"When guests leave this place,
they should say,
'I like railroads. They're part of my future.'"
Michael R. Haverty, Retired.
Kansas City Southern Railway
Engines of Freedom is a unique railroad-themed attraction planned for Galesburg, Illinois. Visitors of all ages will be engaged and inspired by the combination of state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits and live, main line freight and passenger service. As the epic tale of the railroads unfolds as a major chapter in America’s national narrative, guests will gain an appreciation of the importance of railroads in their daily lives.
Engines of Freedom uses a story-driven, interactive approach to appeal to a 21st century audience. Guests become engaged through the excitement of simulators, computer games, holograms, touch screens, digital maps, living murals, and theatrical illusions. This exquisite showmanship is grounded by impeccable scholarship to create an experience that is at once educational and fun.
A highly acclaimed creative team including designers from the Academy Award-nominated firm BRC Imagination Arts of Burbank, California, and architects from legendary Chicago-based Skidmore, Owings & Merrill have collaborated on a visionary Master Plan to ensure a visitor experience that is second to none. An interdisciplinary task force of industry executives, historians, and educators provides technical and scholarly expertise.
Galesburg is ideally suited to tell the story of America’s railroads. The community boasts one of the nation’s largest classification yards, and with over 120 freights a day, the town is a train-spotters’ paradise. Easily accessible by interstate or Amtrak, this western-Illinois community is within three-hours of over 21 million potential visitors.
Located in the community’s downtown cultural district, the Engines of Freedom campus is convenient to an array of local attractions including the Lincoln-Douglas debate site at Knox College, Discovery Depot Children’s Museum, the Orpheum Theater, the Galesburg Railroad Museum, and the restaurants and shops on historic Seminary Street.
In 2003, resolutions of the US Senate and House of Representatives recognized the project and designated Galesburg as its home. Organizers have now launched a national capital campaign to make this exciting vision a reality.