Chicago, IL — Illinois Rail Museum (IRM) is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and the new exhibition “Illinois Railroad History: The New Era” is a welcome reminder that a railroad history that began with the Illinois and the first freight train between Chicago and Milwaukee is still a valuable and relevant resource.
“Illinois was the first state in the nation to establish an urban rail system, and the railroad built its economy by transporting goods between its cities,” said IRM Director of Archives and Collections Anne G. Fennelly in a press release.
“Railroads were the backbone of this economy, providing services for both public and private entities in a way that made the system attractive to all.”
The exhibit highlights the impact that railroads had on communities, towns and cities throughout Illinois from the late 1800s to the 1930s.
Focusing on the railroads in the region, the exhibit highlights what the railroad meant to communities, their connections and how those connections affected them.
The museum has a number of exhibits that are also available online, including the Chicago Public Library’s collection of original and used books, and a digital exhibition that will be available for free in early February.
Illinois, which was a railroad’s first home, was not a thriving trading center for years.
In the early 20th century, it became a manufacturing hub and the Midwest became a hub for the manufacturing industry.
In 1913, the state’s population was only 12.4 million people and the unemployment rate was nearly 5 percent.
In the 1940s and 50s, a boom in the railroad industry helped to expand Illinois’ population by a factor of 4.5 million.
Between 1941 and 1945, the city of Chicago gained over 2.7 million residents, which also led to a 10.6 percent increase in the population of Chicago’s urban core.
IllisRail is a part of the Illinois Historical Society and has been part of Chicago since 1935.
Fentress Railroad Company and Chicago & Chicago Railway Company also operated freight lines from Chicago to Milwaukee in the early 1900s.
In 1916, Chicago became the first city in the United States to enact a 20-year ban on new passenger trains.
Fentress, Chicago &amt operated two new passenger rail lines, the Chicago & amt and the Chicago River Line, from 1918 to 1954.
The Chicago < is known for having one of the longest lines of its time.
The line went through many changes, including being the first of the twin-track trains to run between Milwaukee and Chicago.
In its current exhibit, the museum also highlights the history of the first railroad in Illinois.
It features images from the archives and is available to view online for free at the Illinois Railroad Museum.
“Railroads are a vital part of our history,” said Fennetta.
“They are a link to people’s lives and the people who built and built communities.
We hope the exhibition can help us understand how our history can be seen in a new light through this exhibition.”
The museum also will host a “Railroad Heritage Celebration” in Chicago on February 10.
The celebration will be led by a member of the Chicago City Council, the mayor of Chicago, and officials from the Chicago Transit Authority, Illinois Department of Transportation, Illinois State Railways, the Illinois Department on Aging, and Chicago Public Schools.