The Museum is open daily.

Vintage Transport Extravaganza

August 5th is the date for the 28th annual Vintage Transport Extravaganza at the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, McHenry County, Illinois. The event brings together the “other” popular modes of transportation – cars, trucks, and buses – on the campus of the nation’s largest operating railway museum. It is one of the largest antique vehicle shows in the entire state of Illinois.

“This is just a grand location for a show with vintage cars and trucks,” remarked event chair Larry Claypool. “It’s a show like none other. Besides the 500 or so vehicles that will attend, the museum will have a large variety of their equipment up and running that day including mainline trains, streetcars, and interurbans. Entrants in the show get complimentary tickets to ride those trains. It’s a show the whole family will want to go to. There’s just so much to see.”

Special features of the event include operation of a 1918 steam locomotive that was originally built for export to Russia and the famous Nebraska Zephyr that has been featured in Hollywood movies and TV shows, both of which will be giving rides to visitors. Antique cars from Model T Fords all the way up to 1990s sports cars will be on display alongside historic buses, trucks, electric trolley buses, and military and other vehicles.

“It’s a low-pressure event,” added co-chair Dawn Castro. “There’s no judging involved, just drive out and enjoy the sights and sounds of all the trains, cars, and trucks. There’s everything from vintage motorcycles to restored big rigs.”

The Vintage Transport Extravaganza is one of the museum’s longest-running and best-attended special events. “The idea to do a show with other types of ground transportation was a natural tie-in for us,” stated Dave Diamond, Facilities General Manager for the museum. “All of us, no matter what the mode, are dedicated to preserving and presenting the past.”

The show is open to vehicles 1998 and older. A registration form for bringing a car, tickets for attendees, and more information on attending the event are all available on the museum website here. Please call the museum office at 815-923-4391 with any questions.