Iron Horse Tour of the Railroad Club of Chicago, 1964

On July 19, 1964, a group of railroad aficionados piled aboard a 7900 series lounge car belonging to the Chicago and North Western Railway, en route to the National Railroad Museum in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Railroad Club of Chicago sponsored this ‘lounge car party,’ bringing along friends from Milwaukee along the way, and providing one free drink in the fare. I imagine that a car-full of railroad guys — at least 38 of them — in a moving bar for five hours straight were a mighty friendly bunch when they disembarked in Green Bay. I’m pleased to see that the club is still around. Too often, ‘archaic’ clubs like these dwindle in numbers as their members age and fall away, but railroad people are an odd bunch; the romance of the rails meets men’s natural affinity for huge, loud, mechanical machines, and you end up with some fun-loving guys who’ll pile on a train and road-trip to Green Bay to see more trains. Today, they promote rail travel, discuss community history revolving around trains, and remind everyone that, even though trains are disappearing, they meant a lot to the United States we live in.

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