Donations

Online Donation Categories:

General Fund


General Fund

To help with general operating expenses, the Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the General Fund. Donations can be made in various increments or an custom amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Indoor Storage Fund


Indoor Storage

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for indoor track space. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice and applied towards general indoor storage, or to a department of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Land Acquisition


Land Acquisition Fund

To help purchase buffer land to prevent encroaching development, the Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the Land Acquisition Fund. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $25

Main Street Entrance Building


Main Street Entrance Building

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the Main Street Entrance Building. Additional information will be added soon. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice by changing the quantity. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Turntable and Roundhouse


Turntable Fund

A turntable has been a key element of the museum plan for many years. This will be the center of the long term plan to house and present our steam collection in a roundhouse setting. More than that it will present a fascinating visitor attraction, photographic opportunities and the ability to turn all types of equipment to present in different orientations to those with which we are familiar.

We have had on site for a number of years the C&NW table from Harvard. However, this is not of a length that would accommodate larger pieces of the collection. So various opportunities have been explored over the years to obtain a larger table, ideally thru donation. A couple of weeks ago we became aware that Union Pacific had included the table of the Burnham (Denver) repair facility, that we had hoped to obtain by donation, in an auction of all assets of this, now closed, facility.

This table was a target in many ways.

  • It is one of the largest at 130ft. and capable of turning any equipment at IRM;
  • It is an historic item, being a centerpiece of the Denver & Rio Grande works at Burnham;
  • Dating from 1941, it was installed to support Challengers coming to the Burnham facility;
  • In 2012 it was subject to a total refurbishment, believed to have cost at least $500,000, so is in virtually as new condition
  • Despite its length it is of very shallow depth. This is a critical consideration at Union due to the high water table.

In view of this the Board approved funding to try to acquire it by purchase at the auction.

I am pleased to say that we were successful and actually obtained the table at what was basically a scrap price of $10,000.

Clearly this is just a beginning. We must now move it from Denver to Union, which is no small exercise and will cost several times the purchase price. Once at Union we will have to construct the pit in which it can be installed. This is a MAJOR construction project and will depend upon fundraising on a large scale.

However, as substantially the largest turntable in preservation, the expectation is that this will provide IRM with a major attraction in years to come.

You can make a donation to this project in various increments up to an amount of your choice by changing the quantity. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Thank you for your support!

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Donation Total: $25

 

Track/Signal Maintenance Shop


Track/Signal Maintenance Shop

The Illinois Railway Museum is seeking donations to build a two-track heated barn to house the IRM Track Department machine fleet.  Our current storage space in Barn 2 has become inadequate as we continue to modernize the track machine fleet.  Over the last 5 or 6 years, the fleet has grown considerably. The addition of machines to the fleet has allowed us to stop contracting out the main line tie change outs.  Having these machines is saving the museum about $40 - $50K a year.  By saving those costs, we are rolling those monies back into ties and have continued to maintain our Railroad at Class 3 standards for the main and carline. The problem is many of our machines are sitting outside. Outdoor storage of many of the machines tend to make them poor runners, increases maintenance costs, increases deterioration and shortens life spans.  Keeping them dry, warm, and cutting down on UV damage to hoses and cables is important. In order to continue using these machines, they require constant maintenance.  We tend to push this work to the late fall, winter, and very early spring, saving the warmer days for production.  The problem with pushing the work back to fall, winter and spring, is if the winter is particularly harsh, it is very difficult to get the work done due to the cold and snow. By the addition of this new heated barn we hope to be able to move all equipment to one consolidated building, inside, and perform more maintenance throughout the year.

We also plan on displaying the older, unused MOW tools and speeders for the general public to see. We have the Dodge Custom Automobile track inspection car from the MILW, and received donations of several Track Speeders, many of which are being housed in containers, out of sight from the general public.  This new barn gives us a dedicated section to display the entire collection of motor cars, and many older MOW tools.

We currently have a space approved in the eastern half of Barn 12, which will be located south of the existing Barn 11. This will afford more space at a lower price than the smaller dedicated building originally envisioned.

The building has been designed to be wide enough for four tracks, but having only two tracks into the barn to allow for work space and off-track storage down the middle.  The plan also includes an area for the future relocation of the Signal Department to an area three times larger than their current space for work on bungalows, cases, and gates in heated space as well.

You can make a donation to this project in various increments up to an amount of your choice by changing the quantity. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Thank you for your support!

