Illinois Railway Museum

Get your fill of all things trains at the Illinois Railway Museum, America's largest railway museum. Originally formed to preserve one important piece of rolling stock, the Illinois Railway Museum has evolved into an educational and historic preservation organization recreating possibly the largest operating demonstration railroad showcase in North America. Groups will see the “Museum in Motion” as artifacts such as streetcars, steam trains, and streamliners pass by on the museum’s operating demonstration railroad. On a tour via streetcar, groups can view the museum grounds, which include the trolley coach garage, material yard, and more. Call for field trip arrangements. 

Contact Info
Address: 7000 Olson Road, Union, IL 60180. McHenry County. Tel: 815-923-4391. Website: Hrs: Vary.
Trip Info
Grade Level: All grades. Activity Type: Day Trips, Guided Tours. Recomm. Length of Visit: Varies. Cost: Fee.

Museums Fun Facts

Museums are collections - of artifacts, paintings, etc. Talk about what types of collections campers have at home – be they stamps, baseball cards, or other items.

Use this comparison to frame some activities: talk about how museum collections came to be. Who collected and gathered the items on display? Compare this to how campers gathered their own collections at home. Also talk about (both with campers and museum staff) how the exhibits at the museum are arranged – such as the lighting and temperature for a certain exhibit.

Have campers set up a “Trip Museum” back at camp, consisting of items they’ve obtained on field trips; think of it as a group show and tell, where everyone participates and contributes to the collection.