In the News

Matching Donation for Diesel Preservation Offered

We are excited to announce that a matching donation opportunity has been offered to the Illinois Railway Museum. This offer goes toward raising money for indoor storage of diesel locomotives in our collection. The opportunity is a dollar for dollar match of up to $50,000 for donations to the IRM

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E8A Passenger Engine Returns Home

The Illinois Railway Museum has brought an historic E8A passenger engine back to home territory for preservation. Iowa Pacific 515, formerly Chicago & North Western (C&NW) 515, arrived on Museum property on Sunday, December 5, 2021, after being transported by rail from a storage location in Mississippi. The Electro-Motive Division

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Model Railroad Exhibit Opens

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

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Union Pacific rotary snowplow at the Illinois Railway Museum

Rotary Snow Plow to be Unveiled

Union Pacific 900075, one of the last steam-powered rotary snow plows ever built, will be officially unveiled on October 2 and 3, 2021 following a three-year restoration effort. The unveiling will take place as part of the Illinois Railway Museum’s Steam in the Fall event, featuring the year’s final operation

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Kingan meat reefer arriving at IRM

IRM Brings Home the Bacon

The Illinois Railway Museum (IRM) has acquired a rare 36′ billboard meat refrigerator car. At one time, “reefers” like this were a common sight on American railroads, transporting perishable products from coast to coast. Brightly painted advertisements touted the products they carried, from beer to butter to bacon. Kingan and

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Phase 5 Reopening Update

We are thrilled that the State of Illinois has moved into Phase 5 of their reopening plan, and we very much look forward to welcoming back so many of our friends and supporters. Some of our health and safety guidelines are changing starting June 12th. Even with almost all of

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Day Out With Thomas™ tickets now on sale

Union, IL – All Aboard! Tickets are now available to see Thomas the Tank EngineTM at the Illinois Railway Museum (IRM) this July. The museum’s most popular event, Day Out With ThomasTM, will return to northern Illinois for the first time in two years on July 10-11 and 17-18, 2021.

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C&NW Archives Research Center to be located at IRM

Union, IL – The Illinois Railway Museum (IRM) is pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with the Chicago & North Western Historical Society (C&NWHS) to locate a new building housing the Society’s historic archives on the IRM campus in Union, Illinois. The building will be located on

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Day Out With Thomas™ Confirmed for 2021

Illinois Railway Museum in McHenry County announces its full event schedule for 2021 The Illinois Railway Museum (IRM) in McHenry County has confirmed that its most popular event, Day Out With Thomas™ featuring a full-size Thomas the Tank Engine™, will be held for the first time in two years on

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Restored 1911 Pullman Car Donated to IRM

The Illinois Railway Museum (IRM) has accepted the donation of a fully restored 1911 Pullman heavyweight passenger car named Villa Real. The car was used on multiple railroads, including the Pennsylvania Railroad, the Wabash, and National Railways of Mexico, during a 46-year career as a sleeping car. In 1957 it

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