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Donation Total: $25

 

Model Railroad Exhibit


Model Railroad Exhibit

The Model Railroad Exhibit is a planned indoor exhibition space which will educate visitors to the Illinois Railway Museum about the history of miniature and model trains. Donations are being solicited to fund the creation and maintenance of both operating and non-operating displays of model trains. To donate actual model trains, see our artifact donation page. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $100

Diesel Restoration


Diesel Locomotive Restoration

IRM proudly houses the nation's largest and most comprehensive collection of diesel locomotives.  At any given time, two or more of these engines are undergoing major restoration work in our shop. Work can include repainting, mechanical and electrical rehabilitation, and body work.

Restoration often involves significant cost, even with our volunteers doing the majority of the work. Mechanical components requiring replacement, materials needed for rebuilding efforts, and supplies such as paint all need to be purchased. Donations in support of IRM's diesel locomotive restoration efforts will help preserve and operate these historic locomotives for future generations.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Toledo Peoria & Western 800


Toledo, Peoria and Western 800

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the TP&W 800, an Alco C424. Our goal is to raise $23,000 to cover indoor storage space and repainting costs. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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Donation Total: $25

 

Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe 92


Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe 92

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the ATSF 92. While we have received enough donations for the engine and alternator replacement, we need to secure just under $20,000 to purchase and install the correct style truck frames under the 92. Eventually, primer and paint supplies to repaint the locomotive will be needed as well. Donations can be made in $25 increments up to an amount of your choice. Donations can also be mailed with check to: Illinois Railway Museum, PO Box 427, Union IL 60180. And please note your check with ATSF 92 in the memo line. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Nebraska Zephyr


Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe 92

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the ATSF 92. While we have received enough donations for the engine and alternator replacement, we need to secure just under $20,000 to purchase and install the correct style truck frames under the 92. Eventually, primer and paint supplies to repaint the locomotive will be needed as well. Donations can be made in $25 increments up to an amount of your choice. Donations can also be mailed with check to: Illinois Railway Museum, PO Box 427, Union IL 60180. And please note your check with ATSF 92 in the memo line. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe 543


Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe 543

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the ATSF 543, specifically prep, primer and paint work. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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Donation Total: $25

 

Louisville & Nashville 314


Louisville & Nashville 314

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the L&N 314, specifically for electrical and mechanical work, and afterwards for body prep, primer and paint work. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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Donation Total: $25

Electric Car Painting Fund


Electric Car Painting Fund

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the Electric Car Painting Fund, specifically for restoration and painting costs for North Shore 757 and Illinois Terminal 415. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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Donation Total: $25

 

Shaker Heights Rapid Transit 18


Shaker Heights Rapid Transit 18

Shaker Heights Rapid Transit 18 is an archetypal Cleveland center-entrance streetcar built in 1914. It is complete but is in need of work to repaint and restore it. Donations are being solicited to fund this restoration work so that the car can enter regular operation at IRM.

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Donation Total: $100

 

New Haven 300


New Haven 300

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the exterior restoration and repainting of New Haven 300. This EF-4 type electric freight locomotive was built in 1956 and at various times during its career ran on the Virginian, Norfolk & Western, New York New Haven & Hartford (New Haven), Penn Central, and Conrail. Once it is restored it will be the only New Haven electric locomotive preserved as such and one of the only electric locomotives of its era preserved in the country.

Donations can be made through the website or can be mailed with check to:
Illinois Railway Museum, PO Box 427, Union IL 60180. And please notate your check with "New Haven 300" on the memo line. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Fox River Electric 306


Fox River Electric 306 Restoration

Aurora Elgin & Fox River Electric 306 is a lightweight interurban car that ran along the Fox River between Carpentersville and Yorkville from its date of construction in 1923 until abandonment of the Fox River line in 1935, after which it ran between Cleveland Shaker Heights, Ohio into the early 1950s. It operated closer to Union in revenue service than any other electric car at IRM. The museum is now soliciting donations to fund the completion of restoration work on this car so that it can be displayed and operated for the public. Phase I will involve rehabilitation of the car's exterior, including work on the windows, doors, and roof to restore the car's appearance. Phase II will involve interior restoration as well as replacement of missing control and electrical equipment to make the car operational.

