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IRM is open weekends in May. Our plans for 2021 →

Steam Engineer Experience

General Admission Tickets

The Steam Engineer Experience is sold out for June 18, 19, and 20, 2021! General admission tickets are available – join us for a weekend of fun on the railroad.

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to be the engineer on a real steam engine, join us at the Illinois Railway Museum on June 18, 19 and 20, 2021 for the Steam Engineer Experience. Sign up for a time slot to run our Shay 5 steam locomotive and you’ll enjoy the unforgettable experience of being at the throttle of a full-sized steam locomotive. This event, offered for the very first time by the Museum, is open to anyone 18+ and makes a great Fathers Day gift.

Our volunteers will give you a quick safety and informational orientation and then you’ll be on your way – under supervision, of course – along the “streetcar line extension” at the south end of our property. You’ll make three round trips along the demonstration route over the course of approximately 25 minutes. The engine will be “running light” and will not be pulling a train. A Museum photographer will document your experience and you’ll receive digital photographs for free as part of the package. You’ll also get a complimentary souvenir Shay 5 Take the Throttle hat.

The price of the Steam Engineer Experience is $225. Participants must be 18 years of age or older and must bring a state-issued photo ID with them. Participants must arrive at the museum gate at least one hour in advance of their time slot (registration for the Steam Engineer Experience includes general admission). Participants must wear jeans/denim pants (denim overalls are recommended but not required), closed-toe shoes or boots with a defined heel, and a face mask. IRM will provide additional PPE including safety glasses, work gloves, and hearing protection, which must be worn while running the engine. In the event Shay 5 is unavailable due to mechanical or other reasons, participants will be given the option of rescheduling or receiving a partial refund and running a diesel locomotive instead.

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.

Hours / Admission / Operating Schedule Information:

Electric trains and Diesel or Steam trains will be operating.

Equipment Scheduled to Operate on Saturday, June 19th:
– Frisco 1630 and Steam Coach Train
– Chicago Rapid Transit 1268 and 1797
– Chicago Transit Authority 4290 and 4412
– Chicago Surface Lines 144
– Chicago Surface Lines 1374
– Chicago Transit Authority 3142
– Chicago Transit Authority 4391
– J. Neils Lumber 5 (Steam Engineer Experience)

Equipment Scheduled to Operate on Sunday, June 20th:
– Frisco 1630 and Steam Coach Train
– Chicago Transit Authority 22 and 41
– Chicago Transit Authority 6655-6656
– Chicago Surface Lines 144
– Chicago Surface Lines 1374
– Chicago Transit Authority 3142
– Chicago Transit Authority 4391
– J. Neils Lumber 5 (Steam Engineer Experience)

Daily Admission Rates:
Adults $15.00, Senior $13.00, Children $11.00

Museum Hours During This Event:
Saturday and Sunday: 10:00AM to 6:00PM (Last admission 4:00PM)

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

Operation of equipment is expected to start within 60 minutes of opening and cease 30 minutes before closing.

Parking lot opens 30 minutes before museum and closes 30 minutes after.

Special Events

Event details

  • Illinois Railway Museum
  • June 19, 2021
  • Saturday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM

Contact event manager

Thank you Kindly

Steam Engineer Experience

7000 Olson Road, Union, Illinois 60180, USA

Saturday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM
June 19, 2021

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Steam Engineer Experience

7000 Olson Road, Union, Illinois 60180, USA

Saturday, 10:00AM to 6:00PM
June 19, 2021

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