In 2023, the Illinois Railway Museum will celebrate 70 years as an organization. On January 21st, festivities will kick off when IRM will commemorate 60 years since the abandonment of the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad, an electric interurban which ran between its namesake cities from 1908 until a frigid cold January 21st, 1963. The "North Shore Line", as it was known, offered fast hourly trains from the Loop in downtown Chicago to downtown Milwaukee, as well as intensive commuter service through the North Shore suburbs to Mundelein and Waukegan. The railroad prided itself on its personal service, and even offered parlor and dining services on many trains. It was the home of the famed Electroliners, a pair of electric articulated streamlined trains bought by the railroad in 1941. The railroad had a charm about it which attracted many railfans, who mourned its passing in 1963.
Today the North Shore Line is fondly remembered as one of the premier interurban operations in the United States. The Illinois Railway Museum has one of the largest museum collections focusing on the North Shore Line, with 18 rail vehicles and a large collection of related artifacts. On January 21, to commemorate this anniversary, the operable cars in the collection will run and others will be on display.
The following cars are expected to operate:
- 1915 Brill Coach 160
- 1917 Jewett 'Silverliner' Combine 251
- 1926 Cincinnati Coach 714
- 1928 Pullman Coach 749
- 1930 Standard 'Silverliner' Coach 757
- 1922 'Merchandise Despatch' Car 229
On display will be:
- 1941 'Electroliner', 801-802
- 1928 Streetcar 354
- 1914 Line car 604