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The museum is closed until Happy Holiday Railway.

Diesel Days

Purchase Tickets Online

For news and additional schedule information, check out Diesel Days on Facebook

Are you attending all three days of the Diesel Days event? Consider becoming an IRM member for just a few extra dollars! Membership includes general admission through the end of 2022, museum store discounts, and a subscription to Rail & Wire magazine.
Click here to become a member of the Illinois Railway Museum

Hours / Admission / Operating Schedule Information:

Weekend Rates and Hours Apply All Three Days of This Event.

Daily Admission Rates:
Adults $16, Senior $14, Children $12

Museum Hours:
Trains operate hourly 11:00am to 4:00pm or more often as needed.
The Museum grounds open at 10:00am and close at 6:00pm.
The parking lot opens at 9:30am and closes at 6:30pm.

All equipment, schedules and prices subject to change without notice.

Before you visit, even if you have been a regular visitor in the past, please take the time to review the procedures and policies listed at this link.

Diesel Days 2022

Feel the ground shake beneath your feet as you see, hear, and ride behind some of the most powerful locomotives ever built! See some of the less frequently run and rare diesel locomotives at IRM including the museum's famous one-of-a-kind E5 locomotive, the "Silver Pilot." Inspect and ride behind recently-restored locomotives as well as recent arrivals. Bring your camera and enjoy the weekend!

Special for this event, IRM is offering the opportunity for you to ride in the cab of many of our diesels and for you to operate others as the engineer! Check out the bottom of this page for more information.

The 2022 Diesel Days event will include Friday, August 12th as well as Saturday and Sunday, August 13th and 14th. We will not have the parade of power as in previous years. Instead, there will be a set schedule of different trains running each day. The locomotives and lash-ups used on each train will be changed often. The current schedule is as follows:

Friday Schedule

Train Time - Train - Locomotive

10:30 AM Bilevels CNW 411
11:15 AM Coach BN1, BN2, BN3
12:00 PM Nebraska Zephyr CBQ 9911A
12:45 PM Coach ATSF 92
1:30 PM Nebraska Zephyr CBQ 504
2:15 PM Coach BN 5383, TTI 260
3:00 PM Nebraska Zephyr METX 308
3:45 PM Coach GBW 2407, CBQ 504
4:30 PM Nebraska Zephyr BN1, BN2
5:05 PM Coach CBQ 9911A, SLRG 102, BN3

Saturday Schedule

Train Time - Train - Locomotive

10:25 AM Caboose IT 1605
10:40 AM Nebraska Zephyr BN 5383
11:00 AM Coach CBQ 9911A, SLRG 102, BN3
11:20 AM Caboose CRIP 4506
11:40 AM Nebraska Zephyr BN 5383
12:00 PM Coach CBQ 9911A, SLRG 102, BN3
12:20 PM Caboose CRIP 4506
12:40 PM Nebraska Zephyr CNW 6847
1:00 PM Coach METX 308, CNW 411
1:20 PM Caboose CRIP 4506
1:40 PM Nebraska Zephyr CNW 6847
2:00 PM Coach METX 308, CNW 411
2:20 PM Caboose SP 1518
2:40 PM Nebraska Zephyr CBQ 504
3:00 PM Coach BN 5383
3:20 PM Caboose SP 1518
3:40 PM Bilevels CNW 411
4:00 PM Coach CNW 6847, BN 5383
4:20 PM Caboose CNW 1689
4:40 PM Bilevels CNW 411
5:00 PM Coach CRIP 4506, IT 1605, CNW 1518, MBTA 902

Sunday Schedule

Train Time - Train - Locomotive

10:20 AM Caboose MT 200
10:40 AM Nebraska Zephyr CBQ 504
11:00 AM Coach BN 5383, TTI 260, UP1848
11:20 AM Caboose MT 200
11:40 AM Nebraska Zephyr CBQ 504
12:00 PM Coach BN1, BN2, SLRG 102, BN3
12:20 PM Caboose TTI 260
12:40 PM Nebraska Zephyr CBQ 9911A
1:00 PM Coach BN1, BN2, SLRG 102, BN3
1:20 PM Caboose TTI 260
1:40 PM Nebraska Zephyr CBQ 9911A
2:00 PM Coach MT 200, CNW 1689
2:20 PM Caboose UP 1848
2:40 PM Nebraska Zephyr CBQ 9911A
3:00 PM Coach CBQ 504, CNW 6847
3:20 PM Caboose UP 1848
3:40 PM Nebraska Zephyr CBQ 9911A
4:00 PM Coach CBQ 504, CNW 6847
4:20 PM Caboose UP 1848
4:40 PM Bilevels CNW 411
5:00 PM Coach ATSF 92, WC 7525, CBQ 504, CNW 6847

All schedules and equipment are subject to change without notice.

