Steam Engine Train Tours

SCI is partnering with Central States Steam Preservation Association (CSSPA) and the Iowa Interstate Railroad to bring a steam locomotive to Downtown Des Moines!

Short, 50-minute train rides will offer passengers the iconic experience of traveling behind a steam locomotive. In addition, railway safety will be at the forefront with a display from Operation Lifesaver, whose mission is to save lives through public education.

The Iowa Bolt #6988 also will be on static display for the public (at no fee for visitors) on Saturday, September 4, between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm outside the Science Center of Iowa on 4th Street.

Tour Times: 

ALL TICKETS FOR ALL DEPARTURE TIMES ARE SOLD OUT. Train rides are 50 minutes long and depart from 4th Street in front of SCI. Trains will leave on time - please arrive early for boarding.

  • Sunday, September 5 - 9:00 am (SOLD OUT), 10:30 am (SOLD OUT), 12:00 pm (SOLD OUT), 1:30 pm (SOLD OUT), 3:00 pm (SOLD OUT)
  • Monday September 6 - 9:00 am (SOLD OUT), 10:30 am (SOLD OUT), 12:00 pm (SOLD OUT), 1:30 pm (SOLD OUT)

Ticket sales are final and cannot be rescheduled or refunded. Proceeds will help support the Science Center of Iowa's mission – to engage and inspire Iowans along their journey of lifelong science learning.

Masks are REQUIRED for boarding the train. 

Info for Passengers

Thank you for purchasing tickets to ride on the steam locomotive this weekend! We are excited to be able to bring you this once-in-a-lifetime experience.

There are a few important things to know before you arrive. Please read this information carefully!

Thank you to our partners – Central States Steam Preservation Association, Iowa Interstate Railroad and Operation Lifesaver.


The ticket booth will be located outside SCI along the sidewalk. Passengers who have pre-purchased train tickets will need to show their confirmation email at the ticket booth to acquire a paper ticket to board the train. Each passenger will need a ticket.

Please note that SCI admission is separate from train tickets. If you would like to purchase admission for SCI and the Des Moines Mini Maker Faire, visit: https://bit.ly/3gjxnf9


Passengers will board the train approximately 10-15 minutes prior to the departure time.

Trains will depart ON TIME, so please give yourself ample time to arrive, find parking and get your tickets. We recommend arriving 20-25 minutes prior to your departure time.

Train rides will be approximately 45 minutes long. There will be no stops during the ride.


As with any large event, you will want to give yourself ample time to find parking. Options include:

  • SCI Parking Ramp (4th and Market)
  • Polk County Courthouse surface parking lot (5th and Cherry)
  • City parking ramp (5th and Mulberry)
  • City parking ramp (3rd and Court)
  • Metered street parking (free on Sunday)

Please note that the train will be blocking the railroad crossings at 4th and 5th Street.


A primary focus of this event is railway safety education. Inside SCI, passengers will be able to view a display from Operation Lifesaver, whose mission is to prevent collisions, injuries and fatalities on and around railroad tracks and crossings through public education.


Face coverings will be required to board the train.