Hours and Admission Info 2023

Purchase General Admission Tickets

Click here to download a printable 2023 IRM calendar (PDF)

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

Hours and Admission Information

No pets allowed except service animals.

Trains are currently scheduled to operate on the following dates only:

Saturdays: January 21, March 25, May 6 — October 28
Sundays: January 22,  April 16 — October 29
Weekdays: May 29 — September 1
The museum is not open year-round. Please check our calendar for a complete list of dates the museum is open.

Trolley Bus operation is currently scheduled for May 27; June 3 and 10; July 1 and 2; and September 2, 16, and 30.

Museum Hours and Admission Prices

Weekends May through October, and Special Event days: Electric cars and steam or diesel trains operate hourly 11:00am-4:00pm, or more often as needed, and streetcars operate on the streetcar loop 11:00am-4:00pm as needed
April 16, 23, 30, and Weekdays May 30-September 1 (except holidays) : Electric cars operate hourly 11:00am-3:00pm (weekdays) or 11:00am-4:00pm (weekends)

On open days, the Museum grounds open at 10:00am and close one hour after the last train departure unless otherwise announced.
On open days, the parking lot opens at 9:30am and closes 30 minutes after the grounds close.
Hours and admission rates for special events may differ; check calendar listing for details. Special fare events require a separate ticket.


General Admission Fare Structure
( Tickets are good for unlimited rides – prices not applicable on Special Fare Days)
Adult (Ages 18 – 64) Seniors (65+) Children* (Ages 2 – 12) Youth (Ages 13 – 17)
Weekdays (except holidays) $14 $12 $11 $12
Weekends – April and October $14 $12 $11 $12
Weekends – May through September $18 $16 $14 $16

*children younger than 2 are free and do not need a ticket

Chartered trains are available on dates the museum is open and may be available on certain other dates. For charter information, click here or write to the Charter Director, IRM, PO Box 427, Union, IL 60180.

For further information, telephone 815-923-4000 or 1-800-BIG-RAIL.
To find driving directions and information on reaching the museum via public transit click here.
Food service is available at the Central Diner weekends between mid-June and early October with a limited menu. There is currently no food service on weekdays. However you are welcome to bring your own food any day the museum is open.
Central Diner hours are 11am-4pm on weekends.
All equipment, schedules, and prices subject to change without notice.


Events listed below are subject to modification or cancellation due to health and safety regulations. Please check back on our website 1-2 weeks in advance of each event.

January 21 – Saturday – North Shore Line Day
Commemorating the last day of service 60 years ago on the Chicago North Shore and Milwaukee Railroad. A variety of NSL equipment will be on display and in operation.

January 22 – Sunday – Cabin Fever Day
Join us for this special mid-winter event when a variety of diesel and electric trains will run.

March 25 – Saturday – Chicago Trolley Coach Day
IRM will honor 50 years since the end of trolley coach service in Chicago. A variety of buses from Chicago will be on display and in operation.

April 1, 2 & 8 – Saturdays & Sunday – Bunny Trolley Hop
Help bring in spring with a festive train ride with the Easter Bunny, egg hunts and more! SPECIAL FARE DAYS – NO PASSES HONORED FOR THIS EVENT.

May 14 – Sunday – Mother’s Day
All Moms admitted free when accompanied by at least one full fare paying child or adult.

May 20 & 21 – Saturday & Sunday – Steam Kickoff
Join us as we kick off the summer season with the first weekend of steam locomotives in operation!

May 27, 28 & 29 – Saturday, Sunday & Monday – Memorial Day Weekend
Join us for expanded steam, diesel and electric train operation during the first long summer weekend. Active-duty military personnel and their families admitted free with military ID.

June 3 & 4 – Saturday & Sunday – Railway Post Office (RPO) Weekend
See how railroads played an active role in handling the US Mail. Visit a railway post office and see mail transferred on and off a speeding train.

June 10 – Saturday – 50’s Day
Celebrate the 1950’s at IRM with live music, a greasers vs. preps costume contest, summertime carnival games and period automobiles along with buses and trains from the time when rock ‘n’ roll was king.

June 17 & 18 – Saturday & Sunday – Steam Engineer Experience
See what it’s like to be the engineer on a real steam engine! Take your turn at the throttle of Shay 5 for an unforgettable experience.

June 18 – Sunday – Father’s Day
All Dads admitted free when accompanied by at least one full fare paying child or adult.

July 1, 2, 3 & 4 – Saturday through Tuesday – 4th of July Weekend
Saturday through Tuesday – July 1, 2, 3 & 4 Join IRM on Saturday for the 70 for 70 Trolley Pageant, a parade of 70 electric pieces to celebrate the Museum’s 70th anniversary and for extra train operations Sunday through Tuesday.

July 15, 16, 22 & 23– Saturdays & Sundays – Day Out With Thomas
Join Thomas, Percy, Sir Topham Hatt, and all your friends for a magical visit to the Isle of Sodor! Ride the train with your favorite blue engine, see live shows and presentations, join in hands-on activities, and more. SPECIAL FARE DAYS – NO PASSES HONORED FOR THIS EVENT. Check website for opening times.

August 6 – Sunday – Vintage Transport Extravaganza
The past comes alive through the display of antique autos, trucks, fire engines, tractors, motorcycles and buses – hundreds of vehicles assemble throughout the Museum campus. Ride the streetcars to the various display areas. Interurbans and diesel coach trains will also be running on the mainline. This event only: Call 815-923-4391 for information about displaying your vintage vehicle. Or download a PDF of the registration form (coming soon).

August 11, 12 & 13 – Friday, Saturday & Sunday – Diesel Days
Enjoy IRM’s large variety of diesel locomotives along with their unique color schemes. Extra Fare operational opportunities will be available!

September 1, 2, 3 & 4 – Friday through Monday – Labor Day Weekend
Join us for four days and two evenings of fun. Enjoy a twilight ride on multiple trains as you explore the grounds and see our many illuminated sign displays. EXTENDED HOURS SATURDAY AND SUNDAY TO 9:30 PM.

September 9– Saturday – Scout Day
Boy Scout and Girl Scout troops participate in a day-long event. The day includes a flag ceremony, awarding of badges, and participating in various projects, as well as touring the Museum.

September 16 & 17 – Saturday & Sunday – “Non-Stop” Museum Showcase Weekend
In recognition of IRM’s 7oth anniversary and the volunteers who make the Museum work, IRM will be open continuously from 10:00 AM Saturday to 6:00 PM Sunday with unique trains operating all weekend including through the night. Great photo opportunities!

September 30 – Saturday – Bus Day
Where the rubber meets the road. Join us for trolley bus and motor bus rides and see other buses that will be open and on display.

October 7 – 8 – Saturday & Sunday – Steam into Fall
Enjoy our steam locomotives operating throughout the weekend to leave you with warm memories over the cold months ahead.

October 14, 15, 21 & 22 – Saturdays & Sundays – Pumpkin Train
Pick up your pumpkin by train and enjoy some Halloween-themed family fun. Kids encouraged to come in costume during this event!

November 24, 25 & 26, December 2, 3, 9, 10, 16 & 17 – Saturdays & Sundays – Happy Holiday Railway
Embark on a magical train ride through the winter countryside with Santa Claus himself! Treats will be served, along with a special gift for kids on Santa’s “good list.” Tickets available on July 1st. SPECIAL FARE DAYS – NO PASSES HONORED FOR THIS EVENT.

For further information, call us at 815-923-4000 or 1-800-BIG-RAIL
All equipment, schedules, and prices subject to change without notice.

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