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? 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

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!

Cab Rides

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!

For news and additional schedule information, check out Diesel Days on Facebook

Take the Throttle

Now YOU can be the engineer! During the 2022 Diesel Days event, the Illinois Railway Museum is offering Take the Throttle opportunities on several different locomotives and on three different routes. You can  operate a historic locomotive over one of the routes 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 per route and these are expected to sell out.

Different locomotives will be used for Take the Throttle at different times during the Diesel Days event.

Take the Throttle Routes

Yard Route (red line on the map), boards on the east side of Depot Street next to the Barn 9 North streetcar stop:

 Session Time Friday Loco  Saturday Loco  Sunday Loco
 10:20 AM  IT 1605  MT 200  CRIP 4506
 10:40 AM  IT 1605  MT 200  CRIP 4506
 11:00 AM  IT 1605  MT 200  CRIP 4506
 11:20 AM  IT 1605  MT 200  CRIP 4506
 11:40 AM  IT 1605  MT 200  CRIP 4506
 12:00 PM  IT 1605  MT 200  CRIP 4506
 12:20 PM  IT 1605  MT 200  CRIP 4506
 12:40 PM  IT 1605  MT 200  CRIP 4506
 1:20 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 1:40 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 2:00 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 2:20 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 2:40 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 3:00 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 3:20 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 3:40 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 4:00 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 4:20 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 4:40 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506
 5:00 PM  IT 1605  MILW 760  CRIP 4506

Main Line Route (yellow line on the map), boards at the Central Avenue Pavilion:

 Session Time Friday Loco  Saturday Loco  Sunday Loco
 10:20 AM  TTI 260  CNW 1689  WC 7525
 10:40 AM  TTI 260  CNW 1689  WC 7525
 11:00 AM  TTI 260  CNW 1689  WC 7525
 11:20 AM  TTI 260  CNW 1689  WC 7525
 11:40 AM  TTI 260  CNW 1689  WC 7525
 12:00 PM  TTI 260  CNW 1689  WC 7525
 12:20 PM  TTI 260  CNW 1689  WC 7525
 12:40 PM  TTI 260  CNW 1689  WC 7525
 1:20 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 1:40 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 2:00 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 2:20 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 2:40 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 3:00 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 3:20 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 3:40 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 4:00 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 4:20 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 4:40 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383
 5:00 PM  UP 1848  GBW 2407  BN 5383

Car Line Route (green line on the map), boards at the northeast corner of Barn 4:

 Session Time  Saturday Loco  Sunday Loco
 10:20 AM  CE 15  CBQ 9255
 10:40 AM  CE 15  CBQ 9255
 11:00 AM  CE 15  CBQ 9255
 11:20 AM  CE 15  CBQ 9255
 11:40 AM  CE 15  CBQ 9255
 12:00 PM  CE 15  CBQ 9255
 12:20 PM  CE 15  CBQ 9255
 12:40 PM  CE 15  CBQ 9255
 1:20 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 1:40 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 2:00 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 2:20 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 2:40 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 3:00 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 3:20 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 3:40 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 4:00 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 4:20 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 4:40 PM  NP 14  CE 15
 5:00 PM  NP 14  CE 15

 

Take the Throttle Procedure and Policies

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 your boarding location (there is a different boarding location for each route) 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.

 

Cab Rides


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 2022 Diesel Days event, you can sit in the cab with the engineer for the cost of just $TBA 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. Cab rides will last approximately 30-45 minutes. 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.

Cab Ride Procedure and Policies

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. You must have an event admission ticket or museum membership in order to have your ticket validated.

Photo Shoot

Please join us for a night photo shoot on the evening of Friday, August 12th of Diesel Days 2022. Tickets will be extremely limited at only 50 available. The price will be $150 per person. There will be three themes during the evening, the third being Chicago, Burlington and Quincy equipment with 504, 9911A, 9255, and Nebraska Zephyr. The second will be smaller with Chicago and North Western equipment including 6847, 1689, 411, and 1518. The first will be a number of EMD E and F units in the collection, likely CBQ 9911A, BN 1,  BN 3, SLRG 515, METX 308, CNW 411, and MIW 118C. Lighting will be provided by Rob Schreiner with an abundance of Alienbees strobe units. Participants will need tripods and basic understanding of manual settings for their own camera. Participants must wear close toed shoes. Additional information will be provided after ticket purchase.

Purchase Tickets Online

  • Illinois Railway Museum
  • August 12, 2022
  • Friday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM

Contact event manager

Thank you Kindly

Diesel Days

7000 Olson Road, Union, Illinois 60180, USA

Friday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM
August 12, 2022

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Diesel Days

7000 Olson Road, Union, Illinois 60180, USA

Friday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM
August 12, 2022

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