Riverside & Great Northern Railway

Also known as: Riverside & Great Northern Preservation Society, Inc
N115 County Highway N, Wisconsin Dells, WI 53965

15" Guage Steam Railroad Running at the site of former Sandley Light Railway Works


Engine 98 Gets Water

Built for the Hoot, Toot & Whistle but has returned home to the R&GN Railway.

Photo taken by J.R. Manning June 2019




The Riverside & Great Northern Railway is a 15" gauge steam railroad and museum located near the tourist destination of Wisconsin Dells. It is located on the site of the former Sandley Light Railway Works, a builder of amusement railroad equipment, still in used in many American locations.

The Sandley operation began in Janesville, Wisconsin in the 1940s and operated a small railroad in Riverside Park (source of the name) for demonstrating the company's products. Not all residents of Janesville were as excited about steam railroading as the Sandleys, and their lease was not renewed. Elmer Sandley moved his operation to Wisconsin Dells, running tracks on an old alignment of the Milwaukee Road that had been abandoned in 1902.

The Sandley Light Railway Works closed in 1982 after the death of Norman Sandley. Seven years later, a group of local enthusiasts formed the Riverside & Great Northern Preservation Society, Incorporated and acquired the facilities.

Update Log 

  • June 18, 2019: New photos from J.R. Manning
  • June 17, 2019: New photo from J.R. Manning
  • June 17, 2019: Added by J.R. Manning