What To Do
Learn about history by living it.
The Illinois Railway Museum strives for an immersive experience: we want you to feel transported back into the glory age of rail travel aboard our rolling time machines. The centerpiece of the museum experience is the train ride. Your admission ticket includes unlimited rides on the day of your visit.
Board the streetcar next to the 50th Avenue ‘L’ station for a ride up to the historic 1851 East Union Depot, where on weekends during the summer you can transfer to a main line steam or diesel train. A train trip on the museum’s five-mile railroad takes between 35 and 45 minutes. Hear the clickety-clack of the rail, feel the breeze through the open windows, smell the coal smoke of the steam engine. If you’d like a shorter trip, a ride on the streetcar line is just the thing. Streetcars operate in a loop around the property, passing scenic Electric Park and stopping at several locations around the museum campus. A trip on the streetcar line takes about 15 minutes.
There’s much more to see and do as you walk around the museum campus. Our train-themed playground, located just behind the depot on the north side of Barn 3, is a great way for kids to play while watching a parade of railway equipment pass by at busy Car Line Junction. Nearby you can explore an authentic track inspection car, or “speeder,” from the Indiana Harbor Belt Railroad. In Barn 3, climb aboard a train of historic Pullman passenger cars and see what luxury travel was like 60 or 70 years ago. Relax in the plush armchairs of the Santa Fe Lounge car to view a video about the museum or have a seat in the Galt House dining car from the famous Pan-American train. If you like, you can even make a speech from the open platform of one of our historic parlor-observation cars!
Get started today – click here to plan your visit.