Hours/Admission

Trains operate on the following dates:
Saturdays: April 13 and 20 and May 4 – October 26
Sundays: April 7 – October 27
Weekdays: May 20 – September 13
Please check our calendar for a complete list of dates the museum is open.

Museum Hours
Weekends: 10:00AM to 6:00PM (Last admissions 4:00PM)
Weekdays (except holidays): 10:00AM to 4:30PM (Last admissions 2:30PM)

Hours for special events may differ; check calendar listing for details.
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.

Fare Structure
( Tickets are good for unlimited rides – prices not applicable on Special Fare Days)
Adult Seniors 62+ Children* Family Max.
Weekdays (except holidays) $11.00 $9.00 $8.00 $42.00
Weekends – April and October $11.00 $9.00 $8.00 $42.00
Weekends – May through September $15.00 $13.00 $11.00 $55.00

*Children ages 3-11; children younger than 3 are admitted free

Free Admission to the museum grounds on the following days only:
April 6 and 27; Weekdays, May 1 – May 17 and September 16 – September 30
Buildings may NOT be open on these days. Trains do not operate on these days except by special charters. Write for charter information to the Charter Director, IRM, PO Box 427, Union, IL 60180.

For further information, telephone 815-923-4000 or 1-800-BIG-RAIL
For driving directions and information on reaching the museum via public transit click here.
Food service is available at the Central Diner weekends between mid-May and early October and weekdays between mid-June and Labor Day.
Central Diner hours are 11am-4pm on weekends and 11am-3pm on weekdays.
All equipment, schedules, and prices subject to change without notice.


SPECIAL EVENTS FOR 2019

April 13 & 20 – Saturdays – Bunny Trolley Hop
Spring is here, and what better way to celebrate than with a festive train ride, Easter Bunny, egg hunts, activities for kids, and more. Special Fare applies on these days. No passes honored on these days. No admission to the grounds without Bunny Trolley Hop ticket.

May 4 – Saturday – Illinois Day
Residents of the Prairie State admitted 50% off.

May 11 – Saturday – Scout Day
Boy and Girl Scout troops participate in a day-long event. The day begins with a flag ceremony, awarding of badges, touring the museum and participating in various projects.

May 12 – Sunday – Mother’s Day
Celebrate Mother’s Day at IRM – all moms admitted free when accompanied by at least one fare-paying child or adult.

May 25, 26 & 27 – Saturday, Sunday & Monday – Memorial Day Weekend
The summer begins! Steam or Diesel and Electric trains will operate all three days. Active Military personnel and their families admitted FREE with military ID.

June 8 & 9 – Saturday & Sunday – Railway Post Office (RPO) Weekend
Operations and Demonstrations of Railway Post Office railway cars with on-the-fly mail pickups. See how railroads played a major role in the handling of the U.S. Mail.

June 16 – Sunday – Father’s Day
Free admission for all dads when accompanied by at least one fare-paying child or adult.

June 22 – Saturday – Chicago Day
Commemorating the last day of streetcar service in Chicago 61 years ago. The past lives on as you ride Chicago streetcars, trolley coaches, ‘L’ trains, and interurban and commuter trains that served Chicago.

June 23 – Sunday – 9th Annual Steam Department Benefit at the Sanfilippo Estate
The event will feature a concert in the Estate’s Music Theater on the world’s largest restored theatre pipe organ. The original theater organ, a 1927 Wurlitzer from the Omaha Theater in Nebraska, has been expanded and now controls 8,000 pipes, percussions and sound effects. Proceeds will benefit the Illinois Railway Museum Steam Department.

June 29 & 30 – Saturday & Sunday – Traction Weekend
Vintage traction equipment will operate each day with a focus on railway equipment from before the age of the automobile. Great photo opportunities for the traction fan! You will be able to ride some of this equipment on the mainline and streetcar line.

July 4 – Thursday – Independence Day
Electric trains and Frisco 1630 train will operate in celebration of our nation’s birthday.

July 13 & 14, 20 & 21 – Saturdays & Sundays – Day Out With Thomas™
The ever popular Thomas the Tank Engine™ returns. Event licensed by Gullane Entertainment, Inc. © 2019 Gullane (Thomas) Ltd. Electric Trains operate as well. Special Fare applies on these days. No passes honored on these days.

August 4 – Sunday – 29th Annual 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 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 by clicking here.

August 9, 10 & 11 – Friday, Saturday & Sunday – Diesel Days
Rarely-seen vintage diesels will operate in a variety of combinations and roles. Take a ride on a coach train and a caboose train pulled by one of these powerful giants. Many great photo opportunities for the diesel fan!

August 31, September 1 & 2 – Saturday, Sunday & Monday – Labor Day Weekend
Join us for three days and two evenings of fun! Enjoy a twilight train ride, one of the most immersive experiences we offer. Pack a picnic, ride the trains and enjoy the last days of summer! Extended hours Saturday and Sunday to 9:30pm.

September 7 – Saturday – Fire Expo
Come see a real fireman’s muster featuring vintage and modern fire engines, with fire truck rides, a fire engine parade, live demos, a Flight for Life helicopter, and more. *NEW EVENT*

September 14 & 15 – Saturday & Sunday – Museum Showcase Weekend
Celebrate the Museum collection and honor the members who make it work! Ride and see some of the less frequently run equipment at IRM. Bring your camera and enjoy the weekend!

September 28 – 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 26 & 27 – Saturday & Sunday – Pumpkin Train
Pick up your pumpkin by train and enjoy some Halloween-themed family fun. Kids encouraged to come in costume!

November 23, 24, 29, 30, December 1, 7 & 8, 14 & 15, 20, 21, 22, & 23 – Saturdays & Sundays – Happy Holiday Railway
Embark on a magical train ride through the winter countryside with Santa Claus himself! Warm treats will be served and gifts will be given to kids on Santa’s “good list”. Special Fare Event. No passes honored for this event. Tickets will go on sale July 1st.

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

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