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Saturday, June 28, 2014

Glen Ellyn: Free Cupcakes at 2 Toots!

Psst, there are free cupcakes to be had at 2 Toots this weekend! Here's the email we received: 

"Get a FREE cupcake delivered to you by train!
Just a friendly reminder.*  When you sit down to eat for the Illinois Wounded Warrior's Weekend - June 28-29 2014 - at the Glen Ellyn, 2 Toots Train Whistle Grill, mention that you "WANT TO MEET SHAUN." He is the new owner/operator.  And, as a show of thanks for your patronage, you will receive a FREE cupcake. 

Offer Expires: June 29, 2014 at 8:00PM Central Time"

Read more about the new owner of 2 Toots Train Whistle Grill in the Daily Herald

Friday, June 13, 2014

Warrenville: St. James' Farm Caboose

Warrenville, Illinois -- A few weekends ago, my family was introduced to the gem that is St. James Farm. The property, now part of the Forest Preserve District of DuPage County, originally served as a private retreat for the McCormick family of International Harvester fame. They left behind remarkable dairy and equestrian facilities, as well as an impressive collection of sculpture. Visitors can now enjoy the preserve's more than 600 acres by trail, or by simply enjoying fishing or picnicking.

Of special interest to my group, of course, was the 1906 Burlington & Quincy Caboose. This railcar first came to St. James Farm during the McCormick family's days here to entertain children and it still fulfills its mission. Kids rush to board the caboose and see the equipment still featured from its' days as working rail stock. On the day we visited, a hay-ride guide told us a push button sets the caboose to rocking to emulate the feel of a train really rolling down the track. (We could only find plenty of kids to wiggle it on the rails in their own way.)

Love this vintage
Burlington dish towel!
To learn more about what really went on in the caboose during its operational days and why it ended up at St. James Farm, make a trip to the farm Saturday, June 14 between 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Visitors will hear about the jobs of the brakeman and conductor and the CA & E Railroad. The program is free for kids under 5, $2 for kids 5-12 and $5 for adults. 

Enter St James Farm at Winfield Road. The preserve is just north of Butterfield Road (Illinois 56). For a map, click here

Inside the caboose

West Chicago: Caboose at Reed-Keppler Park

West Chicago, Illinois -- Thanks to a gift from the Canadian National Railway, visitors to the Turtle Splash water park at Reed-Keppler Park are treated to the sight of an E, J & E caboose at the western edge of the parking lot. (Old and new technology meet these days as heavy equipment is currently busy constructing the community's new ARC recreation center, also just west of the splash park.) The caboose previously resided in Joliet, according to "Around and About in West Chicago." The caboose arrived in West Chicago via truck in April 2013. More information about West Chicago's railroad history is available on the City Museum blog.  

Reed-Keppler Park is located at 129 W. National St., West Chicago. 

Batavia: Summer Hours for Depot Museum

Batavia, Illinois -- Batavia's Depot Museum has posted "new summer hours." The depot will now be open longer on Saturday and Sunday afternoons from noon until 4 p.m. The depot is located next to the Fox River Trail at the northeast corner of Houston and Water streets in downtown Batavia.

Information about the museum is available at it's website

Geneva: Model Railroad Display at Swedish Days

Geneva, Illinois -- Chicago's LGB Railroad Club returns to the Geneva History Center June 17 through 22 with the club's display train layout and other activities in honor of the 65th Swedish Days festival. The train is a large scale layout. The center will be open from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. and admission is $3 for adults and $2 for children. 

The Geneva History Center is located at 113 S. Third Street in downtown Geneva across from the old courthouse. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Maple Park: Orchard Train Coming to Kuipers Family Farm

Our first visit to Kuipers in 2007.
Future visits could include a train ride
among the autumn activities
Maple Park, Ill.  -- All aboard the orchard train! According to an article in today's Kane County Chronicle, Kuipers Family Farm has been given the okay to install a train for guests to ride. The Kane County Board approved the action during this week's meeting. The train may not be ready for little engineers for another year, but installation of the track could begin this summer. 

Saturday, June 7, 2014

St. Charles: G-Scale Model Train on Display

According to releases appearing in local papers (I saw it in the Kane County Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune) a G-Scale Model train will be on display in the greenhouses of the Wasco Nursery and Garden Center during Fathers Day weekend. According to the release, the train will be set up in the greenhouse and among the plants. A "Live Steam Train" will be featured as well. The event is planned for June 13-15. Wasco Nursery is open 9 a.m. - 7 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m.- 5 p.m.on Saturday and Sunday. Oh, and this is a free event! Count us in!