Welcome to the Illinois Railway Museum

Welcome to the Illinois Railway Museum. The museum is the largest railroad museum in the United States. The Museum is an IRS Chapter 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation owned and managed by its membership. Most of what you will see today results from the efforts of volunteer members of the museum over the last 70 years.

The museum was founded in 1953 by ten people who joined to purchase Indiana Railroad interurban car 65. Originally called the Illinois Electric Railway Museum, the museum was located on the grounds of the Chicago Hardware Foundry in North Chicago. In 1964, the museum moved to its present location in Union, Illinois along the former right-of-way of the Elgin and Belvidere Electric Company.  Since 1964, the site has been steadily expanded by acquisition of adjacent land so that the campus is now over 100 acres.

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