sunday we spent the day at the Illinois Railway Museum outside of Union, IL. It is between Madison and Chicago. It was a perfect Fall day and I was there with 3 generations of Ganahl men. Jackson who is 3 is train-crazy. We even got to take a 40 minute ride on an electric, passenger train. Alex who is 1 appeared to like it too, he gave Grandma a fist bump.
Lots of cool signage and typography. There was something for everyone which makes this such a great place. We were there for 4 hours and walked over 3 miles and did not see everything.
Who knew? I didn't. Lots and lots of interesting signs that we wanted to read. Maybe next time.
Here is what Wikipedia has to say: The museum was founded in 1953 by ten individuals (one of the founders was Howard Odinius from Milwaukee) who joined together to purchase Indiana Railroad interurban car 65.
Originally called the Illinois Electric Railway Museum, the name was changed to IRM in 1961 to reflect the museum's expanding scope. The museum was initially located on the grounds of the Chicago Hardware Foundry in North Chicago, Illinois. In 1964 the museum's entire collection was relocated to Union along the former right-of-way of the Elgin & Belvidere interurban. Two years later, operations were begun using Illinois Terminal interurban car 415, and in 1967 the first steam engine was operated. The first storage barn was erected in 1971. In 1981 a one-mile (1.6 km) streetcar loop was constructed. A 4.9-mile (7.9 km) railroad line was built during the 1980s and early 1990s.
The museum's operations are primarily concentrated around its main campus just east of Union, Illinois. Train rides are offered on the main line as well as the streetcar loop. Electric trains are operated from April through October, and diesel and steam trains from the beginning of May through the end of September. Trolley bus operations occur the first Saturdays of June, July, September and October. IRM is one of only two railway museums in the country that operates both electric and diesel trains. It is the only museum that offers trolley bus rides.
It was pretty much a perfect day. And we were amazed that so few people were there, probably because it is late in the year. I can recommend this outing. In fact I could go back several more times. Next time I'll take a real camera.