60 For 60 at IRM

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The Illinois Railway Museum celebrated 60 years with 60 cars at today’s Trolley Pageant. IRM has, of course, way more than just 60 cars. The collection has grown more than tenfold since 43 cars were moved from North Chicago to Union in 1964.

In the railfan community, it is easy to criticize, and IRM comes in for its share from time to time. But one thing today’s Trolley Pageant makes clear is that, in the big things, IRM has gotten it right. The breadth and scope of the collection is truly spectacular, and it continues to grow.

What makes it even more special is that the fans built it from the ground up. And to see cars that had once been storage sheds or chicken coops be brought back to life, to run again, would warm any railfan’s heart. Chicago and West Towns 141 is only the latest of these success stories, and is now operational for the first time since 1948.

Signs at Union proclaim it “America’s Premier Railway Museum,” and IRM’s claim to that title is as good as anyone’s. Who else could field:

A five-car train of North Shore Line cars
A three-car train of CA&E steels
A four-car train of CA&E woods
A seven car train of CTA 6000s
A three-car train of CRT/CTA 4000s
A three-car train of Illinois Terminal cars
A two-car train of CRT wooden “L” cars

All in running condition? Add to that the museum’s unique collection of Chicago streetcars, and you have something truly exceptional.

They say a picture is worth 1000 words. In this tribute to IRM, we figure it would be better to keep the words to a minimum, and concentrate on the pictures. So, we give you 60 pictures from the 2013 Trolley Pageant to commemorate 60 years of the Illinois Railway Museum. All photos are by the author unless otherwise indicated. We hope that you will enjoy them.

-David Sadowski

PS- CERA is running a special trip out to the Illinois Railway Museum on September 21st, as part of our 75th Anniversary celebrations. Tickets are on sale now.

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

Photo by Diana Koester

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Brothers Dan and Chris Buck, who piloted the three-car train of CA&E steel cars at the IRM 2013 Trolley Pageant.

Brothers Dan and Chris Buck, who piloted the three-car train of CA&E steel cars at the IRM 2013 Trolley Pageant.



Categories: 75th Anniversary, Chicago Area, Interurbans, Preservation

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

6 replies

  1. Truly enjoyed the pictures. TOP notch collection. Keep up the good work IRM.

  2. Wonderful post! Love all the pictures.

  3. This is a beautiful presentation and the cars look so fine in their restored state. They look better now than when they were in revenue service. You fellas at IRM are doing a great job in maintaining these
    cars for the sake of transit history and enjoyment. Keep-up the good work.

  4. Great shots, much better people filter than I had. It was very frustrating to have people walk right in front while trying to shoot video of the parade. The IRM is truly a railfan’s museum not a “view-at -a -distance, hands off” museum so often encountered.

Trackbacks

  1. CERA News for June 15, 2014 « CERA Members Blog
  2. The 2014 IRM Trolley Pageant – Part 1 « CERA Members Blog

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