Talk about a really cool atmosphere! This place is just great for families and fans of train memorabilia. The menu is not overwhelming yet has a good selection. HIghly reccommend the fried green beans!!
I give the Monon Connection Museum 5 stars because it is obviously a labor of love for the people who put up the money to create the museum and for the people who parted with their beloved collections to help fill-out this out-of-the-way, small town museum. It's places like this that make me love Americana because they preserve parts of the past that could very well be discarded and forgotten. This isn't the Smithsonian by any stretch of the imagination, but it's worth stopping at, if you're going through here, and $5.00 entrance fee not only provides you with half and hour to an hours entertainment/education but it helps preserve the collections. I've been to a lot of museums, including train museums like Henry Ford's Greenfield Village, and I don't remember ever seeing a crane car. I can't even imagine the cost of transporting that monster from Rockford, IL to Monon, IN. I give the restaurant 2 stars. I know they warn you in the menu that their service is not speedy and that they put quality over speediness, but I just don't buy it. From the attitude of the staff (for which there are a surprising abundance of them compared to diners), they just don't care to seat you or serve you. We waited by the front door with 8 other people for 10 long minutes while they bustled around the 4 tables which had diners already seated. They all saw us (3 parties), but it was someone else's job (wherever she was) to seat us so they just left us all scrunched in the doorway. When we were finally seated and our drinks and meals ordered, our glasses remained empty most of the time and were refilled twice in the long wait before and after we received our entrees. My SO got a hamburger and I got the open rib-eye sandwich. The food was just OK. The lemonade was fantastic which is the nicest thing I have to say about the restaurant and my dining experience here. Come see the museum, and eat only if you really, really need a long time to stare at the trains overhead.
Great place to see trains other than that is just a frozen food prepared restaurant . At the prices they charge you should have. Fresh meal prepared with fresh food instead of frozen boxes of horrible Sysco food products. I can get the same meal a lot cheaper in the frozen food isle at Walmart .
Hands down, this is the best railroad artifact museum one can see in the US. Dale Ward began collecting in 1993 and he has amassed over 6000 of rail related and period. There are literally hundreds of different hand held lanterns, a movie screen which displays a variety of train related DVD's, and a Illinois Central RR depot from Emory. Outside the different signals are powered but at the time of my visit, not all were working; the rolling stock collection is also growing with four more units to be brought to the grounds, there is a gift store in the ticket depot from Cove. This museum was a definite visit on this particular vacation and now I feel that I can die a fulfilled train fan. Harold, the interpreter, was more than happy to point out all of the significant pieces and even went out of his way to answer my questions. At the beginning of his tour, he gives an overview of the pieces in the first room. In the dining room, there are Pennsylvania RR calendars from 1929-1959, and two drum heads, one from the Presidential coach. Inside the dining room is a G scale model train which operates elevated just below the ceiling. MAKE the effort and budget some extra time, I spent just shy of 5 hours. Note, I didn't have time to eat in the restaurant but it was very busy from when I arrived till when I left.