The Blackhawk Railway Historical Society

The Blackhawk Railway Historical Society Blackhawk is devoted to the research and preservation of America's railroad history
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Serving Chicagoland and Northwest Indiana, the members of the Blackhawk Railway Historical Society have an interest and appreciation of railroad history and are actively involved in its study and preservation. Today's well-chronicled events are the historical record for tomorrow, therefore, we are also actively engaged in documenting today's railroading too.

CN expands...in Iowa!
12/07/2023

CN expands...in Iowa!

  MONTREAL — Canadian National Railway will acquire Iowa Northern Railway, which operates approximately 253 route-miles and 275 track-miles, primarily between Cedar Rapids and Manly, Iowa, CN announced today. Iowa Northern was founded in 1984 on a portion of the former Chicago, Rock Island & Paci...

Thanks to everyone who came out to our December business meeting and holiday party.  We are looking forward to 2024, inc...
12/03/2023

Thanks to everyone who came out to our December business meeting and holiday party. We are looking forward to 2024, including making some improvements, including ways to get our out-of-area members more involved.

Why don't you join us? New and renewing members can renew securely online or by mail -- go to https://www.blackhawkrailwayhistoricalsociety.org/join-us.html to read all about it and join us.

...or download and print this file...

12/01/2023

Christmas coming early (hopefully) for Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum this year....

11/26/2023
All in a name...
11/20/2023

All in a name...

Railroad names serve many purposes, from identifying regions served, to boasting ambitions of future expansion. But what of modern names?

11/18/2023
Time for our annual review of area Santa Claus/North Pole/Holiday Trains that operate in November and December.  Kids of...
11/17/2023

Time for our annual review of area Santa Claus/North Pole/Holiday Trains that operate in November and December. Kids of all ages can enjoy riding or watching special trains throughout our area, bringing the holiday spirit to the local communities.

These events come in several variations: most are rides, many are fundraisers for non-profits and charities. All of these events have proven to be very popular -- most of these trips sell out months in advance. We have left out dates as there are too many to list as they range from one-time events to multiple weekends. Click on the links below to find out more about a special holiday train near you.

For brevity, we have listed events that are in the Chicagoland area, or within a day or two's drive.

Please note that not all event operators have updated their schedules for 2023. We will periodically update this page, to the best of our ability, with the latest information. ​ Note that the...

11/11/2023

High-speed rail is still a long way off, but vastly improved conventional rail is right around the corner. Let us count the ways.

Fifty years ago, Chicago-to-Dubuque passenger service made a brief comeback...
11/11/2023

Fifty years ago, Chicago-to-Dubuque passenger service made a brief comeback...

Dubuquers caught a glimpse of local passenger rail service 50 years ago.

More ALCOs reaching the end of the line...
11/03/2023

More ALCOs reaching the end of the line...

L A & L just received a $12.6 million grant from the FRA.

11/03/2023
And Chicagoland will now see two visiting steam locomotives in 2024...
11/03/2023

And Chicagoland will now see two visiting steam locomotives in 2024...

Union Pacific's famed Big Boy No. 4014, the world’s largest steam locomotive, will return to the rails in 2024 for a tour celebrating the railroad’s deep history and connection to communities, and its employees. The tour is expected to reach all four corners of Union Pacific’s 23-s...

10/31/2023

A bit out of our territory, but a thrilling piece of railroading worth sharing...

Fifty-one years ago today (10/30/72)...
10/30/2023

Fifty-one years ago today (10/30/72)...

In this poster's humble opinion, the railfan community, and to some extent the "historians" as well, do not give this mu...
10/27/2023

In this poster's humble opinion, the railfan community, and to some extent the "historians" as well, do not give this museum, and the railroad that founded it, all the attention they both deserve...

Railroads are the backbone of commerce in the United States. The Federal Highway Administration estimated that US railroads hauled a staggering 19 billion tons of freight in 2020 and is

Meanwhile in Silvis...
10/24/2023

Meanwhile in Silvis...

Last fall, the Union Pacific Railroad donated locomotives to the Railroading Heritage of Midwest America (RRHMA) for refurbishing and restoration. Steve Sandberg, COO for the RRHMA, says there are …

YES, we are open!  From 10-3. Come by and find that deal you can't live without...
10/22/2023

YES, we are open! From 10-3. Come by and find that deal you can't live without...

