Diesel Days – Cab Rides and Take the Throttle
Be a Part of the Action!
Have you ever ridden in the cab of a streamlined E-unit passenger engine? Have you ever felt the rumble of a 2,000-horsepower diesel freight locomotive as you release the air brakes and notch up the throttle to accelerate away from the station? New this year for Diesel Days, the Illinois Railway Museum is offering you this unique opportunity. Besides just watching our diesels run past, or riding behind them on our demonstration railroad, you can be in the cab or even in the engineer's seat. The museum is offering two unforgettable opportunities:
Take The Throttle offers you the chance to be the engineer of one of our historic diesel locomotives over a one-mile course. Over the course of your 18-minute session you'll receive instruction in how to run one of these behemoths. You will have your hand on the throttle and the brake as you operate your engine over the museum's demonstration railway for this rare opportunity. Different locomotives will be available to run at different times during our Diesel Days event, so you can pick your favorite - or favorites!
Our Cab Ride program will give you the chance to ride along with the engineer on a ten-mile, 40-minute trip over the museum's main line. Experience the unmatched view from the cab as you experience our railroad from the head end of the train. You'll be able to see other trains you pass at "meets," observe the operation of our Automatic Block Signal system, and see how our certified engineers control these antique locomotives. Cab rides on many different locomotives will be offered but only two tickets per trip are available, so make sure to sign up for your preferred engine before it is sold out!
Take the Throttle
Now YOU can be the engineer! During the 2019 Diesel Days event, the Illinois Railway Museum is offering Take the Throttle opportunities on several different locomotives. For the price of $75 per session, you will operate an historic locomotive over the one-mile course shown below. Your session will include instruction in the operation of your locomotive and, of course, you will spend the majority of your time actually running the engine. Don't miss this unique opportunity - sessions are limited to only 20 per day and these are expected to sell out.
Different locomotives will be used for Take the Throttle at different times during the Diesel Days event:
Friday, August 9th: Morristown & Erie 18 (Alco C424)
Saturday, August 10th, 10:20am to 12:20pm: Milwaukee Road 760 (Fairbanks-Morse H10-44)
Saturday, August 10th, 1:00pm to 5:00pm: Chicago Burlington & Quincy 9255 (EMD SW-7)
Sunday, August 11th: Rock Island 4506 (EMD GP-7)
You MUST bring your Take the Throttle ticket to the Schroeder Store at the museum entrance to fill out a waiver form and have your ticket validated before your trip. We recommend arriving at the museum at least one hour before your trip time. Please plan to arrive at the Take the Throttle platform, located on the east side of Depot Street next to the Barn 9 North streetcar stop (just south of the Central Diner), 10-15 minutes prior to your scheduled trip. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and must bring a state- or federal-issued ID with them to the platform.
Equipment may be substituted at any time for mechanical or other reasons. Take the Throttle trips may not be transferred or canceled. All sales are final. You must have an event admission ticket or museum membership in order to have your ticket validated.
The Illinois Railway Museum is offering the opportunity to ride in the cab of one of our historic diesel locomotives during a full trip 10-mile round trip over our railroad. During the 2019 Diesel Days event, you can sit in the cab with the engineer for the cost of just $40 per ride. You will be able to get an engineer's-eye-view of train operations on one of the busiest museum railroads in the country including a close look at the operation of our Automatic Block Signal system. You'll see how the controls of some of our most powerful locomotives work, observe the engineer up close, and feel the locomotive as it accelerates. There's no better way to get the full experience of Diesel Days than to be inside the engine!
Only two cab ride tickets will be sold for each main line trip. You will be able to pick which locomotive you'd like to ride in and, depending on trip times, perhaps which train you'll have following you. Just make sure to sign up early - many trips will sell out quickly. For a full list of trips available, please see the Diesel Days operating schedule by clicking here or go to the purchase tickets link below.
You MUST bring your Cab Ride ticket to the Schroeder Store at the museum entrance to fill out a waiver form and have your ticket validated before your trip. You will not be permitted aboard the engine without a VALIDATED ticket. We recommend arriving at the museum at least one hour before your trip time. Please make sure you arrive at the East Union Depot at least 10-15 minutes before your trip. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and must bring a state- or federal-issued ID with them to the platform.
Equipment may be substituted at any time for mechanical or other reasons. Cab Ride tickets may not be transferred or canceled. All sales are final.