We don’t just feature the same handful of trains you find on other sites. We’ve gone out of our way to cover trains and train subjects that have been ignored for far too long. We even take you to festivals, special events and museums that celebrate America’s long love affair with the historic steam train.

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Sparks & Cinders - The Illinois Railway Museum


Sparks & Cinders - The Illinois Railway Museum 1541

Established in 1953 to preserve and operate just one interurban car, the Illinois Railway Museum (IRM) has grown to become the largest railroad museum in the United States.

The early years saw rapid expansion of the collection of retired electric passenger and freight equipment. Mainline rail equipment, including steam and diesel locomotives, were added to the collection. Soon it was apparent that the original location in North Chicago was too small. After considering possible locations large enough to restore, display, and eventually operate the growing collection, land for the museum plus the abandoned right-of-way of the Elgin & Belvidere interurban just outside of the town of Union, Illinois was purchased. In 1964 the museum moved to its present home.

Track was relaid on the former right-of-way to become the main line “demonstration railroad” for steam, diesel, and interurban trains. A mile-long electric loop track was constructed around the main grounds to circulate museum visitors via electric streetcars. The former 1851 Marengo passenger depot, the 1890 interlocking Tower from Spaulding, and the 50th Avenue “L” Station, built in 1910 in Cicero, are among the significant Illinois structures moved to the property. The grounds are filled with railroad signs, signals, and small structures saved from transit systems and mainline railroads. Large multiple-track barns have been constructed for storage, display, and restoration of equipment.

Footage for our program captured a variety of operating equipment over a four-year period at the museum during regular and special operating days. Included is a significant number of IRM’s electric collection of all types, diesel powered trains, and Frisco steam locomotive 1630. Additionally, two outreach trips when IRM equipment traveled to Rock Island, Illinois for the 2011Train Festival and the 2014 Streamliners at Spencer event in North Carolina demonstrate what this fine museum and its volunteers are capable of!

Approximately 87 minutes. The footage was captured with multiple tripod-mounted HD cameras. The DVD Is conveniently organized by chapters. Minimal narration - less talk, more action!

$25 In stock