Illinois Railway Museum
The mission of the Illinois Railway Museum is to demonstrate the vital role railroads have played in the growth of the Chicago area as well as the United States through the preservation and operation of railroad and mass transit rolling stock and the display of related artifacts in a realistic setting. These exhibits provide an interactive, educational experience for visitors of all ages.
It has always been a prime desire of the Museum and its membership to display our historic collections to the public-at-large. Throughout IRM's existence, there has been a concerted outreach to the general public to gain recognition, acceptance and support.
As a relatively new organization, some of the amenities normally expected of the fully funded major museums may not as yet exist here at Union. Rest assured that our goal is to make this presentation as professional as possible. With time, member "sweat-equity" and public participation substituting for full funding, our goal will be reached, as the attaining of our current recognized status will attest. Having invested almost forty years to establish our presence and recreate the railroad environment, the Illinois Railway Museum is remaining true to its goals and planning for the future!
This place is so fascinating! I love history, and this place is perfect for that. Also, my four year old son and 2 year old daughter love trains. This is of course due to television shows; Thomas the Train and Chuggington. They loved riding the trains here! Also, would point out things like, "That's a steam engine!" They had such a fun time! Also, it's great here because there is a lot of walking around which keeps you active; yet enjoying the sites.
Thomas and Friends day is great! The staff, which I believe are all volunteers, were extremely friendly and helpful. Get there early because it gets busy in a hurry. Lots of fun activities for a variety of ages. We took a 2.5 year old and a 1 year old and they loved it! We packed a picnic but there are refreshments and a diner and prices were very affordable for a family. Train rides are about 20 minutes. We purchased Percy and Thomas. One train ride is probably sufficient as they are nearly identical rides/experience.
Loved it! Should have come here sooner. Riding on the vintage train was a blast. Admission was reasonably priced. There is concessions on the premises which were also reasonably priced. The line to get in did take a while...probably a half hour.
This place is great for kids who love trains. We were last here for their annual Day of Thomas event, which is really incredible. But, even without that, there are tons of fun train-related activities for young kids. It's a bit of a hike from Chicago, but it's an easy drive and definitely worth it.
Such a fun interesting historical place to visit, with something for everyone! I could spend the whole day here reading the histories & checking out all the amazing trains, many of which I never knew existed. On wkends you can ride the trains & trollies, price free w/admission! Even during the wk they'll take you on a delightful 8 mile train ride on track laid by dedicated volunteers of the Museum. & As you ride, the Engineer tells you interesting stories of the train you're on, & its history. What a great way to spend a day!