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Save the 800!
Fundraising for the preservation of TP&W 800, an Alco C424.

Save the Toledo, Peoria & Western 800
Toledo, Peoria & Western 800 in East Peoria, Illinois on February 29, 1980. Photo by Lloyd Rinehart.
Donate Now to help preserve the TP&W 800!

The Illinois Railway Museum needs your help to save a living piece of Illinois railroad history, and we need it NOW!

Morristown & Erie Railway 18, a fully-operational Alco Century 424, has a deep Illinois connection, having been built in September, 1964 for the Toledo, Peoria & Western as its number 800. Both the 800 and her sister, 801, served the "Tip-Up" admirably hauling time freights across the Illinois prairie until they were sold to the M&E in 1983 and moved to New Jersey for continued service.

Even though she is still operational, the M&E 18/TP&W 800 is scheduled to be retired in favor of newer power no later than THIS October (2017) and a metal recycler has already placed a bid on her with the intent to scrap her.

If IRM is to save this COMPLETE, OPERATING piece of Illinois railroad history and bring her home to the Prairie State, we need to act...and quickly! It will take $50,000 to outbid the scrapper, plus an estimated $7,500 in transportation costs and $6,000 to pay for "track space", which provides for the construction of new track at IRM for her to sit on. Allowing for incidental costs, we need to raise $65,000 in the next six months to insure the 800's future at IRM!

Bringing the 800 to IRM would not only reunite it with a locomotive it ran with in service on the TP&W (RS11 400), it would also be the very first Alco Century-series locomotive in the Museum's extensive diesel locomotive collection! Between Alco and its Canadian subsidiary Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW), there were 190 C424's built between 1963 and 1967. The model number, 424, denotes a four-axle locomotive powered by an Alco 16-cylinder 251B engine generating 2,400 horsepower.

Time is of the essence! Won't you help us bring the 800 home to Illinois? Imagine her again rolling trains across the Illinois prairie on the Museum's demonstration railroad...With your help we won't have to imagine!!

While donations of any amount are gratefully accepted, we have established several tiered levels of giving that will be recognized with special gifts:

Donations of $100 or more
Donations of $100 or more will receive a special commemorative "I helped save the 800!" T-shirt.

Donations of $250 or more
Donations of $250 or more will receive the T-shirt AND a limited-edition coffee mug or glass featuring the TP&W 800.

"Century 424 Club" ($424 or more)
Donors at this level receive the commemorative T-shirt, the mug/glass AND a custom-made replica "800" number board, as she wore while on the TP&W.

$800 for the 800
Donors at this level will receive time at the throttle of the 800, hauling a train on the Museum's demonstration railroad at track speed! This in addition to all the other gifts provided at the other levels (T-shirt, glass/mug and replica number board).

You can click on any of the links above to give at the specified level or you can click here to donate in $25 increments. If you reach a donor level over the course of several donations, you will automatically be upgraded to that donor level.

You can also contribute by sending your check to us via the U.S Postal Service. Make the check payable to Illinois Railway Museum and be sure to write "Save the 800" on the memo line to insure it is properly credited. Send your check to:

Illinois Railway Museum
P.O. Box 427
Union, IL 60180-0427


While "failure is not an option" is our mantra at IRM, there are times when we must give consideration to what happens when a plan fails to come together. If we ultimately are not successful in acquiring the 800, there needs to be a contingency plan for where the accumulated donations will be redirected since IRS regulations do not recognize a donation that may be refunded.

You may specify that your donation be redirected toward any other project or piece of equipment at the Museum. When submitting your donation to the "Save the 800" campaign, please indicate where your donation is to be redirected should the campaign not be successful. Those of you who have already made donations should indicate your wishes by letter to "Save the 800" campaign, Illinois Railway Museum, PO Box 0427, Union, IL 60180-0427.

By default, where no preference is advised, funds will be used toward continued restoration work on the TP&W 400, a sister locomotive (Alco RS11) already in the Museum's collection. The 400 needs significant engine work (including new rod bearings) in order to be made operational again.

Total $$$$ needed for TP&W 800: $65,000
Fundraising as of 4/1/2018: $25,305 Remaining $$$$ needed: $39,695 

Donate Now to help preserve the TP&W 800!

The Illinois Railway Museum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, all donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed by law.

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