Hours/Admission

The museum is closed for the winter. We will reopen in April.

Trains operate on the following dates:
Saturdays: April 18 – October 24
Sundays: April 19 – October 25
Weekdays: May 25 – September 7
The museum is not open year-round. 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 and fares 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*
Weekdays (except holidays) $11.00 $9.00 $8.00
Weekends – April and October $11.00 $9.00 $8.00
Weekends – May through September $15.00 $13.00 $11.00

*Children ages 2-11; children younger than 2 are admitted free

Free Admission to the museum grounds on the following days unless trains are in operation:
Weekdays, April 6 – May 22 and September 8 – September 30
Electric trains may operate on some of these days but not on others. If trains are operating, weekday admission prices will apply. Please check our calendar before your trip for updates. Buildings may not be open on these days. Chartered trains are available on these 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
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 2020

April 4, 5 & 11 – Saturdays and Sunday – 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 Fares applies on these days. No passes honored on these days. No admission to the grounds without Bunny Trolley Hop ticket.

May 9 – 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 10 – 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 23, 24 & 25 – 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 6 & 7 – 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 20 – Saturday – Chicago Day
Commemorating the last day of streetcar service in Chicago 62 years ago. The past lives on as you ride Chicago streetcars, trolley coaches, ‘L’ trains, and interurban and commuter trains that served Chicago.

June 21 – Sunday – Father’s Day
Free admission for all dads when accompanied by at least one fare-paying child or adult.

July 4 & 5 – Saturday & Sunday – Trolley Weekend
Vintage traction equipment will operate each day including streetcars, interurbans, rapid transit cars, and non-revenue equipment. Great photo opportunities for the traction fan! You will be able to ride some of this equipment on the mainline and streetcar line.

July 11 & 12, 18 & 19 – Saturdays & Sundays – Day Out With Thomas™
The ever popular Thomas the Tank Engine™ returns. Event licensed by Gullane Entertainment, Inc. © 2020 Gullane (Thomas) Ltd. Electric Trains operate as well. Special Fare applies on these days. No passes honored on these days.

August 2 – Sunday – 30th 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 (coming soon).

August 7, 8 & 9 – 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! Weekend fares apply on Friday, August 7th.

September 5, 6 & 7 – 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 19 & 20 – 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 26 – 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 24 & 25 – Saturday & Sunday – Pumpkin Train
Pick up your pumpkin by train and enjoy some Halloween-themed family fun. Kids encouraged to come in costume!

November 28, 29, December 5, 6, 12, 13, 19 & 20 – 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. Check website for opening times. 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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