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 east of the “New connection” from Barn 8 to South Junction, in what is now the Material yard.
The building has been designed to be a 3 track heated barn, but having only 2 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. There will be an unheated lean-to style structure next to the shop to display 148’ of track displays, track tools, and speeders.
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!