The most popular events operated by the Chicago Chapter since its earliest days involve the operation of special excursion trains. These trains typically feature historic, restored passenger cars and are frequently pulled by steam engines. Over the past 25 years the Chicago Chapter has operated excursion trains and has also acted as a ticket agent selling tickets on these trips. The pictures below are from some of our recent excursions, as well as from past memorable ones. All photos copyright the photographers as noted, all rights reserved, reproduction only by permission.
In July and August of 2009 the steam engine SP 4449 visited the midwest en
route to a festival in
Owosso, MI. For the July 19th excursion from Chicago Union Station to Battle Creek, MI.
the Chicago Chapter acted as local ticket agent.
The excursion train, pulled by steam engine SP 4449, passes
under the coal dock at New Buffalo, MI, on July 19th, 2009.
Photo by Michael Harding.
Over Labor Day Weekend 2007, the Chicago Chapter acted as ticket agent for
excursion trips pulled
by the steam engine Canadian Pacific 2816. These trips operated from Franklin Park, IL to
Sturtevant, WI via the former Milwaukee Road, now Canadian Pacific Railroad.
The 2816 and train departs Sturtevant. Photo by Keith Schmidt.
The 2816 and train passing under what once was the
Chicago, North Shore, and Milwaukee Railroad at Roundout, IL. Photo by Keith Schmidt
Important to the full experience on excursion trains is the
use of restored, historic passenger equipment.
In this picture the round-end observation car "Cedar Rapids", a full-length dome car, and several other pieces
of equipment from the Milwaukee Road pass Roundout Tower after crossing over what was then the
Elgin, Joliet, and Eastern Railroad. Photo by Keith Schmidt.
The 2816 and train rolls north. Photo by Bill Schaeferle.
Passengers aboard the train pulled by the 2816 enjoy the open vestibule doors. Photo by Bill Schaeferle.
Not long after its first steam-up following a lengthy
restoration, the Chicago Chapter viewed the steam engine
Nickel Plate 765 in October 2005 at its home - the Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society in New Haven, IN.
Photo by Bill Schaeferle.
Over the years the Chicago Chapter has visited frequently the
Illinois Live Steamers
club in the Chicago area for picnics and other gatherings.
Chicago Chapter members, family, and friends enjoy a ride at the Illinois Live Steamers. Photo by Bill Schaeferle.
On the weekend of June 22, 2002 the Chicago Chapter operated a
trip pulled by the steam engine Milwaukee Road 261
from Chicago Union Station to Galesburg for their Railroad Days.
The steam engine Milwaukee Road 261 pulls the train through
Galva, IL on June 22, 2002.
Photo by Brian Nicodemus.
The round-end observation car Cedar Rapids as the train smokes
up Galva, IL.
Photo by Brian Nicodemus.
On a very warm day during the
record-breaking summer of 1995 the Chicago Chapter operated excursion trips
for the Union Pacific railroad with their then-recently-restored E unit locomotives. The trips operated from
Chicago's Northwestern Station to Clinton, IA.
Photo by Keith Schmidt.
The train crossing the Fox River. Photo by Keith Schmidt.
On the weekend of September 8, 2012 the Chicago Chapter operated a
trip to Talltree Arboretum and Garden and
the Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, In.
Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum in North Judson, IN. Photo by Bill Schaeferle.