Membership

2020 has been a difficult year for everyone. The museum has incurred major financial losses thru the inability to operate our major events or to open the site for a period and restriction on the number of visitors that we can accommodate when we are open. Clearly our members and visitors have also suffered in many ways.

Having been forced to remain closed by State regulations thru June, we were able to reopen from July and have, by the considerable efforts of our volunteers and staff, been able to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for our visitors that we hope to be able to continue thru the rest of 2020.

We recognize that our members have received less than they originally anticipated from their 2020 membership although we believe that IRM has done its best to provide all that we reasonably can in these difficult times. In these circumstances, as we come to the opening of renewals for year 2021:

  • Associate memberships for 2021 will go on sale on Saturday September 19th and will be priced at $50 (individual) and $80 (family) with no increase from 2020.
  • We hope that members will recognize the difficulties that the museum faces, the efforts that have been made and be prepared to support the museum by paying the renewal for 2021 in full.
  • For members who feel that they should be compensated for the museum’s more limited opening in 2020, an optional discount of $25 (family) or $15 (individual) will be available that can be applied to reduce the 2021 membership cost.

Membership in the Illinois Railway Museum is open to anyone who likes trains, or who is interested in the Museum’s historic and educational programs. The member receives a pass which identifies them as a Museum supporter, allows them passage on the Museum’s operating railway and a discount on certain educational materials in the Museum Store. Members also receive a Museum newsletter, “Rail & Wire”, which is published several times a year.

Participation in the Museum’s activities is open to all members – from being an active booster to lending a hand in the Museum’s work. Some members are in a fortunate position to be able to volunteer their particular talents or their free time for work on Museum projects. The Museum encourages this as most of its projects depend almost entirely on volunteer workers. There is always a need for skilled workers, office workers, operating personnel, and people interested in “just helping out” on Museum projects.

Memberships are available for an individual or a family, (two parents and children under 18). Beyond Associate membership, a member may choose to pay a Sustaining rate, which confers the same membership benefits but provides additional (tax deductible) financial support to the museum. Sustaining members also receive a hat indicating their support and a pin for each year they're Sustaining members.

Both Associate and Sustaining members may, after participating in museum activities for a period, become eligible to apply for Full membership. Full membership confers the right to vote at general meetings and stand for elected roles within the museum.

Membership Rates:

  • $50 - Individual Associate
  • $80 - Family Associate
  • $100 - Individual Sustaining
  • $160 - Family Sustaining

Annual memberships run from January through December.


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The Illinois Railway Museum is a not-for-profit, educational corporation which was organized in 1953. The Museum is supported primarily by contributions and by revenues derived from the visiting public. Volunteers serving without pay do most of the work. All contributions to the Museum are tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Please consult your tax advisor.

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