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This photo was taken during a visit in 2006 to the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. The Pioneer Zephyr number 9900 has recently been refurbished and installed in its own display hall. That's Bill trespassing on the exhibit.

Click on the photo to see a PDF file from The American Society of Mechanical Engineers.
UPDATE: Posted by Ed "the Chicago Maven" Mazur on the ToyTrains group hosted by Groups.io

The Pioneer Zephyr Train is considered by many to be the official greeter at Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry.

The three-car 98 ton artifact is the second largest at the MSI after the U-505 World War II submarine. The Zephyr sits by the subterranean admission desks, sort of a freebie for visitors even before they enter the Museum proper.

The 1934 streamlined train, the onetime "show pony" of the Western rails, has been described by MSI officials as "a little bit of a hood ornament for the museum."

Now it is freshly polished following an extensive renovation of train and accompanying exhibit that visitors will discover when the MSI reopens on March 7 after its second Covid-19-forced closure.

The Zephyr's retro glamour---its sleek, streamlined stainless steel design was meant to spur interest in rail travel---alluring even to us in 2021.

Every time I visit the MSI I make certain to experience the Zephyr that makes me want to take a trip anywhere.

The interior upholstery has been recovered and new signage explains both the train's revolutionary engineering and its place in popular culture. The observation car offered 12 exclusive seats and featured wide, carved windows that provided panoramic views of outdoor scenery. Surround screens enhance an already exciting experience. Museum designers have surrounded the Zephyr with sound screens so that when you step aboard---numbers are limited these days by COVID concerns---you get a sense of the train in motion.

The Zephyr debuted at the MSI in 1960. It was an outdoor exhibit and an example of recent technology all visitors were likely to remember. Sort of akin to an early Tesla automobile on view in the MSI's transportation hall.

Today, to some, the Zephyr may seem like an antique, a representation of an American era and aesthetic. It is a delight to see it treated with a renewed reverence in the museum. Visitors will hopefully take away that in the speeds it achieved, the design it displayed, and the impact it had on people, the Pioneer Zephyr was kind of a marvel.

Marvel? The renovated Zephyr is joined by an exhibit titled "Marvel: Universe of Super Heroes--- an expansive, engaging, and intelligent look at the comic book company, from early ink-on paper images to contemporary cinematic blockbusters and a seemingly endless string of TV series. The show debuted in Seattle in 2018 but its Chicago appearance was delayed by the pandemic.

So friends, on your next visit to Chicago---make time to go to the Museum of Science and Industry and enjoy the Zephyr and so much more.

Ed "the Chicago Maven" Mazur


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ASTRONOMY: Here is some information about The Moon
The moon spins like the earth but, instead of one revolution per day, a revolution takes 27 days, 7 hrs., 43 min., 11.6 sec.
One moon phase (full moon to full moon) takes 29 days, 12 hrs., 44 min. at 2,287 mph
As the moon goes through it's phases there is:
  • new moon
  • waxing crescent
  • 1st quarter (appears 1/2 but, is really 25% through it's orbit)
  • waxing gibbous (3/4 full)
  • last quarter
  • waning crescent
As the moon phase is about 29-1/2 days and, the average month takes about 30-14 days, you can see how eventually there will be two full moons in one and the same month. The second full moon, in the same calendar month, is called a 'blue moon'.
As days go by, and a person is not paying attention to the moon, you can easily tell if the moon is going to be full or, if it was full by remembering the famous words "what's up DOC". Think of the O as a full moon then, note the curve in the D and C. When the curve is the D, it is going to be full. When the curve is like the C, it is going away from being full.
Exeligmos is described as 54 yrs. 1 mo. for a solar eclipse to come back to the same spot.
Samos is described as 18 yrs. 10 days. Three Samos equal one Exelgmos.
Every full moon for every calendar month has it's own common name. The names for the months are as follows:
Month Known As
January Wolf Moon
February Snow Moon
March Sap Moon
April Pink Moon
May Flower Moon
June Strawberry Moon
July Buck Moon
August Sturgeon Moon
September Harvest Moon
October Hunter's Moon
November Beaver Moon
December Cold Moon
In addition to the names commonly used in the USA, there are some additional names used by the earlier tribes and nations. Please visit the site in this link to see an impressive list of names from those peoples who were here before the Europeans came.
What's New

2024-05-18 Removed obsolete Links

2024-03-01 Fixed a spelling error

2023-07-20 Removed bogus text

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2021-03-06 Added a recent update regarding the Pioneer Zephyr in the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry

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2020-04-08 Added a photo showing the Marx 999 Variations

2020-03-15 Added a couple of pictures of another bash of two Hustlers into a larger, Cherry Creek, switcher. It is at the bottom of the Athearn section and just above the Lionel Husky section.

2020-02-20 Added a project PDF file for kitbashing a Vanderbilt Tender using Marx Plastic

2020-02-20 Updated the Site Map

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2020-01-02 Happy New Year - Updated Change Log

2019-12-03 Updated the links to train-related online Groups

2019-11-16 Added a photo of two styles of gears in Marx 333 locomotives

2019-11-04 Added a technique for an improved Marx 999 Front Truck Mount

2019-08-08 Fixed a couple of apostrophe and a link

2019-04-26 Added some photos of Engine Service Facility, the passenger station, the track plan and the power plan.

2019-03-30 Updated the Links page and removed a couple that no longer point to valid sites

2019-03-24 New table showing Marx Car Production Years by Coupler Type

2019-03-16 Updated links to Other Layouts and Organizations

2019-02-26 MTH RealTrax Custom Lengths and TGransition Curves - Near the bottom

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