhibit space plus 33 acres, allowing you and your family to comfortably explore. Members will receive a code in a separate email to use when they check-in online. Purchase tickets online at our website:
  2. Each train ride will run at less than 50% capacity, and if necessary, we will provide additional train rides to ensure everyone who wants to ride, can safely do so during the day. We will disinfect the train after every ride.
  3. The Museum has a disinfection schedule where the staff will clean high-touch areas throughout the day. The main, climate-controlled building will close at 4:00 p.m. for deep cleaning. The last train ride will end at 4:30 p.m., and the McCormick Pavilion (our open-air building) and grounds will close at 5:00 p.m.
  4. Social distancing prompts will be found throughout the Museum to help you to determine where to stand in lines, and a one-way path will guide you through the Museum.
  5. 12 families will be able to shop in the Museum store at one time. This will help promote social distance.
  6. Hand sanitizing stations will be found throughout the Museum. These stations will have an ingredient list to help you determine if you want to use hand sanitizer or soap and water during your visit.
  7. All staff will wear masks and follow an extensive personal virus mitigation protocol to prevent infection in them and to prevent transmission to others. Signs of any illness will require the staff member to remain home until they receive permission from their medical provider to return.
  8. Any areas of the Museum where it is difficult to maintain social distance or cleanliness will be closed. We will, however, provide stairs and platforms to allow our guests to still see the interiors of our trains. These areas will be cleaned often.

These are just a few of the ways that we are ensuring that you have a safe, stress-free visit.  While we follow CDC guidelines for disinfection at the Museum, we cannot guarantee that you will not be exposed to COVID-19. During your visit, you can also help protect the health of yourself and those you love by doing the following:

  • Create six feet of social distance between your group and others
  • Follow the one-way path and read the signage about remaining safe throughout the Museum
  • Avoid touching surfaces and wash your hands or use hand sanitizers frequently
  • Bring a mask and cover your mouth and nose with it
  • If you exhibit symptoms of any illness on the day of your planned visit, please postpone your visit until you have recovered.

This is a new experience for all of us at the Museum, and we will continue to update our plans and look for ways to create a healthy environment. At the same time, we look forward to seeing you again. We understand that community and human connections are important, and want to offer a safe place for these.

Please know that if you are unable or are not ready to visit, however, we will still be here. We will continue to offer a summer schedule of virtual Storytimes and education programs Tuesday – Thursday on Facebook Live, and will have a new schedule in the fall. We continue to have online shopping that supports the Museum. For updates about upcoming programs and events, watch Facebook and our website. We will continue to keep you informed. Should you have any questions, please feel free to contact us by email or by telephone. The contact information is easy to find on our website.

Again, we look forward to seeing you at the Museum beginning this Thursday, May 21.



a close up of a logo



Jacqueline D. Frank

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Come Explore One of the Top 10 Things To Do in Green Bay!

TripAdvisor COE 2018
Train buff paradise

This will be the best place for any train buff. You can't beat this for a day or two visit. Be ready for the greatest walk in your life.

– Linda B., TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor COE 2018
Had to see this

We visited in the morning before attending a Packer's game. As a retired conductor, I had to see the place. I was very impressed by the bookstore, Dwight's train and the steam engines. The theatre presentation on steam days was excellant. Former CN conductor.

– Gerard B., TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor COE 2018
Very impressive trains, especially Big Boy

The trains and engines were outstanding. The train ride around the property was a little long, maybe just one trip around would have been better on a hot day.

– Nick P., TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor COE 2018

I thought this museum was for kids only. We were pleasantly surprised and enjoyed the museum. The train ride was great and very informative about the history of Hobos.

– Tammy R., TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor COE 2018
A must-see for train fans and history buffs.

Who knew that we had a National Railroad Museum? We were so glad we stopped here. Lots of really great stuff to see. Definitely take the train ride. If you have AAA, it's two-for-one admission, or it was the day we went anyway.

– Mike S., TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor COE 2018
Great spot

Museum was fantastic, staff is friendly and very helpful. We went during the winter months and didn't venture to the outside displays. The museum inside is quite large and very informative. Great with young kids!

– Dayter, TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor COE 2018
History up close

This is one of the better national railroad museums. You do not have to be a railroad buff to enjoy the railroad history. Entire family will enjoy. See also the model railroads.

– Bob H., TripAdvisor
TripAdvisor COE 2018

Huge in every sense of the word. Massive engines of interesting origins. Very hands on. Majestic testament to engineering.

– Mindy M., TripAdvisor