Sunday, September 15, 2019

Saturday Photos from Chuck Amstein

With astounding clairvoyance, I predicted that Chuck Amstein would send us some terrific photos of Saturday's action, and it came true!  Now your winning lottery numbers for tomorrow will be.... wait, you gotta pay me first.

All images copyright by the photographer.   NO reproduction without permission.





What was actually astounding was the five-car wood L train.




















IT 101 made a couple of trips at night.   That was a real treat.




Showcase Weekend Pt. 1

On Saturday Frank and I were both out for Museum Showcase Weekend, and things went very well.   The weather was perfect and we seemed to have a great crowd of visitors.  Chuck Amstein was there and I'm sure he'll have a great photo album for us soon, so this is just a preview of what's to come.

In the morning we switched the 36 out of the consist, since two cars would probably be enough and are much easier to fit into the berths on Station 1.

That leaves us with the 309 and 319.  They both ran without problems.





Later, the 1754 and 1808 were both brought out.



And in the evening, IRM had its first five-car wood L train in service.   More on that later.


Another special event was the dedication of the refurbished UP sign, which now lights up.


We got to meet with some old friends as often happens; Randy and Betty Anderson, John Myhre, Bruce Moffat, and others.  And night-time operations were as enjoyable as ever.  Stay tuned!

Thursday, September 12, 2019

Building Blocks

Lots of things are happening at the Museum, as always, and right now the most obvious is the progress on construction of the Multi-Purpose Building.  Now that the floor is finished, work can start on construction of the fire wall and the front of the building.

We must start by thanking Northfield Block Company who generously donated five truckloads of concrete blocks for this project, and started delivering them yesterday.  Help like this makes a huge difference, and is most gratefully appreciated!!!




We hope to get the building closed up by winter, so work on the interior can proceed without interruption.

And next in the capital improvements is the inspection pit for the Steam Shop.  The concrete has been poured as seen here.  This is obviously designed for much higher axle loadings than our pit in Barn 4!




ARNfest will be here next week, so it's time for our annual cleanup of the Car Dept. shop areas.  This is a meeting for enthusiasts of old woodworking machines.  They help by maintaining our machines and the money funds woodshop projects.



So I helped with some of the cleaning.  And I changed out a retriever on the 309 which wasn't taking up the slack reliably.  This was exchanged with one on the 308, which won't be needing it anytime soon, unhappily.

As we saw last time, much of Barn 4 has been switched out.  Michigan Electric 28 is now at the east end of 42:


It's been in the "roof booth" for a long time.   The side looks like this:


And the S-105 is now in Barn 4:


Rich Witt continued to work on windows for the 109:


helped by Dan, a new member.  Meanwhile, of course, many of the other Car Dept. regulars were at work: Tim Peters and Frank Kehoe on the 1754, Jon Fenlaciki on the 65, John Sheldon on the 306, Chuck Meter and Lorne Tweed on the PCC, Pete Galyda on the 160, John Arroyo on the Liner, and so on.  I'm probably missing some.

Most of the time I spent wire-wheeling trap doors for the 451.





These had several coats of paint, some of which are bogus colors due to its time spent in the yellow and green paint scheme at Trolleyville. 


And here Bob Olson is grinding down a short piece of rail to be used as a template for the rail clips on the Steam Shop pit. 


 And as always, lots of other projects were going on, such as the Freight Car and Pullman Car groups.

This weekend, of course, will be Museum Showcase, aka Member's Day, and we'll have lots more pictures to show from that.  But of course you'll want to be there in person if at all possible!

Wednesday, September 11, 2019

Museum news

The latest IRM e-newsletter is out. Remember, you can have these delivered to your very own inbox by signing up at the bottom of the museum home page.

