The Museum is open daily.

Happy Holiday Railway

Looking for an amazing and enchanting way for your family to spend time with Santa? Come ride the Illinois Railway Museum’s Happy Holiday Railway!

Purchase Tickets Online

Embark on a magical 40 minute train ride through the winter countryside with Santa Claus himself!

  • Enjoy a 40-minute train ride for the whole family
  • See and visit with Santa Claus on the train
  • Treats and hot chocolate will be served
  • An animated light show and holiday song presentation entertain you during your train trip
  • Gifts will be given to children on Santa’s “good list”
  • Holiday lights will be on display throughout the campus including a spectacular animated snow plow display
  • New for 2024: an awe-inspiring holiday light tour throughout Barn 6 available for viewing day or night
  • Visit our indoor, heated Model Railroad Exhibit
  • See historic trains in the museum’s display barns 3, 7 and 9
  • Rides on historic Chicago streetcars are included with your ticket
  • Free parking

Start a new Christmas tradition with your family this year!

Days for this event in 2024 are Saturdays and Sundays, November 29th (Black Friday), 30th, December 1st, 7th, 8th, 14th, 15th, 21st, and 22nd. Trips take place at 11:30am, 12:30pm, 1:30pm, 2:30pm, 4pm, 5pm and 6pm. (Rides at other times on all dates may be added later based on demand). Parking lot opens 30 minutes before the first trip and closes 30 minutes after the last trip returns. Plan to arrive a minimum of 30 minutes before your scheduled trip.

Ticket prices are $25 per ticket, the same as 2023. Everyone past their second birthday must have a ticket. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable, all ticket sales are final. Many display buildings and portions of the museum grounds will not be open for this event. Parking is free.

The train ride will leave from the historic 1851 East Union Depot. Santa will ride the train with you. Hot chocolate and cookies will be available. The train ride will feature an animated light show and holiday song presentation providing entertainment during the trip.

For those averse to animated lights, "quiet car" #7658 will omit the entertainment and will feature traditional lights and decorations. Your ticket will permit you to board whichever car you prefer.

Display Barns 3, 6, 7, and 9 will be open. Additionally, streetcars will be in operation on our Trolley Loop, and our Model Railroad exhibit will be open in the heated Multi-Purpose Building. Click here for a property map.

Tickets are available online. If you are unable to print your tickets at home, bring a copy of your order confirmation email to the museum store where you will check in for your ride.

Proceeds from your attendance enable the Illinois Railway Museum to continue to provide and expand its educational outreach programs to school groups, community gatherings, and all who visit the museum. Learn about IRM's mission.

Join us for the most exciting holiday train in the greater Chicago area! All Aboard for the North Pole!

NO REFUNDS - except in case of event cancellation, ALL ticket sales are final.

Special Fare Days - No passes honored during this event
All schedules and equipment subject to change without notice.

Christmas train at the Illinois Railway Museum
  • Illinois Railway Museum
  • November 29, 2024
  • Friday, 11:30AM to 7:00PM

Contact event manager

Thank you Kindly

Happy Holiday Railway

7000 Olson Road, Union, Illinois 60180, USA

Friday, 11:30AM to 7:00PM
November 29, 2024


Happy Holiday Railway

7000 Olson Road, Union, Illinois 60180, USA

Friday, 11:30AM to 7:00PM
November 29, 2024