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TOM'S RAILFAN PAGES
IRM IN 1966













Home | TROLLEY SQUARE | SAVING CTA CAR 28 | CAB RIDE AT THE EAST TROY RAILROAD | MODULAR LAYOUT PROJECT | RIDING ON BUDD CARS | THE 14 YEAR OLD CONDUCTOR | THE ELECTROLINER STORY | MY UNCLE THE MOTORMAN | SOME PHOTOS | IN SEARCH OF CIRCUS WAGONS | IRM IN 1966 | MY BIO PAGE AND AFFILIATIONS





The Illinois Railway Museum in 1966

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Behind car 415 is the entire collection of the museum.
All were invited to walk down the tracks to see the equipment.
The white fenced platform has since been torn down, but a new little platform can be seen halfway down the present day railway that shares a resemblance to the original.

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Car 415 waits to board passengers at Olson Road
















My Dad and I were really into riding trains during this time of my life and we were told about a train ride out in the Northern Illinois farmlands. The train ride turned out to be an electric streetcar in the middle of nowhere. There was a gravel road with a small platform for boarding. After the ride, which went for about 1 mile, one could walk in the other direction and see a collection of railroad equipment stretching down the track for about a half mile. I really enjoyed the ride and returned many times that year to ride again. Everyone knows that this humble start-up operation grew into the world's largest railroad museum and put Union, Illinois on the map. The museum at the time had two streetcars which they rotated for operations. One car was the Illinois Terminal 415 and the other was Milwaukee streetcar 972, a real hot rod with four 35hp motors. The Milwaukee car had big windows which made the car light and airy, while the 415 had its upper windows covered up in a modernization program and had dark paneling on the inside. 415 also had long distance style high backed seats, a true country cruiser. The volunteers wasted no time in laying track for yards and a depot and by the next year had a new platform with a station from the town of Marengo just a few miles up the road. The main thrust of the museum at this stage was to get most of the collection under cover, so yards and carbarns were the order of the day. The mainline finally got extended in 1980 and has gotten a lot of attention in recent years with many further extensions and passing tracks. The most recent trackwork is making a double track entrance to the depot area which should be done in 2001.
















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The right of way for the Illinois Railway Museum was just one mile long at this time, but plans were in the works to add a train station and storage yards for the growing collection of equipment.