Hours and Admission Info 2024

Purchase General Admission Tickets

Train Operations and Exhibit Hours:

April: Open Sundays — Electric trains operate hourly 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
May through September, and Special Events: Open Weekends — Electric trains and steam or diesel trains operate hourly 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM; streetcars operate on the streetcar loop 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM
     Weekdays, Memorial Day through Labor Day: Electric trains operate hourly 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM
October: Open Weekends — Electric trains operate hourly 11:00 AM to 3:00 PM

The museum is not open year-round. Please check our calendar for a complete list of dates the museum is open.

Museum Hours:

Weekends: 10:00 AM — 5:00 PM
Weekdays: 10:00 AM — 4:00 PM
Last admission 30 minutes prior to the last scheduled train. Exhibits close after the last train of the day departs.

2024 Admission Prices:

2024 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) $14.00 $12.00 $11.00 $12.00
Weekends in April and October** $14.00 $12.00 $11.00 $12.00
Weekends – May through September $20.00 $18.00 $16.00 $18.00

*Children younger than 2 are free and do not need a ticket
**Except for special event days

Hours and admission rates for special events may differ; check our calendar or see below for details. Special fare events require a separate 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.
  • Print your own 2024 IRM Calendar! Click here to download a printable 2024 IRM calendar (PDF)
  • To find driving directions and information on reaching the museum via public transit click here.
  • Trolley Bus operation is scheduled for the following Saturdays in 2024: May 25, June 1, June 22, July 6, August 31, September 14, and September 21; and Sunday, July 7.
  • Food service is available at the Central Diner weekends between mid-June and early October. From mid-June through the end of August, the Central Diner will also be open on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. You are welcome to bring your own food any day the museum is open.
  • Central Diner hours are 11:00 AM — 4:00 PM on weekends and 11:00 AM — 2:00 PM on weekdays.
  • All equipment, schedules, and prices subject to change without notice.

SPECIAL EVENTS FOR 2024

March 23, 24 & 30 – 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 12 – Sunday – Mother’s Day
All Moms admitted free when accompanied by at least one full fare paying child or adult.

May 18 & 19 – Saturday & Sunday – Chicago & North Western Weekend
Celebrate memories of the C&NW Railroad with members of the Chicago & North Western Historical Society as IRM rolls out our fleet of yellow and green favorites.

May 25, 26 & 28 – 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 1 & 2 – 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 16 – Sunday – Father’s Day
All Dads admitted free when accompanied by at least one full fare paying child or adult.

June 22 & 23 – Saturday & Sunday – Trolley Weekend
Vintage streetcar, interurban, rapid transit, and electric freight equipment will operate with different cars featured each day. Great photo opportunities for the traction/trolley fans.

July 4, 5, 6 & 7 – Thursday through Sunday – 4th of July Weekend
Join IRM for an expanded schedule of train operations throughout the long holiday weekend.

July 13, 14, 20 & 21– 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 4 – 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 register online here.

August 9, 10 & 11 – 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!

August 31, September 1 & 2 – Saturday, Sunday & Monday – Labor Day Weekend
Join us for three 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 7– 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 14 & 15 – Saturday & Sunday – Museum Showcase Weekend
Seize this unique opportunity to see and ride some of the less frequently run equipment at IRM as we honor the volunteers who make the museum work. Great photo opportunities along with late evening operations.

September 21 – 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 5 & 6 – 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 19, 20, 26 & 27 – 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 29 & 30, December 1, 7, 8, 14, 15, 21 & 22 – 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.

Dates 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.

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