Railway Museum in Union, Illinois

In Midwest Maize, I go into some detail about the impact of trains on the U.S. as a whole and the Midwest in particular. In the mid-1800s, trains changed everything. Suddenly, people could travel and goods could be moved faster and farther than ever before. For those who are fans of trains and interested in their history, the Illinois Railway Museum—the largest railway museum in the United States—is a joy and delight. Stations, signals, train cars, engines (including some you’ve seen in movies), platforms, streetcars, and miles of track give the visitor access to the full history of trains. Unlike many museums, however, this is purely a labor of love. Here are a few images, to hint at what lies in store for anyone who makes the trip to this remarkable museum. (And if you do want to visit, here’s their website URL: http://www.irm.org/)

The Welcome Sign offers important info about the museum.

The Welcome Sign offers important info about the museum.

Take a ride in the streetcar before exploring the trains.

Take a ride in the streetcar before exploring the trains.

Travel was transformed when George Pullman added the dining car -- and kitchen -- in 1868.

Travel was transformed when George Pullman added the dining car — and kitchen — in 1868.

Trains from every period of train history can be seen.

Trains from every period of train history can be seen.

 

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Filed under History, Midwest, Midwest Maize, Travel

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