Overlooked Canadian museums

By December 31, 2018 Features

By Aaron Isaacs, HRA editor

I’m always surprised at the amount of railway preservation that’s out there if you know where to look. We first think about the larger railway museums with collections of rolling stock and often buildings, established institutions in business to tell you about the history of railroading. What we tend to overlook are all the general history museums that have a railroad component, the small depot museums, and places that aren’t so much museums as they are public displays. That’s always been the case in the US, and it’s the same in Canada.

HeritageRail Alliance Board Member Don Evans volunteers with the West Coast Railway Association in Squamish, BC. A year ago he was instrumental in bringing the Canadian Council for Rail Heritage into the HRA. Now he’s working to increase the number of Canadian HRA members. There are currently 18. So Don set out to determine the number of potential recruits.

Each year TRAINS Magazine publishes an insert that lists tourist railroads and railway museums. I’ve always considered it to be pretty complete. The 2018 edition has 47 Canadian entries. But in fact there are many more. Deborah Sankey went through the Canadian Trackside Guide, the comprehensive annual reference work on everything that runs on Canadian rails. She found 238 places that do railway preservation. See the list below.

All told, the 238 places own almost 1500 pieces of rolling stock. That’s an impressive number.

So here’s the list, noting who are HRA members, who is listed in the TRAINS Magazine guide, a count of rolling stock pieces, and who runs trains. There’s more to see in Canada than you thought.

