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New Barn Construction to preserve the collection
Barn 15 will be the same size as Barns 11, 13 and 14, about 30,000 square feet, and will have about 1,920 feet of track inside.

Preserving the Collection, Fundraising for Barn 15

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the next railcar storage barn, which is planned be built over Yard 15. The largest factor in the deterioration of the museum's railcar and locomotive collection is the weather... rain, snow, UV from the sun... they all have very negative effects on the wood and steel as well as the electrical components of the equipment. The best method of preservation is to house the equipment inside a building out of the elements that cause the rapid deterioration. While Barns 13 and 14 are nearing completion, the next building is planned to be Barn 15. The size of the building will be 500 feet long and 60 feet wide, enough for four tracks, or about 1,920 feet of track inside. The costs associated with the construction of barn 15 are estimated at $475,000. This includes building permits, construction and materials, electrical and lighting, paved walkways, etc. everything to obtain occupancy.

The museum typically allocates barn space through a subscription program where a given piece of equipment will pay its way for that track space it uses inside the building. If a car is 60 feet long, its length is multiplied by the cost per foot which is currently $245. In this example, the car would pay $14,700 towards the space it uses in the barn and this is what pays for the barn. This is where you come in as a donor...donations can be made to a specific car, to a department, or to the building itself. Donations to a specific car can only be used for that car, but the car must be fully funded before it can be placed on the list. Donations to a specific department for indoor space can be used at the department heads discretion. In some cases, the funds are used to make up the difference for a specific car, in other cases, the space is assigned to equipment that is severely deteriorating and must have indoor space to save it. Donations made to the building itself are divided evenly amongst the five equipment departments.

Total $$$$ needed for Barn 15: $475,000
Fundraising as of 12/19/2017: $55,000 Remaining $$$$ needed: $420,000 

Donate Now to help preserve the collection!

The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

This page will be updated every few weeks with additional information and progress. Thank you in advance for supporting the museum's preservation efforts.


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