The Steam Railroading Institute is an organization dedicated to the preservation, restoration, and operation of historical railroad equipment and items. It operates a heritage railroad which offers occasional passenger excursion trains using steam locomotives - Pere Marquette 1225, Flagg Coal Co. 75, and Mississippian 76 which is currently under restoration. The Steam Railroading Institute was formed from the Michigan State Trust for Railway Preservation.
The SRI has a few new and historic structures including an original PM turntable and an old Ann Arbor Freight house.
New Buffalo Turntable:
The turntable is an original 90 ft (27 m) PM turntable built in 1919 to serve the Pere Marquette railyard in New Buffalo, Michigan. It operated and served a 16 stall roundhouse for many years until Chessie System took over in 1984 and ceased operations at the New Buffalo yard. The SRI acquired the turntable and had it relocated to the site. Upon purchasing, the SRI added an additional 10 ft (3.0 m) to the turntable to better accommodate larger rolling stock like the PM 1225. Still functioning like it did during the steam era, the turntable was used by the 1225 during its service years on the PM many times despite its short length.
SRI Visitor Center
The SRI Visitor Center is located inside a renovated freight warehouse used by the Ann Arbor road. Its construction date is unclear but the foundation dates back to the 1880s. It is speculated that the original one burned down in the 1920s and the existing structure was built. Originally a creamery, the Ann Arbor used for freight storage for things like grain. Bruckman's Moving and Storage then leased the building from the railroad for storage use. The SRI purchased the building in 2004 and renovated it as their Visitor's Center containing exhibits, a model train layout, and the museum's artifact and archives collection.