Train of the Goddesses

The Nebraska Zephyr

Every summer we take a little road trip to the Illinois Railway Museum in a little town called Union, in northern Illinois, to ride old trains.
With the purchase of a family pass, we have our choice of old electric trolleys and diesel passenger trains, and if we hit the right weekend, we can ride one of the steam trains.
Each train is accompanied by volunteers who have donated time and money into restoring these wonderful pieces of history. With each ride, we hear a well rehearsed, and lovingly told history of that particular train.
Then after a few rides, we tour the “barns” where the restoration process is continuing on hundreds of other rail cars and engines. It is exciting to get so close to these giants.
Oh, and to hear them run! To feel the power of that massive diesel when it throttles up and begins to move, and then feel the ground beneath you feet give and vibrate as it rolls slowly past you!
(sorry, got carried away there)
And then our favorite train pulls up to the restored depot (it’s everyone else’ favorite too, as it can be really hard to get on it at times).
The Nebraska Zephyr, one of a set of twin trainsets built in 1936, and is known as “Train of the Goddesses”. Her twin, “Train of the Gods” is presently sitting idle overseas.
She is made of stainless steel, air conditioned and beautiful. She even had a cameo in the 1992 movie “A league of their own”, a short part filmed at the museum.
Each of her cars are named after a goddess:
Venus, Vesta, Minerva, Ceres, & Juno (there were others, but have been retired)
The last car, Juno, the observation car, is our favorite, along with everyone else. It has large windows and swivel seats, and the end of it comes to a point and is all windows.
Cere is the dining car and for a price, you can reserve a seat and have dinner on the go.
We just might do that someday.
Our last trip to the museum, the Zephyr had had an accident, and was sitting in the barn while several of her articulated cars were off being repaired. Heather had to give her a hug to make her feel better 🙂



She is up an running again.


3 thoughts on “Train of the Goddesses”

  1. Really, cool. Trains were a part of my childhood. Went to Alaska in one, went to Florida in one, and also a trip from Whitefish to Portland and back when I was a lot older. I loved the ride. Thanks for sharing and bringing back good memories. I wish we had more train options today.


  2. Oh wow, that sounds like so much fun! I love trains. Hubby and I rode a train as part of our honeymoon. I enjoyed it thoroughly — much more than riding on an airplane. 🙂


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