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Illinois Railway Museum

Illinois Railway Museum

America's Largest Railway Museum!

Steam Trains • Streetcars • Interurbans • Diesel Trains

at Union, Illinois in McHenry County, Illinois

1-800-Big-Rail • WWW.IRM.ORG

A Photo Essay by Carl Morrison,


Antique Street Car from the Bob Williams Collection, Huntley, Illinois, circa 1914.

Click any Picture to see a double-sized copy, click BACK in your browser to return to this page.

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Click the sign above so you can read the fine print.

When I first walked onto the property of the Illinois Railway Museum (IRM), I was impressed with the amount of rails, car barns, and outside displays of engines and cars that seemed to reach as far as one could see.  Then the words on the sign became believable, "...the largest railroad museum in the United States," I believe it!  Their website advertises that they have acquired 375 pieces of equipment!

Other than the ticket booth, the first volunteers we saw were the trolley conductors for the day.  We began walking around the yards, photographing as we went.

You can use their online database at:
to find each of these cars and engines with excellent details on each.  If you cannot read the number, click my picture here for a larger version to get the number, then go to the link above and near the bottom of the page is a plce to put in the number and get the details.

You will be amazed at the details of each piece of equipment in the database.  For instance, the trolley 3142 below has 13 categories of information!

Metra 308
Builder:    Electro Motive Division GM
Model:    F-7A
Horsepower:    1500
Length:    50ft 8in
Width:    10ft 8in
Height:    15ft
Weight:    230000 lbs
Brakes:    26L
Engine:    16-567C
Motors:    4 EMD D27
Trucks:    Blomberg
Description:    Diesel-Electric (nee C&NW 414)


Bob, noticing this car from the Lackawanna line, said
"It went out of business for Lackamoney."

Union Pacific Railroad 18 (above)

Builder:    General Electric
Year Built:    1960
Model:    8500 GTEL
Horsepower:    8500
Length:    165ft 11in
Width:    10ft
Height:    16ft
Weight:    849248 lbs
Brakes:    26L (Loco) / AB (Fuel Tender)
Engine:    Cooper-Bessemer (A unit) / Gas-Turbine (B unit)
Motors:    12 GE 752E4
Trucks:    GSC
Description:    Diesel-Electric (A unit) / Turbine-Electric (B unit) / Fuel Tender Capacity: 24384 gallons

The lift to the engine and an open door was all
the invitation we needed to inspect
Santa Fe Engine 92
Photo Credit:  Bob Williams

Atchison Topeka & Santa Fe Railroad 92

Builder:    Electro Motive Division GM
Year Built:    1967
Model:    FP-45
Horsepower:    3600
Length:    71ft 4in
Width:    10ft 10in
Height:    15ft 8in
Weight:    398000 lbs
Brakes:    26L
Engine:    20-645E
Motors:    6 EMD D67
Trucks:    EMD C
Description:    Diesel-Electric (Ex 101 / ex 5992 / ex 5942 / nee 102)

Photo Credit:  Bob Williams

Inside Engine 92


My handspan is 10" so the pistons in this baby
are 12 inches in diameter!

Trolley Barn

Since we had arrived in Illinois on the California ZEPHYR

I was particularly interested in the Museum's NEBRASKA ZEPHYR


Chicago Burlington & Quincy 9911A

Builder:    Electro Motive Corporation
Year Built:    1940
Model:    E-5A
Horsepower:    2000
Length:    80ft
Width:    10ft 6in
Height:    14ft
Weight:    314800 lbs
Brakes:    HSC-D22ER
Engine:    Two 12-567A
Motors:    EMD D17 / 3 EMD D27
Trucks:    EMD A1A
Description:    Diesel-Electric / Silver Pilot (Ex C&S 9952A)


Toledo & Detroit Railroad 16

Builder:    Baldwin Locomotive Works
Year Built:    1914
Wheel Arrangement:    4-4-0
Length:    57ft 1in
Width:    10ft 6in
Height:    14ft
Weight:    233700 lbs
Brakes:    G-6
Tractive Effort:    18200 lbs
Cylinders:    18x24
Boiler Pressure:    190 psi
Drivers:    67in
Chicago Milwaukee St. Paul & Pacific (Milwaukee Road) 265

Builder:    American Locomotive Company
Year Built:    1944
Wheel Arrangement:    4-8-4
Length:    110ft
Width:    11ft
Height:    15ft 6in
Weight:    465000 lbs
Brakes:    8ET
Tractive Effort:    62190 lbs
Cylinders:    26x32
Boiler Pressure:    250 psi
Drivers:    74in


Of course we had to visit the Gift Shop, before
we left.  It was manned by a couple
of friendly volunteers.

Big Wheels
Photo Credit:  Bob Williams              

A couple of Big Wheels!
Carl At Controls
Photo Credit:  Bob Williams              

Big Chief Engineer, or Engineer of Big Chief

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