Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

General discussion related to all railroad clubs, museums, tourist and scenic lines. Generally this covers museums with static displays, museums that operate excursions, scenic lines that have museums, and so on. Check out the Tourist Railway Association (TRAIN) for more information.

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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby polybalt » Tue Jun 25, 2013 12:01 pm

vingong wrote:Hi, I'm going to Chicago for a week in August and was planning to come here for the first time. As I don't drive, I plan to take a taxi from either Crystal Lake or Woodstock. How much is the taxi fare typically (not asking for an exact amount, just a ballpark figure)? Thanks for any help.



There seems to be a fare extimator on the web. Looks like about $38.00 from Crystal Lake
http://www.americantaxi.com/ATOnlineOrd ... _estimator
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby vingong » Wed Jun 26, 2013 11:56 am

Cool, thanks!
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby atsf sp » Mon Jul 08, 2013 4:03 pm

I am planning a trip to the IRM for early August and I will be going probably on a weekday. This will be my first time there and I was wondering which barns are open for viewing. Is it only the display barns or are Storage barns 10 and 11 also open? Also are the shops open or visible especially the diesel shop. Also how many hours would it take to explore the whole grounds because I am also planning on watching trains elsewhere in the city but want to make sure I can view the whole museum.
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby polybalt » Wed Jul 10, 2013 9:25 am

atsf sp wrote:I am planning a trip to the IRM for early August and I will be going probably on a weekday. This will be my first time there and I was wondering which barns are open for viewing. Is it only the display barns or are Storage barns 10 and 11 also open? Also are the shops open or visible especially the diesel shop. Also how many hours would it take to explore the whole grounds because I am also planning on watching trains elsewhere in the city but want to make sure I can view the whole museum.


Barns 10 and 11 are storage only and normally kept locked. But there is still plenty to see elsewhere!

While the three shops are technically off limits, you are likely to be able to get in and look around when someone is there. The best day to visit the shops is Saturday, followed by Sunday. But if you can't make it on the weekend, Wednesday is a good bet. Many volunteers come out on Wednesday to work on the equipment.

With well over 400 cars and locomotives on site, it takes a long time to see everything, and you will walk several miles doing it! The normal weekday ride alone takes almost an hour. If you can't stay all day, try to be there at least 4 hours. The snack bar is open for lunch every day in August.

Enjoy your trip!
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby polybalt » Thu Jul 11, 2013 10:34 am

I just got home from a wonderful weekend at IRM. Saturday the Museum staged an expanded version of the annual Trolley Pageant to celebrate IRM's 60th Anniversary, and Sunday was "North Shore Day" commemorating the 50th Anniversary of abandonment of the Chicago, North Shore, and Milwaukee interurban line. The weather was good both days and I would guess there were two or three hundred visitors each day.

The goal for the Pageant was to stage a parade with 60 electric railway cars to celebrate the 60th Anniversary. And they did it! Fortunately most of the electric railway rolling stock at IRM was designed to be operated in multiple car trains, so "only" 29 separate entries in the parade were needed. Multiple-unit trains included a seven-car train of PCC-style rapid transit cars, a five car train of North Shore interurbans, and a four-car train of older wooden CA&E cars. On Sunday two North Shore trains were in service and several other pieces of North Shore equipment were outside on display.

This weekend was the kick-off of a major fund raiser to return the North Shore Electroliner to reliable service. The train looks great on the outside, but needs lots of expensive mechanical and electrical work as well as an extensive refurbishment of the interior. The train was on display at the Museum's "L" station all weekend, with tours available.

Someone has posted a video of the parade on YouTube showing all sixty cars passing the reviewing stand:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2KmUdJNfvf0
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby polybalt » Mon Sep 02, 2013 1:05 pm

As part of IRM's four-day 60th Anniversary Celebration this weekend, the Museum put South Shore 2-D+D-2 electric locomotive 803 in train service for the first time. On the MIlwaukee Road, these locomotives were known as "Little Joes".

Bigger and heavier than a GG-1, it is an impressive sight. This video on Youtube shows what I mean:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xQFRHfSydlg

Note that IRM does not yet have pantograph runners at most of the trolley frogs, so the motorman has to drip the pan and coast under them.

I suspect that this is the largest electric lomotive ever operated at a railroad musuem, and maybe the heaviest locomotive of any type operated on any museum's trackage?
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Impressive traction power

Postby n2xjk » Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:21 am

IRM has been running 3, 4 and 5 car electric trains. And running 803 for 10 feet probably can power a village for a year. Did they upgrade their rectifier recently to put out the juice these consists draw? How do they manage their electric bill?
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby Milwaukee_F40C » Tue Nov 05, 2013 7:57 pm

I thought this was supposed to be big news, a few days ago.

IRM has its own functioning steam locomotive again. Frisco 1630 is getting broken in and shaken down.
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby Mr rt » Tue Dec 03, 2013 2:07 pm

Are they planning to use her for the Christmas season ?
Other museums bring in the big bucks with their steam engines.
I was at Strasburg this Sunday with 4 of my 7 grandchildern.
I have a son in Loves Park & have been to IRM several times, incl. their Christmas event.
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby polybalt » Thu Dec 05, 2013 10:29 am

Mr rt wrote:Are they planning to use her for the Christmas season ?
Other museums bring in the big bucks with their steam engines.
I was at Strasburg this Sunday with 4 of my 7 grandchildern.
I have a son in Loves Park & have been to IRM several times, incl. their Christmas event.


No. The plan was to test the locomotive in operation for a day, then spend the winter finishing several remaining tasks, such as painting, so it is ready for operation next spring.
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby Mr rt » Wed Dec 11, 2013 2:21 pm

Thanks for the input ... am going to be in Loves Park (Rockford) from Friday Dec 20th thru Christmas.
But IRM doen't have a Santa event after this week-end :-(
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby Mr rt » Wed May 21, 2014 10:27 am

Doesn't look like this fourm is active, but I'll post a question here anyway ...
There is a big gathering of old "Covered Wagons", i.e. Streamliners, i.e. E & Fs.
The list includes two from IRM: E5A 9911 Nebraska Zepher & F7A 411 C&NW.

First why would IRM send its' museum pieces on such a long trip ?
Second, are coaches going on the journey ?
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby Milwaukee_F40C » Thu May 22, 2014 11:27 pm

Sending artifacts on exhibitions is a common museumy thing to do.
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby polybalt » Sun May 25, 2014 4:42 pm

Mr rt wrote:Doesn't look like this fourm is active, but I'll post a question here anyway ...
There is a big gathering of old "Covered Wagons", i.e. Streamliners, i.e. E & Fs.
The list includes two from IRM: E5A 9911 Nebraska Zepher & F7A 411 C&NW.

First why would IRM send its' museum pieces on such a long trip ?
Second, are coaches going on the journey ?


I would think the Museum would get at least little bit of publicity, not to mention the pride in showing off their work. I am sure IRM would not have sent them if it cost IRM any money. They are being towed down, apparently in special trains, so there is little wear and tear and relatively little chance of damage from wrecking. Given the number of units participating, a lot of other organizations made the same decision. No coaches were invited.

BTW this Board is very much still active, just a little slow in the winter time.

An item of IRM news from this weekend, steam service has returned! Frisco 1630, a "Russian" decapod returned to service after a series of repairs, including its 15-year FRA-mandated inspection and overhaul.
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Re: Illinois Railway Museum Discussion

Postby Mr rt » Thu Jul 17, 2014 12:49 pm

2-10-0 1630 rode her Sunday July 6th ... she was on display on main line the rest of the day with a ladder so kids could climb & look in cab.
Also rode the new loop set.
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