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The museum is closed for the winter, reopening in April.

Fundraiser launched to save Milwaukee Road 126

The Illinois Railway Museum is fundraising to move Milwaukee Road “Buffeteria” 126 from Chamberlain, South Dakota, to the museum’s campus in Union, Illinois. The 126 is being donated to the museum, and IRM needs your help to get the car to Union. Donations can be made here. Milwaukee Road 126 was built in 1948 by the Milwaukee Road’s Milwaukee shops as a standard 48-seat diner. In 1964, 126 was rebuilt, along with two other cars, into a counter-service style cafeteria car. The name “Buffeteria” stems from buffet-cafeteria, the service provided on the car. The 126 fills a major gap in the museum’s collection of rail dining service, bridging the golden era with current Amtrak services of the type which this car pioneered. Car 126 features a stainless and glass buffet line, seats for 32 diners, and a full kitchen.

In 1971, 126 was sold into private ownership, with the current owner donating the car to IRM. The “Buffeteria” is in complete, unrestored, and original condition. A total of $25,000 is needed to move the car by rail and begin restoration work once the car arrives in Union. Car 126 is a very unique piece that has influenced passenger trains for over 50 years. Please consider a donation to help bring the car to its new home at the Illinois Railway Museum.

More information about the Illinois Railway Museum: Our mission is to educate the public as to our nation’s railroad and railway history, by: Preserving and restoring rolling stock, artifacts, structures, and related transportation equipment for display to the public; Exhibiting the operation of restored rolling stock and equipment on a demonstration rail line; and Maintaining a reference library of publications, drawings and technical information regarding railroads, railways, and related forms of transportation for research and other purposes. The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)3 Non-Profit organization, and all donations are tax deductible.

Click here to donate and help Save Milwaukee Road 126