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Illinois Railway Museum
7000 Olson Rd, Union, IL 60180
Since 1953, railroad fans of all ages have heeded the steam-whistle call of a bygone era and made the long trip out toMore the Illinois Railway Museum in Union, where a sliver of the nation's transportation past has been gathered and restored. Whether you want to reminisce about riding old-time streetcars or recall that cross-country trek your family made on the Zephyr, something at the Illinois Railway Museum will jog your memory. Ten display barns contain passenger cars, steam engines and cabooses from an era when train travel was the economic heartbeat of the nation. Whether you're a Santa Fe fan, an Illinois Central buff, or an aficionado of Thomas the Tank Engine, the IRM gift shops offer a stunning range of books, toys, clothing, and sound-effects CDs. Film buffs can get a close-up look at train engines and cars used in movies such as "The Babe," "Groundhog Day," and "Flags of Our Fathers." Special events fill the museum's calendar in the summer months. Past galas included the Trolley Pageant, Diesel Weekend, and the ultra-popular Day Out With Thomas, when thousands of kids descend on the IRM to spend time with TV's beloved tank engine. In December, Santa Claus stops by to visit. Don't feel like riding a train? The IRM will let you take the throttle of a streetcar or diesel locomotive. The Illinois Railway Museum is devoted to keeping the trains moving and railroad history alive, no matter who is at the controls.
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