Illinois Railway Museum Steam Equipment

About IRM Steam Team

The Steam Department at the Illinois Railway Museum is one of the best equipped departments on campus with all the tools and machinery needed to maintain and restore steam locomotives. Included in the department’s machinery are a shaper, lathes, a drill press, welding equipment, a drop table and a 90-inch wheel lathe. The drop table became functional in 2007 and is used to drop locomotive wheels/axles from a locomotive. The wheel lathe is under restoration but will accommodate a locomotive’s wheel up to 84 inches in diameter.

The department is structured with a department head, an engineer qualifier, a fireman qualifier, and a crew caller. This is an all volunteer department working within the museum headed by Tom Schneider who has more than 20 years of experience in maintaining and restoring steam locomotives at IRM.

This site was created by and is solely managed by Pauline Trabert, an IRM volunteer, in order to highlight the steam equipment collection and restoration projects going on in the Steam Department at the Illinois Railway Museum. Updates are sporadic at present.

Photographs, video, and histories of each piece in the collection is the ultimate goal but it will be slow going. For current IRM Steam Department updates be sure to check out the Steam Department blog posts at

This blog is a work in progress as time allows, and has been created to help keep steam fans informed about current projects and happenings within the Steam Department at the Illinois Railway Museum. We appreciate your interest!