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Donation Total: $25

 

North Shore "Electroliner"


North Shore Line Electroliner

CAMPAIGN FOR THE ELECTROLINER 2016

As the Chicago, North Shore & Milwaukee Electroliner approaches its 80th Anniversary in 2021, we are concentrating our efforts on restoring the Electroliner to operating condition. Donations of any size will be appreciated. We have developed a Rewards program (see below) to acknowledge our major donors, and all donations are cumulative during the duration of the Campaign. Won’t you get on board to help the Electroliner run again? Donations can be made in $25 increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

Liner Rewards Program

$25,000 and up LINER CLUB MEMBER 

One hour of operating time on classic green NSL equipment, a copy of the Sunday River Productions DVD “The North Shore Brought to Life”, an NSL T-shirt (limited to sizes on hand), a 75th Anniversary Electroliner poster, an “all expenses paid” voucher for a day at the Museum for a party of 12 (includes admission, rides, and food/beverage at the diner), and two tickets to the Photographer’s Special, date TBD after the Liner is operational. Plus a two-year Museum membership.

$10,000 PATRON 

One hour of operating time on classic green NSL equipment, a copy of the DVD “The North Shore Brought to Life”, an NSL T-shirt (limited to sizes on hand), a 75th Anniversary poster, “all expenses paid” voucher for a day at the Museum for a party of 6 (includes admission, rides, and food/beverage at the diner), and one ticket to the Photographer’s Special, date TBD after the Liner is operational. Plus a one-year Museum membership.

$5,000 MOTORMAN 

One hour of operating time on classic green NSL equipment, a copy of the DVD “The North Shore Brought to Life”, a 75th Anniversary poster, and one ticket to the Photographer’s Special, date TBD after the Liner is operational. Plus a one-year Museum Membership.

$2,000  CONDUCTOR 

One hour of operating time on classic green NSL equipment, a 75th Anniversary poster, and one ticket to the Photographer’s Special, date TBD after the Liner is operational. Plus a one-year subscription to IRM’s Rail & Wire magazine.

$1,000 COLLECTOR 

One hour of operating time on classic green NSL equipment, a 75th Anniversary poster, and one ticket to the Photographer’s Special, date TBD after the Liner is operational. Plus a one-year subscription to IRM’s Rail & Wire magazine.

$500 RAILFAN 

A 75th Anniversary poster and one ticket to the Photographer’s Special, date TBD after the Liner is operational. Plus a one-year subscription to IRM’s Rail & Wire magazine.

The Rewards Program is subject to revision depending on availability of items during the length of the campaign.

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Donation Total: $25

Pennsylvania RR 476199


Pennsylvania Railroad 476199

Pennsylvania Railroad 476199 is the museum's only four-wheel, or "bobber," caboose. It was built in 1903 by the PRR and was used for half a century. Donations are now being solicited to fund the complete restoration to operation of this historic caboose. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $100

Milwaukee Road "Buffeteria" 126


Milwaukee Road 126

$9,625 of $25,000 raised

The Illinois Railway Museum is fundraising to move Milwaukee Road "Buffeteria" 126 from Chamberlain, South Dakota, to the museum's campus in Union, Illinois. The 126 is being donated to the museum, and IRM needs your help to get the car to Union. Milwaukee Road 126 was built in 1948 by the Milwaukee Road's Milwaukee shops as a standard 48-seat diner. In 1964, 126 was rebuilt, along with two other cars, into a counter-service style cafeteria car. The name 'Buffeteria' stems from buffet-cafeteria, the service provided on the car. The 126 represents a major gap in the museum's collection of rail dining service, bridging the golden era with current Amtrak services, which this car pioneered. Car 126 features a stainless and glass buffet line, seats for 32 diners, and a full kitchen. In 1971, 126 was sold into private ownership, and the current owner is donating the car to IRM.

The Buffeteria is in complete, unrestored, and original condition. $25,000 is needed to move the car by rail and begin restoration work once the car arrives in Union. 126 is a very unique car that has influenced passenger trains for over 50 years. Please consider a donation to help bring the car to its new home at the Illinois Railway Museum. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Pullman Car "Pawnee"


Pullman Car Pawnee

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations to cover the cost of transporting and housing the historic Pullman observation car Pawnee, one of the last heavyweight private cars ever built. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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Donation Total: $25

 

Denver & Rio Grande Western 1108 "Silver Pony"


Denver & Rio Grande Western 1108 Silver Pony

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the continued restoration of DRGW 1108 'Silver Pony', a stainless steel vista dome car that was built for use on the famed California Zephyr. Donations are for restoration costs including body and dome window replacement, wall panel replacement, carpet, upholstery, and a generator for the car. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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Donation Total: $25

 

Chicago Burlington & Quincy 1309


Steam Locomotive Restoration


Steam Locomotive Restoration

The museum has an exceptional collection of steam locomotives.  The focus in recent years has been restoration to operating condition, first of Frisco 1630 and then of Shay 5.  However, while we may restore other locomotives to operation, we are very conscious of the need to cosmetically restore and conserve many locomotives even if those unlikely be operational in the near term, if at all.

