Press Page

Media inquiries are always welcome

Railroading has made for riveting stories for nearly two centuries. Since the 1950s the Illinois Railway Museum has been happy to host many reporters, photographers, bloggers, travel writers, film crews, and even movie productions. Media inquiries can be placed at the bottom of this page or by phone directed to:

John Naglich Jr, IRM Publicity Director
815-923-4391 ext 408

For the media

The museum is happy to provide to writers and reporters whatever assistance we can with your story. This applies whether you're covering IRM or one of our events directly, or whether you're looking to add depth to your story with insight into the history of trains and transit. With 24 hours notice we can provide a guide who will be happy to show you around the museum and can try and answer your questions about the museum's exhibits and about railroad history in the area.

For photographers

Photography for non-commercial purposes is welcome - in fact, we encourage it! So if you're interested in taking professional photographs in a unique, varied, and historic setting, IRM is just the place. Our trains and historic buildings offer unlimited possibilities for photo subjects and backgrounds. We also offer great flexibility and affordable rates for commercial photography. Contact us below to inquire about pricing and policies.

For production crews

The museum has starred in many television shows and movies including A League of Their Own, Groundhog Day, Flags of Our Fathers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and others. IRM has the nation's largest collection of preserved railway equipment. As such, we can offer trains with a variety of vintages, types, sizes, and "looks." Any period or place, we can help you set the scene. Whether you're looking for a turn-of-the-century streetcar, a steam engine with a train of Pullman cars, or a 1960s streamliner, the Illinois Railway Museum can help. We would love to discuss your project; contact us below or call our office at 815-923-4391 ext 2 to get started.

Essential information about the Illinois Railway Museum

IRM was founded in 1953 and has grown to become the largest collection of preserved railway and transit equipment on the continent. Today, the museum collection features some 450 pieces of historic equipment including steam engines, diesels, streetcars, interurbans, passenger and freight cars, buses, and trolley buses. Among the famous trains at the museum:

  • the Nebraska Zephyr, the only complete surviving Zephyr streamliner
  • Frisco 1630, a 1918 steam locomotive originally intended for export to czarist Russia
  • the Electroliner, a revolutionary high-speed electric train dating to 1941

The museum's site in Union, McHenry County, features some 100 acres of exhibit buildings and historic structures including the 1851-vintage East Union Depot, the oldest active train station west of Pittsburgh. Visitors ride historic trains on a one-mile streetcar loop and a five-mile main line railroad, both lines constructed and maintained by the museum. And IRM receives no state or federal funding: all of our operations and historic preservation activities are funded through daily operations and donations.

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