Thanks to everyone who came out to St. Charles today and helped clean up a recently-acquired collection of random art prints and photos.

See what we have left next Sunday in Griffith, Indiana...along with the usual variety of vendors with affordable and interesting merchandise. 🚂

A great railroad scene from a time long ago...
10/21/2023

A great railroad scene from a time long ago...

WABASH 4-6-4 706 on westbound passenger train Banner Blue meeting eastbound MONON Hoosier at Englewood, IL in 1947. Bob Milner photo.

If you enjoy the photos and what Lake States is accomplishing, consider joining Lake States or making a donation, or both, https://www.lsrha.org/?page_id=135.
Follow us on Flickr: 199136368@N06" rel="ugc" target="_blank">https://www.flickr.com/photos/199136368@N06

Follow us Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lakestates/?hl=en

Thanks to everyone who came out to St. Charles today and helped clean up a recently-acquired collection of random art pr...
10/15/2023

Thanks to everyone who came out to St. Charles today and helped clean up a recently-acquired collection of random art prints and photos.

See what we have left next Sunday in Griffith, Indiana...along with the usual variety of vendors with affordable and interesting merchandise. 🚂

We will be in St. Charles on October 15.  Come on out, say hello, and join or renew for 2024.
10/05/2023

We will be in St. Charles on October 15. Come on out, say hello, and join or renew for 2024.

If you can't get out to Virginia this October to catch Norfolk & Western 611, there is plenty of local steam action this...
10/04/2023

If you can't get out to Virginia this October to catch Norfolk & Western 611, there is plenty of local steam action this month:

Fort Wayne Railroad Historical Society and Indiana Northeastern Railroad Company are teaming up for Fall color excursions in northeast Indiana and southeast Michigan the next two weekends, Oct. 7-8 and 14-15. Some trips are sold out, and others have limited seats available. https://www.indianarailexperience.org/

Hoosier Valley Railroad Museum is running their Pumpkin trains this October with both their historic diesels and steam. https://www.hoosiervalley.org/train-rides/special-events/pumpkin-trains

Always under steam power, Hesston Steam Museum has a busy October with trains on Sunday the 8th, and then for the remaining weekends, Saturday and Sunday Ghost Trains in the forests of Michiana. https://hesston.org/

In central Illinois, Monticello Railway Museum will have Southern 401 out for the last time this year on Oct. 7 and 8. https://www.mrym.org/401-in-steam

And up in McHenry County, Illinois, Illinois Railway Museum will also run their steam finale for 2023 this weekend with Frisco #1630 and Shay #5 doing the honors. https://www.irm.org/event/steam-in-the-fall/?event_date=2023-10-07

And if steam isn't your thing, Fox River Trolley Museum and East Troy Railroad Museum will be running under wire this month, as well.

Go out, enjoy the cooler weather and Fall colors, and support these great organizations.

The Pumpkin Train is one of our most popular trains. Take a fun-filled ride through the crisp rural landscape while enjoying a mix of fall colors! Trains leave the depot in North Judson, Indiana, and take passengers on a leisurely journey. Once again this year, we are offering two unique experiences...

Unfortunately, even railroad museums and heritage railroads aren't immune from online ticket scams...be aware.
10/02/2023

Unfortunately, even railroad museums and heritage railroads aren't immune from online ticket scams...be aware.

Please be on the lookout for ticket scams! The only way to get tickets transferred is to contact the museum. Do not try to buy tickets from someone else online saying that they have tickets that they want to sell or give away. Do not fall for this scam. We have noticed an increase in the number of scam messages under our Facebook posts and work to remove them as soon as we see them, but we can't catch them all. Don't be a victim!

09/28/2023

In 1873, greed, speculation and overinvestment in railroads sparked a financial crisis that sank the U.S. into more than five years of misery

09/23/2023
Back home again...
09/23/2023

Back home again...

INDIANAPOLIS– As the Federal Railway Administration and Amtrak hammer out their plans to expand passenger service, some industry experts say Indiana is lagging behind neighboring states in do…

09/22/2023

Wear red today to show your support of ! Use these hashtags or tag .lifesaver to share your photos!

09/18/2023

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2009 Boehme Street
Lockport, IL
60441

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