Even cosmetic restoration involves extensive cleaning, de-rusting and repainting as well as some repair work to allow a locomotive to be properly displayed.  The first locomotive restored in this way is the Rock Island 4-6-2 Pacific 938, which was completed in 2017 and is now on display in Barn 9.

The objective of this project to consider the steam collection as a whole and carry out a program of restorations based upon need and resources.  The next target is expected to be the Illinois Central Mogul 3719.

Such work involves significant cost, whether the decision is to restore to operation or cosmetically for display.  Donations in support of this project will help preserve these historic locomotives for future generations and improve the displays that we can provide to our visitors.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Union Pacific 428


Union Pacific 428 Restoration

Union Pacific 428 is the current major restoration project in the Illinois Railway Museum’s Steam Shop. It is a 2-8-0 “Consolidation” mixed-traffic locomotive built in 1900 by Burnham, Williams & Company, a predecessor of Baldwin. It was originally numbered UP 1648. With only minor changes, this design formed the basis for the famed “Harriman Standard” Consolidations, built by the hundreds over the next decade for the UP, Southern Pacific, Chicago & Alton, Chicago Great Western, Illinois Central, Erie, and other railroads controlled or influenced by E.H. Harriman.
The locomotive was originally built as a Vauclain compound but was rebuilt in 1915 and renumbered as 428. It had the distinction of hauling the last steam-powered regularly-scheduled passenger service on the Union Pacific, when in October 1958 it was assigned to the Grand Island-Ord, Nebraska mixed train. UP 428 was acquired by IRM in 1969 and has been undergoing a complete restoration for some time. Significant work has been done on the locomotive’s boiler, running gear, tender, cab, and appliances. Currently the focus of work is the running gear and cab.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Frisco 1630


Frisco 1630

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the Frisco 1630 2-10-0 Steam Engine, specifically for ongoing maintenance and restoration costs. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $25

 

J.  Neils Lumber 5 Shay


J Neils Lumber 5 Shay

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the J Neils Lumber Company #5 Shay Steam Engine, specifically for restoring the locomotive to operating condition. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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Donation Total: $25

Rotary Snow Plow


Rotary Snow Plow

We are raising funds to cosmetically restore our Rotary Snow Plow, built in 1949 by the Lima Locomotive Works for the Union Pacific Railroad. During September and October 2019 the majority of the repainting work on the rotary unit was completed but funds are still needed for window work and to sand-blast and repaint the tender.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Trolley Bus Restoration


Trolley Bus Department

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the Trolley Bus Department. These donations will be used for restoration projects and ongoing maintenance of the operating fleet. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Motor Bus Restoration


Motor Bus Department

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the Motor Bus Department. These donations will be used to secure new additions to the collection, ongoing maintenance and restoration as well as our long term goal of erecting an additional storage facility. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.
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Donation Total: $25

 

Strahorn Library


Strahorn Library

The Strahorn Library, located at 118 East Washington Street in nearby Marengo, is a non-circulating research library which focuses on all aspects of railroading. Reference materials include books, periodicals, professional journals, government publications, slides, and photographs.

The Illinois Railway Museum is soliciting donations for the Strahorn Library, specifically for building repairs and maintenance, archival supplies, and other operating costs. Donations can be made in various increments up to an amount of your choice. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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Donation Total: $25

 

Pullman Library


Pullman Library

The Pullman Library is an archive dedicated to the preservation of materials related to land transportation equipment including documents, drawings, correspondence, photos, negatives and books. This archive supports the conservation effort of IRM, other museums, railroads, and private rail car owners while also providing prototype information to modelers and model manufacturers. The Library also supports the efforts of authors, historians, researchers. Donations of materials and funds furthers the conservation and preservation work of the Pullman Library.

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Donation Total: $25

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