Hours and Admission Info 2022
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
Trains are currently scheduled to operate on the following dates only:
Saturdays: April 30 — October 29
Sundays: April 24 — October 30
Weekdays: May 30 — September 2
The museum is not open year-round. Please check our calendar for a complete list of dates the museum is open.
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 24, 30, and Weekdays May 31-September 2 (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.
( Tickets are good for unlimited rides – prices not applicable on Special Fare Days)
|Weekdays (except holidays)||$12||$10||$9|
|Weekends – April and October||$12||$10||$9|
|Weekends – May through September||$16||$14||$12|
*Children ages 2-11; 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.
SPECIAL EVENTS FOR 2022
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.
April 9, 10 & 16 – Saturdays – Bunny Trolley Hop
Ride the streetcar to meet the Easter Bunny and help him find his eggs! Special Fare Event. No passes honored for this event. Check website for opening times.
May 8 – Sunday – Mother’s Day
All Moms admitted free when accompanied by at least one full fare paying child or adult.
May 14 – 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.
May 28, 29 & 30 – Saturday, Sunday & Monday – Memorial Day Weekend
The summer begins! Steam or Diesel and Electric trains will operate all three days. During this event, active Military personnel and their families admitted FREE with military ID.
June 4 & 5 – 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 18 – Saturday – Chicago Day
Commemorate the 64th anniversary of the last day of streetcar service in Chicago by riding railroad and transit equipment from the Windy City.
June 19 – Sunday – Father’s Day
All Dads admitted free when accompanied by at least one full fare paying child or adult.
July 2, 3 & 4 – Saturday, Sunday & Monday – Trolley Weekend
Vintage traction equipment will operate each day including streetcars, interurbans, rapid transit cars, and non-revenue equipment. There will be great photo opportunities for the traction fan! You will also be able to ride some of this equipment on the mainline and streetcar line. Weekend fares apply on Monday, July 4th.
July 9, 10, 16 & 17 – 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 Event. No passes honored for this event. Check website for opening times.
August 7 – 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 12, 13 & 14 – 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. There are also many great photo opportunities for the diesel fan! Weekend fares apply on Friday, August 12th.
September 3, 4 & 5 – 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 17 & 18 – 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 24 – 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 1-2 – Saturday & Sunday – Steam into Fall
Step back in time as you enjoy the bucolic McHenry County countryside during autumn from the window of a steam train.
October 22, 23, 29 & 30 – 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 25, 26 & 27, December 3, 4, 10, 11, 17 & 18 – Saturdays & Sundays – Happy Holiday Railway
Embark on a magical train ride through the winter countryside with Santa Claus himself! Enjoy warm treats on the train, and kids on Santa’s “good list” will receive a special gift. Special Fare Event. No passes honored for this event. Check website for opening times.
Date TBA – 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.
For further information, call us at 815-923-4000 or 1-800-BIG-RAIL
All equipment, schedules, and prices subject to change without notice.