Union, Illinois: Illinois Railway Museum: Largest in North America

If you're going to a museum of old trains, you might as well make it the biggest one on the continent. Also: streetcars and busses. Museum has its own five-mile loop railroad.

Illinois Railway Museum

Address:
7000 Olson Rd, Union, IL
Directions:
From downtown Union drive east a half-mile on Jefferson St. until it ends. Turn right onto Olson Rd. Drive a quarter-mile to the museum entrance, on the left.
Hours:
M-F 10-4:30, Sa-Su 10-6 (Call to verify)
Phone:
815-923-4391
Admission:
Adults $15.
RA Rates:
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Illinois Railway Museum

The museum was founded in 1953 and has grown to become the largest collection of preserved railway and transit equipment on the continent, with 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 are the Nebraska Zephyr, the only complete surviving Zephyr streamliner; Frisco 1630, a 1918 steam locomotive originally intended for export to czarist Russia; and the Electroliner, a revolutionary high-speed electric train dating to 1941.

The museum's site 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. It receives no state or federal funding and all of its operations and historic preservation activities are funded through daily operations and donations.

[Brian Vehrs, 10/05/2018]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Donley's Wild West TownDonley's Wild West Town, Union, IL - 2 mi.
Big Ice Cream ConeBig Ice Cream Cone, Marengo, IL - 4 mi.
Groundhog Day B&BGroundhog Day B&B, Woodstock, IL - 7 mi.
In the region:
Booby's Sign, Niles, IL - 39 mi.

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October 17, 2018

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