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IRM Acquires Two C&NW Bi-Level Coaches

The Illinois Railway Museum has received delivery of two bi-level cars, also known as gallery cars, originally from the Chicago & North Western (C&NW). These two cars are coaches that operated in commuter service out of Chicago for more than four decades. Both were built by Pullman-Standard. The older of the two is Metra 7716, built in 1960 as C&NW 65, while the newer car is Metra 7734, built in 1961 as C&NW 83. The two cars were purchased from a tourist railroad in Ohio and are complete and in good condition.

The addition of these two cars brings the size of the museum’s bi-level fleet to six cars, all ex-C&NW. This collection now features examples of all the major sub-types of C&NW bi-levels, including two cars from the railroad’s group of 1955-vintage St. Louis Car Company bi-levels, one car from the 1956 group of “six-window” Pullman-built bi-level coaches, the first of the 1960-vintage Pullman-built cab cars, and now two of the post-1960 type of “four-window” Pullman-built bi-level coaches.

The two bi-levels arrived in Union on January 10, 2024. IRM intends to restore and repaint both of the new acquisitions to their appearance while in commuter service out of Chicago. Donations toward this restoration work are needed to fund repainting and other work. Click here to support the preservation of bi-level commuter cars at IRM with a donation to the museum’s General Fund.