RAILS TO VICTORY Reenactor Details 2021

Rails to Victory 2021, presents "Battle of Berlin". The Fox River Trolley Museum in South Elgin, Illinois, just West of Chicago, is once again hosting the 10th annual Rails to Victory WW2 weekend on June 11-13, 2021. RTV is a Western Front European Theater event.

There are some changes this year regarding how we run the Train Battles. We are planning to run just one large scale Battle in the morning and one in the afternoon on Saturday, and then on Sunday there will just be one Battle early afternoon. All three battles will occurr in the vicinity of the Bridge where we have performed battles in the past, however the battle field will be double the size this year. Pasengers will be shuttled down to the battle in 3 to 5 trolley cars and park adjacent to the field for the entire battle. As the passengers travel down to the battlefield, they will once again encounter the Monuments Men skirmish and and other small action skits that reenators may propose. We have open spots for any units who may wish to perform or demonstrate a skit along the route (military or civilian). Please contact RTV leadership if your unit is interested in securing a spot.

This year we are also inviting our Soviet Friends to participate in the Battle of Berlin by taking over our museum station area which stands in for Berlin so that when the passengers return back to the Museum, Berlin is now occupied by Soviet soldiers. We thought this would be fun for the passengers to be loaded by German Soldiers, and then be received back by Soviets. There are a whole host of imaginative ideas our Soviet and German Reenators can devise to make this interesting for the public. We do have space for small action skirmish type manuevers in the museum area to represent the street fighting that took place as the Soviets moved into Berlin.

RTV is a great event for reenactors to immerse the public into history by putting them on a trolley and leading them through various skirmishes, skits and battles. Period civilians and Resistance reenactors are particularly ecouraged to attend. The museum offers interesting landscapes for both reenactors and spectators along the picturesque wooded and sloping terrain along the Fox River which shall stand in for the Spree River.

Other activies planned for the weekend are: Weapons Demos, A Period WW2 bicycle ride along the Spree, and all WW2 impressions and displays welcome in our encampment. Like last year, we have scheduled a school day for Friday morning. Please send us an email if you wish to participate in the school day. Those who participate are welcome to set up their camp on Thursday evening.

*All Reenactors must be Registered prior to event.*

Registration: FREE ON-LINE  through June 9,  2021.

Camp Amenities: Flush Toilets on site. Camp sites are assigned on a first come first served bases.

Daily Reenactor Schedule:

Friday, June 11

Reenactor check-in, 4:00 to 9:00p

Saturday June 12
Reenactor check-in, 8:00-9:15a
Officer Call: 9:00a
S&A: 9:15-9:45a
Reenactor Set Up Trolley Departs: 10:00a
Battle of Berlin : 11:00-12:00p
Reenactor Trolley Returns: 12:30p
Encampment Living History
Reenactor Set Up Trolley Departs: 2:00p
VIP Trolley Tour Departs: 2:15p (Monuments Skit and Skirmish @ 2:20p /Battle Field Tour @ 2:30p)
Battle of Berlin: 3:00-4:00p
Reenactor Trolley Returns: 4:30p
Saturday Evening: Tentative USO Club Party and Film Screening, 7:00-11:00p

Sunday, April 25
Reenactor check-in, 9:00 -10:00a
Officer Call and S&A for Single Day Reenactors, 10:00-10:20a
Period Bicycle Ride, 10:30-11:30a
Encampment Living History
Reenactor Set Up Trolley Departs: 11:45a
VIP Trolley Tour Departs: 12:15p (Monuments Skit & Skirmish @ 12:20p /Battle Field Tour @ 12:30p)
Battle of Berlin: 1:00-2:00p
Reenactor Trolley Returns:2:30p
Weapons Demonstration: 3:00p
Museum and Event Closes at 4:00p

Bob Hodill, Third Gebirgsjaeger Div. - Event Manager : email
Rob Katz, British Coldstream Guards - Event Manager & Battle Field Coordinator: email
Rebecca Tulloch, US10th Mtn. Div. - Event Manager & On-Line Registration/Social Media: email

Ken Boynton 353rd German MPs - Security and On Site Registration: email
Phil Lauricella - Encampment Coordinator: email
Ernie Klapmeier, British Coldstream Guards - Event Manager & School Day Coodinator: email
James Tarbet, US 601st TD - Scout Day / School Day Co-Coordinator
Dan O'Donnel, Third Gebirgsjaeger Div. - Encampment Co-Coordinator

Anton Joreski, Third Gebirgsjaeger Div. - Reenactor Recruiting: email
Ted O'Sullivan, OKW - Monuments Men Skit Coordinator
Craig Schwarts, Deutsche Rheichsbahn - Rheichsbahn Coordinator
Dale Windhorst, OKW - Berlin Passenger Inspection Skit Coordinator

Doug Rundell, Fox River Trolley Museum - Museum Manager
Jeff Bennet, Fox River Trolley Museum - Museum Manager

Authenticity Notes: HRS safety and authenticity rules apply.

Covid 19 Safety Protocols : As of June 10, 2021 (and subject to change based on CDC and State of Illinois safety guidelines) the policy for the event shall be to maintain social distancing when able. Masks:   Vaccinated? Wear a mask if you so choose.   Unvaccinated?  Wear a Mask.   Boarding a trolley? Mask on before you board. It’s probably a good idea to keep a mask in your pocket, just in case. Please remember to social distance. The campsites are our homes for the weekend. Respect requests to wear a mask when entering someone else’s campsite.

All trolley cars fall under federal rules of operation. Federal guidelines for mask wearing supersede Illinois state and local guidelines while on the trolleys.

We thank you for your participation in Rails to Victory 2021 and for following the guidelines for the event.

Invited Vehicles/Items: All WWII vehicles including tracked vehicles are welcome, weather conditions permitting; tracked vehicles may be limited to the gravel road and battle field. Smaller vehicles such as Jeeps, Motorcycles, Kubels & Lightweight Trucks may drive on the grassy areas. Boats and other period water crafts such rafts are also welcome on the Fox River, but should contact us first prior to bringing out. River depth is only 2-3 feet in the vicinity of the museum.

Restrictions on Minors: HRS Rules

Other restrictions: No alcoholic beverages permitted in the Museum and County Park. No digging, but camp fires are allowed in above pits and military stoves and grills. No firing of weapons in the encampment area in County Park by Forest Preserve Ordinance; but okay in the designated battlefield areas on museum property. 

Motels: Accommodations available in nearby Elgin and St. Charles Illinois: Hampton Inn, the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites and West Dundee's Marriott International-Courtyard & Towne Place Suites; and in St. Charles: Best Western, Country Inn & Suites, Fairfield Inn & Suites, Geneva Motel, Hampton Inn & Suites, Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn Express, Hotel Baker, and Super 8. Restaurants: There are eating establishments with in a very easy walk of the museum ranging in variety from hot dogs to pizza.