History of the IRM - A Museum In Motion


In September 1991, the Western DuPage Special Recreation District, in conjunction with the Chicago & North Western, the West Chicago Kiwanis Chapter and the Illinois Railway Museum, brought a bi-level suburban train to the Museum as part of a charter for the Special Recreation district enrollees and their families. It was the first time a Metra suburban train had visited the Museum.

For many of the children and young adults it was the first time they had ever been on a train. After the air-conditioned quiet of the Metra train, the open-window, fresh-air ride behind the steam locomotive was a special treat.

The Museum is one of the few attractions within easy reach of Chicago where a suburban train can be brought right into the grounds and passengers disembarked without resorting to shuttle buses. When many of the guests are wheelchair-bound or use crutches, this direct access becomes especially important.

While the maintenance of the historicity of our artifacts is of prime importance, the Museum is continually striving to modernize facilities to provide easy access to people with limited mobility. Recent improvements to carry this plan forward include walkway ramps, blacktop paving, and a wheelchair lift.

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