The Illinois Railway Museum is pleased to announce the opening of its Model Railroad Exhibit. The exhibit opened to the public for the first time on Friday, November 26, 2021, for the first day of the 2021 Happy Holiday Railway event at the Museum. The exhibit will remain open during the remainder of the Happy Holiday Railway event. The current plan is for it to be open on weekends during the 2022 season as well.
The Model Railroad Exhibit includes two model railroad layouts that are currently operational. This includes a large O gauge display that IRM rebuilt by adding interactive components that permit kids of all ages to operate portions of the layout. There is also a large HO scale model railroad that includes a “scavenger hunt” challenge in its elaborately detailed scenes. There are displays of historic train models and the Museum expects to activate additional operating displays in the future.
The contributions of people who donated money, time, and artifacts to the Model Railroad Exhibit made this opening possible. The exhibit space is in the Multi-Purpose Building, construction of which began in late 2019 before it encountered delays due to the pandemic. Construction on the building extended until summer 2021. During the late summer and fall, construction and setup of displays in the exhibit space took place. The museum is grateful to everyone who has worked to bring the exhibit to life.
Happy Holiday Railway Information
For more information on the Happy Holiday Railway event, see www.irm.org. In addition to the train ride with Santa, tickets to Happy Holiday Railway include access to the new Model Railroad Exhibit as well as streetcar rides, live music, and access to several of the Museum’s train exhibit buildings. The event runs weekends through December 19, 2021, and many trips have already sold out.