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Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum
http://www.rypn.org/forums/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=35328
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Author:  Joshua K. Blay [ Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:06 pm ]
Post subject:  Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

I'm coming out to Chicago at the end of August for a friend's wedding and if possible I'd love to visit the IRM the Friday before Labor Day.

I'm coming in by train, and I was looking to see if a METRA ride would be convenient.

Thanks for any help,

Joshua

Author:  railfan44 [ Sun Jul 21, 2013 9:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

IRM is way out in the Illinois Corn Fields. I don't see how to visit w/o a rental car. Start with their web pages:

http://www.irm.org/

Author:  filmteknik [ Sun Jul 21, 2013 11:01 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

Also, weekends are best.

Steve

Author:  Overmod [ Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:06 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

Closest I think you are going to get on Metra, as I see it, would be the UP-NW line, perhaps to Woodstock:

http://metrarail.com/metra/en/home/maps ... .full.html

You'd then have to arrange a taxi or car service from there to IRM, or find some other way of getting over there and back. You might find a directory or call around to see what services are available.

Author:  Frank Hicks [ Mon Jul 22, 2013 12:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

filmteknik wrote:
Also, weekends are best.


Generally yes, however on Friday August 30th IRM will be running a weekend schedule as part of the museum's Railroad Extravaganza event. http://www.irm.org/schedule/index.html

And I'd agree that if you're taking Metra the best way to the museum is to take a taxi from the Woodstock station.

Author:  PJS [ Mon Jul 22, 2013 1:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

Frank Hicks wrote:
filmteknik wrote:
Also, weekends are best.


Generally yes, however on Friday August 30th IRM will be running a weekend schedule as part of the museum's Railroad Extravaganza event. http://www.irm.org/schedule/index.html

And I'd agree that if you're taking Metra the best way to the museum is to take a taxi from the Woodstock station.


Woodstock is 10 miles from IRM and cabs cost about $30. More frequent train service is available from Crystal Lake, which is 13 miles from IRM. Both are on the UP/Northwest line.

Author:  John Deck [ Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:27 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

Just be aware if you ask the wrong people a question you might get your head taken off or a very rude answer. Was not the most visitor friendly place I have been to. Great collection of equimpent but a large majority of it is in sheds and you have about 4 feet between the equipment to look at it. You need to rent a car to get there.

Author:  DavidKaplan [ Mon Jul 22, 2013 9:45 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

I found the volunteers and other staff at IRM to be very nice. Even the steam guys working in the shop were very visitor friendly.

But my main disappointment was that most steam was in a dark shed and very hard to see except from a few feet away. Those sheds protect the equipment but make it very hard to view. The lack of light doesn't help either.

I was there in October of 2012 and several diesels were out getting winterized. So at least I was able to see them.

Author:  Cjbdiesel [ Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

One thing to check out while you're there (If you can actually see them anymore) is the Boonton's. They've 3 or 4 there last time I checked.

As for transportation, rental car is your best option.

Author:  cbq9911a [ Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

The Boonton coaches are the regulars on IRM's coaxch train.

Author:  Cjbdiesel [ Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

cbq9911a wrote:
The Boonton coaches are the regulars on IRM's coaxch train.

Wonderful! This'll be perfect for my trip next year.

Author:  filmteknik [ Mon Jul 22, 2013 10:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

You'd never know this from visiting the IRM site (except if you click on the dates and notice steam under "equipment scheduled to operate") but per the Leviathan 63 site, it will be visiting and per the Gramling's site, the Lehigh Valley Coal 0-6-0 they call Sadie will be visiting.

Things not to miss:

The first ever GP (GP7), the first ever SD (SD7), first ever FM (all of these run), an I-R/Alco/GE boxcab only a little younger than the B&O Museum's CNJ 1000, E5 & Nebraska Zephyr, Electroliner train, GG1, South Shore's version of the Little Joe (yes, they didn't call them that), DDA40X Centennial, UP Big Blow Gas Turbine, N&W Y-something Mallet, tons of steam, tons of traction, both streetcar & interurban. The last Baldwin Centercab. Be sure to walk through the stainless steel sleeping cars.

If you go to one of the bus barns you can see 2' gauge equipment that ran in the Chicago Tunnel system. If you hike out to the south pasture you can see a Lima diesel switcher. It just rusts away but if you've never seen one... At the back of the steam barn you will see one of the Winton prototype diesels famous from the story of how Electro-Motive got into the locomotive business (this is one from the Chicago Worlds Fair and the demonstration Chevy assembly line.)

There's a nice snackbar facility with indoor and outdoor seating, a gift shop, a book/video store, and a used book store.

Author:  10stewi [ Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

Hey Filmteknick, Is this the Lima Switcher? I saw it in the fields this June and could not figure out what it is. Also I cant agree more on the need for more lighting inside the steam shed! Its great that they are under cover, but you can hardly see any detail on the N&W mallet!

BTW there is an 2-6-2T with the raised number 9 on the back of its coal bunker and a 2-6-0 with no information plates. What is the heritage of these two locomotives?

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Author:  10stewi [ Tue Jul 23, 2013 12:40 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

Unknown #9

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Author:  Frank Hicks [ Tue Jul 23, 2013 1:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Visiting the Illionis Railway Museum

10stewi wrote:
BTW there is an 2-6-2T with the raised number 9 on the back of its coal bunker and a 2-6-0 with no information plates. What is the heritage of these two locomotives?


2-6-2T: http://steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=1620
2-6-0: http://steamlocomotive.info/vlocomotive.cfm?Display=1618

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