Showcase Weekend is This Saturday & Sunday
The museum is progressing into autumn with some of our biggest events of the year! This weekend, September 14-15, is Museum Showcase Weekend. It's one of the best times of the year to see a wide variety of trains in action! In October we will be running our Pumpkin Train event. Join us for some fall family fun and pick up your pumpkin by train. Then in November and December, Happy Holiday Railway returns. Join Santa and his elves for an unforgettable holiday train trip! Tickets are now on sale. There's more happening at the museum too.
Featured in this e-newsletter:
  • Museum Showcase Weekend is September 14-15
  • Happy Holiday Railway tickets are now available
  • Go off the rails - Bus Day is September 28
  • Pumpkin Train returns on October 26-27
  • New U28B diesel locomotive dedicated during Diesel Days
  • Chicago Elevated car restoration makes major strides
  • Weekday train operations end for the year on September 13
  • The Steam Shop is getting a new inspection pit
  • We need volunteers and you can help!
  • Planned giving - another way you can support IRM
Visit us online for schedules, blog updates, and more

Museum Showcase Weekend

One of our most popular events is Museum Showcase Weekend, this September 14-15, when we run a variety of seldom-seen trains and honor the volunteers who keep the wheels turning. Frisco 1630, Shay 5, the Nebraska Zephyr, and others will be running - and there's always a surprise or two out on the rails!
Click here for event information

Happy Holiday Railway

Tickets for our popular Happy Holiday Railway event in November and December are on sale now! Additional dates have been added for 2019, with trains running starting November 23rd. Last year ALL of our trains for this event sold out so don't delay! Reserve your ticket for a ride with Santa Claus today.
Click here for info and tickets

Bus Day is September 28th

The rubber hits the road at the Illinois Railway Museum on September 28th when we hold our annual Bus Day event. Ride trolley buses and motor buses as we hearken back to the post-streetcar mass transit era.
Click for more info

Pumpkin Train

The Pumpkin Train returns for 2019! Join us October 26th & 27th for a day of fun for the whole family. Pick up your pumpkin by train - and kids, don't forget to wear your Halloween costume for a special treat!
Click for more event information

New U28B Diesel Acquired

IRM's newest acquisition, General Electric U28B locomotive 260, was officially dedicated on August 10th when CSX Director of Network Planning and Strategy Eric Hendrickson smashed a ceremonial bottle over the coupler. The engine went into revenue service for the first time at IRM the next day. IRM thanks CSX for the donation of this historic locomotive.
Click for more info on this acquisition

Chicago 'L' Car Restoration

One of the most active restoration projects currently underway at IRM is Chicago Elevated 1754, a wooden 'L' car built in 1906. Electric Car Department volunteers have rebuilt the entire exterior of the car and work is progressing quickly on restoring the interior to its 1920s appearance. The car will be on public display this weekend during Museum Showcase Weekend.
You can help - click here to donate

Weekday Train Operation

IRM is still open seven days a week - but weekday train operation only extends through this Friday, September 13th. Through the remainder of September, the museum grounds will be open during the week but trains will only operate on the weekends. If you enjoy visiting when the crowds are light and pace is relaxed, join us this week!
Click here for our online calendar

Steam Shop Progress

The museum's Steam Shop is getting a major upgrade in the form of an inspection pit. Earlier this summer the track was removed from the north end of the shop and since that time the pit has been dug and part of the concrete pouring has been completed. Before long the pit will be in service, helping our volunteers keep our steam engines inspected and maintained.
Click to help with steam restoration

Volunteers Needed!

Do you love trains? Do you have some free time, whether it's weekly or just a few times a year? Are you an IRM member? If you answered "yes" then you are an ideal candidate to be an IRM volunteer! We need people to help restore and maintain the trains. It's a fun, interesting, and rewarding way to spend your time. No experience is necessary - we will "train" you!
Contact us to ask about volunteering

Planned Giving and IRM

IRM has been around for more than 60 years due to the consistent support of people like you. You can help keep IRM a museum in motion for the next generation through planned giving, either by including the museum in a bequest or as a retirement account beneficiary.
Click here for more information
Visit us online for schedules, blog updates, and more