Whatever happened to ... Hoot Toot & ...

Whatever happened to ... Hoot Toot & Whistle Railway

There are 13 comments on the Chicago Tribune story from Apr 2, 2009, titled Whatever happened to ... Hoot Toot & Whistle Railway. In it, Chicago Tribune reports that:

Vikki Ortiz What ever happened to... April 3, 2009 When Nancy Eliason was a young mother in Elmhurst in the late 1960s, she and her husband were always looking for ways to entertain their three sons on a limited budget.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Chicago Tribune.

Why Cry Now


#1 Apr 3, 2009
This is a heartwarming story and it brings back memories of the
little train that we used to ride at the former KiddeLand in
Melrose Park, Il at 1st and North Avenues.

Since: Jul 08

United States

#2 Apr 3, 2009
Take a look at the 4-4-0 American #98 at this site: http://www.randgn.com/resources/RGN_Rolling_S...

Crest Hill, IL

#3 Apr 17, 2009
I cannot wait to see how many others recall that wonderful little train - thanks so much for jarring my memories!
Verne Brown

Glen Ellyn, IL

#4 Jun 9, 2009
I had this little 'thing' going with Bob Buchman (owner/operator of the Hoot, Toot, & Whistle Railway). Whenever I'd pull into the parking lot, he'd ring the bell on the locomotive. I'd blow the horn on my '53 Chevy and he'd ring his bell and grin. When I'd get up to the engine, he'd tease me by saying, "Mine makes more noises than yours.

One day, my dad gave me an old vacuum horn he unearthed from his garage from then on, I'd pull into the parking lot and blow my horn, he'd blow the whistle, I'd blow the vacuum horn, and he'd ring the bell. Now we were tied with the number of noises we could make.

Circleville, OH

#5 Jun 23, 2009
I have spent 30 years trying to find the ride of my childhood.

I am glad it is well remembered and chugging away in the Dells!

United States

#6 Aug 5, 2009
This is so cool. While looking for info on a gift for my Train Buff son-in-law, I remembered the Hoot, Toot & Whistle from when I was a kid growing up in Elgin. I had no idea until now that it was still chugging! It used to be our favorite stop on the way to a night at the outdoor (StarView or Dundale?) My parents will be thrilled to know it is still around. Time for a trip to the Dells!
Thank You!

Thornton, IL

#7 Oct 1, 2009
I used to ride this train with our son a few years ago(more like 6, 7 years ago) and it was in Wakarusa at the "Come and Dine" restaurant, whose owner died in 2001(scary thing is the owner was only 41! Yikes! I am eating more broccolli!). I found out that a new restaurant took over called Raymond's Lounge and apparently thought it inappropriate for kids to ride a train at a lounge, so now the train was sold and is operating at the Riverside and Great Northern near the Dells in Wisconsin. Not too happy about that as it's quite a bit further out of the way from the Chicagoland area; furthermore, we used to pay $2 and $5 dollars per, and in Wisconsin they charge a whopping $15 bucks for adults to ride,$9 for the kiddies. Not very cheap for a little 15 minute train ride especially in this economy and the fact that you can ride the Metra in Illinois anywhere on weekends for 5 bucks a person, kiddies are free...Uh, hello! Much better deal, plus you're on a real train, babies!

Thornton, IL

#8 Oct 1, 2009
Why Cry Now wrote:
This is a heartwarming story and it brings back memories of the
little train that we used to ride at the former KiddeLand in
Melrose Park, Il at 1st and North Avenues.
I too remember that adorable little train...now no one will ride that again as Kiddieland is now closed....booooo.

Since: Oct 09

Thornton, IL

#9 Oct 1, 2009
We too took our kids to the Amish area in Indiana and happened upon that train when "Come and Dine" was still open...it closed the next year we were there as we go there for Christmas every year(the Amish area that is) and loved that train! What in the world is Wisconsin thinking, charging that much for a train ride? I guess they'll get it as it's a cutsie/kitchie thing to do but as you said, Ana, you can go on Metra in Illinois and ride anywhere for only 5 bucks w/your family, and your kids ride free...plus, you can save the $5 ticket as it's good for the entire weekend.

Willowbrook, IL

#10 Feb 9, 2010
I also remember another fun place I went to when I was little; the Elm Roller rink, which stood on what is now a grassy median between 2 north-south streets just a couple hundred feet east of the Lexington Square nursing home on Roosevelt and Butterfield in Elmhurst. I had lots of fun at the Elm when I was little. Although I was one day disappointed when my mom and I went and found out that there was a small fire there, but then my mom and I went there a couple more times after it re opened, until one day we drove past and the Elm Roller rink was a pile of rubble just laying on the ground.
Claybob - Seattle

Lynnwood, WA

#11 Feb 10, 2011
Having grown up in Maywood, our Dad would take us kids out for a Sunday drive...head towards Elgin, grab an ice cream cone and usually up at the Hoot Toot and Whistle. It has always been a fond memory of my childhood. Times were care free back then and for just a few minutes, I could forget about growing up and just remain a kid who always wanted to be an engineer! The sound of the whistle, watching the train pull in loaded with smiling kids and grown ups...man, what a nice memory!
Doug Z

United States

#12 Jun 20, 2011
I still have the 8mm film that was taken of my brother and myself on the back of one of the cars.

Carbondale, IL

#13 Jan 11, 2012
It all died and decayed as developers were paying off officials to raise taxes and drive most places out of business. Crook County.

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