When was the ILS founded?
The ILS was founded in the Southwest suburbs in 1967 at our present location in Homer Township which at one time use to be an apple orchard. Hence our station name, Orchard Park Station.
How much land does the club have and who owns it?
The club has a total of 7.3 acres (2 lots) not all of which is usable due to excessive grade drop at the North end of the property. The club owns all its' land.
What kind of equipment unloading and moving facilities does the club have?
The club has a hydraulic hoist similar to that used in an automotive garage that can lift locomotives that way upwards of 1500 pounds. The hoist also doubles as a turntable. The locomotive service area has two~ level transfer table to access locomotives stored in the engine house as well as a turntable.
Does the club provide equipment storage space for its members?
Yes. Members with locomotives and rolling stock are allowed to store equipment on the club property as long as storage space is available.
How are locomotives powered?
Locomotives are powered by various means. Steam locomotives at the ILS are typically fired with coal or propane. Diesel and electric locomotives are may be gas/hydraulic powered. gas/hydrostatic powered, battery powered, gas/electric (like real locomotives today) or other methods of power transmission (some quite ingenious).
How much track is on the ILS property?
Both the 4.75" gauge track and the 7.5" gauge track have approximately 5000-6000 feet of track each. The elevated 3.5" gauge track to the South has about 600 feet of track.
What is the difference between gauge and scale?
"Gauge'' refers to the distance between the ra1ls. The ILS has three different gauge railroads on the club property. "Scale'' refers to the relative size of the model equipment with respect to full size trains. 1 inch scale equipment implies a 1 inch measure per 12 inches of real train equipment. However, it is possible that a hobbyist build a 1.5" scale locomotive to operate on 4. 75" gauge track. This represents narrow gauge modeling. There are several examples of this type of modeling at the ILS.
How many members does the ILS have?
The club roster currently contains approximately 100 full dues paying Regular/Probationary members and 11 Junior members. There are also about 33 Affiliate members on the roster which live more than 60 miles from the club property.
How much are the club dues and is the club accepting new members?
The ILS is always looking for new members to take part in the hobby and the club. Membership dues are currently $23 per month ($276 per year) for Regular members. New "Probationary" members pay a one-time $100 initiation fee. New members do not have to pay their first year dues commitment all at one time (see membership info package). Junior and Affiliate member dues are $23 per year.
Does the club have a phone?
The club phone number is 708-301-0027. Let the phone ring several times since members may not be close. There is a small charge for phone use. Please see the chart in the club house kitchen.
What types of track improvements have been made at the ILS recently?
We are constantly making improvements and repairs. Visit the web pages dedicated to each of the different scales at ILS.