General Information

Welcome to the Illinois Tech Model Railroaders HO scale miniature railway system general information and history page.

Founded in 1948, our club is located in the original Armour Institute Building, just east of the former Rock Island Railroad. To the north of this building on the campus of one of the nation's foremost technical universities, The Illinois Institute of Technology, are the buildings formerly occupied by the Association of American Railroads Chicago Research Center. Within view of the club to the east and west are rapid transit lines of both modern and traditional design.

Our railway system is being developed to represent a fictitious railway operating between the cities of Chicago and Peoria. We are attempting to capture the flavor of a medium-size railroad with characteristics common to those found in Illinois. The club railway line is the Camp Armour & Boulder Junction (CA&BJ), or "Cabbage" as we affectionately call it.

In addition to our mainline railroad between Chicago and Peoria we operate a shortline with connections at Streator, Wilcox, Rockdale, and Joliet. A narrow gauge railroad connects with the mainline at Streator and interchanges freight at Kangley. Through freight service is operated in conjunction with the Electric Traction Company which operates the interurban system into Chicago. The Chicago Surface System, a streetcar company, operates jointly with the E.T.C. in some areas.

There are some unique features of the model railroad which stand out. Operations are, or will be, controlled by an actual interlocking machine, a centralized traffic control system, cab signals, and wayside signals. The authentic railway interlocking machine, used on real railroads to throw turnouts (switches) thus routing trains, controls our Chicago passenger terminal. Hand laid track and hand built turnouts are another feature. Our railroad is also cab control operated with the ability of "walk-around" control.


Modeling Scale -------- HO (3.5mm equal 1'O") 
Gauges Operated ------- HO ( 16.5mm between the rails)
HOn3 (10.5mm between the rails)
Control --------------- Progressive Cab Control
Planned Signal System - Wayside Signals on Layout plus Cab Signals
Standard Coupler ------ Kadee K-Series, Magnetic
Railroad Operations --- Standard HO Railroad between Chicago and Peoria
HO Shortline Railroad
HOn3 Narrow Gague Railroad
HO Electric Interurban Railroad
HO Streetcar System
Minumin Curve Radii --- Standard Gage - Mainline - 60"
Yards ---- 42"
Narrow Gague ------------- 25"
Maximum Grade --------- Mainline -- 2% (2" rise in 100")
Shortline - 4% (4" rise in 100")
Track Characteristics - Hand-built to NMRA Standards
Code 70 and Code 83 rail
Overhead Wire System -- Hand-built to Fine-Scale Standards for Pole and
Pantograph systems
Layout Construction --- L-Girder frame with hard-shell scenery base
Scenic Concept -------- Generally typical of Ill. between Chicago and

Date Founded ------------ November, 1948
Current Layout Started -- January, 1965
Meetings ---------------- Friday Evenings

Illinois Tech Model Railroaders (ITMR) is located on the sixth floor of Main Building. The club is open from 7pm to 11pm on Fridays and visitors are welcome.

If you are interested in joining our club you can send us a mail message or come up one Friday and meet us personally. Our club is comprised of both student and alumni members, and friends. New members are welcome.

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