Thursday, September 1, 2011

Illinois Railway Museum in Union, IL

If you want to have a truly enjoyable day (whether or not you have kids), then you should make the trek up to Union, IL (in McHenry County) to visit the Illinois Railway Museum.

We visited the Museum last weekend as part of their "Day Out With Thomas" event, in which kids could ride "Thomas the Train" and meet characters from the animated TV series. There were thousands of visitors and a carnival-like atmosphere that was extremely fun for kids and parents alike.

Aside from the Thomas event, however, the Illinois Railway Museum is an absolute gem. It consists of acres upon acres of what they boast is America's largest collection of historic railway equipment — streetcars, interurbans, steam, diesel and electric locomotives, passenger and freight cars.

Depending on the weekend, you can take rides on most of their trains and streetcars throughout the year. They feature the old "interurban" streetcars that used to shuttle passengers between Elgin and Aurora (there even used to be streetcars out here in Grundy County, between Morris and Ottawa.)

The museum features antique "L" cars from the early days of Chicago's elevated train system, as well as New York City Subway cars from early last century.

I feature a few photos from the museum above, but I invite you to view more photos in the slideshow below:

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