About the 20th Century Railroad Club

Welcome aboard the home page of the 20th Century Railroad Club! Located in Chicago, Illinois, our club offers unique volunteer activities for rail enthusiasts, as well as unique travel opportunities for families, singles and groups. If you like trains and travel, you should join the Club! Since 1971, "the Century" has been the first choice of Chicago area railfans who prefer to enjoy their hobby as members of a dynamic club offering a wide range of activities.

We're also the first choice of smart travelers, who know how enjoyable it is to take the train. Each year, our Club schedules ten to twenty trips "for members only," including one day excursions on commuter and Amtrak trains, two or three day weekend adventures via Amtrak, and elaborate five to ten day Vacations with the Century.

On the second Wednesday of each month (except January, July, August, and December), we hold a Members Meeting at Chicago Union Station. These meetings include multi-media presentations examining a particular aspect of railroading, such as steam locomotives, streetcars, or the history of various railroad companies.

Club members also share their enthusiasm for rail travel with the general public. We've carried over 60,000 passengers aboard our 'special' trains chartered from Amtrak, our nostalgic excursions powered by steam locomotives, and our exclusive "private varnish" excursions aboard luxurious, fully restored vintage railroad cars.

These trains give our members a chance to earn free passage by volunteering to serve on board as car hosts, entertainers, bartenders, waiters and cooks. In fact, all Club activities are planned and carried out by Club members, who donate their time and expertise. We invite you to join us!

The many members of our club are kept well informed by our quarterly newsletter, The Fast Mail, a publication filled with details of Club activities, rail related news items and photos, and articles on railroad history.

Now you know why membership in the 20th Century Railroad Club is so rewarding: whether you like to do your railroading as a passenger, as a volunteer or as a student of history, our Club has what you're looking for!

The 20th Century Railroad Club is incorporated as a not-for-profit educational and historical organization. As an important part of our mission, we award scholarships to midwestern universities, and matching grants to other railroad-oriented non-profit groups to aid in preserving and restoring railroad equipment and memorabilia. These awards are made as funds become available.

How to find us

Club History