Organization Name City Province HRA member TRAINS Listing # Rolling Stock Run trains
Alberta Central Railway Museum Wetaskiwin AB 18
Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions Stettler AB X 18 Yes
Alberta Prairie Steam Tours shop Warden AB 15
Alberta Railway Museum Edmonton AB X 70+ Yes
Anthony Henday Museum Delburne AB 1
Aspen Crossing Railway Mossleigh AB 42 Yes
Atlas Coal Mine Historical Society East Coulee AB 20+
Brooks & Distict Museum Brooks AB 1
Canadian Northern Society Big Valley AB 2
Castor Museum Castor AB 4
Cereal Cereal AB 1
Countess Country Museum Countess AB 1
Crowsnest Museum Coleman AB 3
Edgerton & District Historical Society Museum Edgerton AB 1
Edmonton Radial Railway Society Edmonton AB X 24 Yes
Evansburg Information Centre and Museum Evansburg AB 1
Fort Edmonton Historical Association Edmonton AB X X 8 Yes
Fort McMurray Historical Society – Heritage Park Fort McMurray AB 2
Fort Saskatchewan Historical Society Fort Saskatchewan AB 1
Friends of Battle River Railway Forestburg AB 1
Galt Historic Railway Park Coutts AB X Yes
Great Canadian Plains Railway Society Stirling AB 6
Hanna Pioneer Museum Hanna AB 1
Heritage Park Calgary AB X X 44 Yes
Kneehill Historical Society Museum Three Hills AB 3
Lac Cardinal Regional Pioneer Village Museum Grimshaw AB 1
Leduc West Antique Society Ireton AB 6
Leduc West Antique Society Leduc AB 4
Leduc West Railway Museum Leduc AB 2
Little Creek Historical Society at Aspen Ranch Bowden AB 5
Locomotive & Railway Historical Society of Western Canada Calgary AB X 0
Mirror District Museum Miror AB 2
Museum of the Highwood Railway Project High River AB 1
Nanton & District Grain Elevator Historical & Cultural Society Nanton AB 1
Nose Creek Valley Museum Airdrie AB 1
Peace River Museum Peace River AB 1
Penhold Railway Museum Penhold AB 1
Pincher Creek Historical Museum Pincher Creek AB 1
Prairie Elevator Museum Acadia Valley AB 1
Prairie Tractor & Engine Society Picture Butte AB 4
Reynolds Alberta Museum Wetaskiwin AB 1
Rocky Mountain Rail Society Big Valley AB X 1
South Peace Museum Beaverlodge AB 1
Stettler Museum Stettler AB 1
Ukranian Cultural Heritage Village Edmonton AB 2
Wainwight Rail Park Wainwright AB 14
White Pass & Yukon Route (Stations in BC, Alaska and Yukon) Skagway AK X Lots
Agassiz-Harrison Museum Agassiz BC 1
Alberni Pacific Railway – Alberni Valley Museum Port Alberni BC X 33 Yes
BC Institute of Technology Annicis Island Campus Delta BC 9
BC Mining Museum Britannia BC 28 Yes
Boundary Museum Grand Forks BC 1
Burnaby Village Museum Burnaby BC 3
Canadian Museum of Rail Travel (Cranbrook History Centre) Cranbrook BC X 31
Canadian Railroad Historical Association (E & N Division) Parksville BC 2
Chetwynd Museum Chetwynd BC 1
Chilliwack Antique Powerland Chilliwack BC 4
Coquitlam Heritage Society Coquitlam BC 1
Creston Museum Creston BC 1
Cumberland Museum Cumberland BC 1
Dewdney Alouette Railway Society Haney BC 3
East Kootenay Railway Fort Steele BC X 14 Yes
Forest Discovery Center Duncan BC X X 39 Yes
Fort Langley Railway Museum Fort Langley BC 2
Fraser Valley Heritage Railway Society Surrey BC X 4 Yes
Gold Mine & Museum Complex Rossland BC 14
Greenwood City Museum Greenwood BC 2
Kamloops Heritage Railway Society Kamloops BC X 12 Yes
Kettle Valley Steam Railway Summerland BC X 14 Yes
Kwinitsa Railway Museum Prince Rupert BC X 0
Lake Cowichan Historical Association Lake Cowichan BC 5
National Railway Historical Society (BC) New Westminster BC 25
Nelson Electric Tramway Society Nelson BC X 4 Yes
North Vancouver Musesum & Archives North Vancouver BC 1
Pacific Industrial Preservation Society Cedar BC 3
Port Moody Heritage Society Port Moody BC 1
Pouce Coupe Town Museum Pouce Coupe BC 1
Private Owner Nelson BC 2
Railway & Forestry Museum Prince George BC 71 Yes
Revelstoke Railway Museum Revelstoke BC X 17
Rocky Mountain Freight Train Museum Skookumchuck BC 8
Saanichton Historical Artifact Society Saanichton BC 4
Skeena Valley Model Railroad Assn Terrace BC 1
South Peace Historical Society Dawson Creek BC 1
Station Museum Castlegar BC 2
Stewart Museum Stewart BC 5
Sullivan Mine Interpretive Centre Kimberly BC 62 Yes
Sumas-Matsqui-Abbotsford Museum Society Clayburn BC 3
Three Valley Gap Heritage Ghost Town and Transportation Museum Three Valley Gap BC 22
Town of Ladysmith Ladysmith BC 6
Valemount Museum Valemount BC 1
Vanderhoof Heritage Museum Vanderhoof BC 1
West Coast Railway Heritage Park Squamish BC X X 90 Yes
Wrightway Charter Co Ltd Sandon BC 6
Arborg & District Multiculteral Heritage Village Arborg MB 1
Archibald Historical Museum La Riviere MB 1
Dauphin Rail Museum Dauphin MB 1
Flin Flon Museum Flin Flon MB 5
Fort La Reine Museum Portage La Prairie MB 3
Gladstone District Museum Gladstone MB 1
Haret/Cam Museum Hartney MB 1
Manitoba Agricultural Museum Austin MB 3
Manitoba Childrens Museum Winnipeg MB 3
Manitoba Forestry Assocation Centre Hadashville MB 1
Midwestern Rail Association Winnipeg MB 1
Plum Coulee Historical Association Plum Coulee MB 3
Portage La Prairie Heritage Inc Portage La Prairie MB 3
Souris Glenwood Railway Museum Souris MB 1
Swan Valley Museum Swan River MB 1
Transcona Historical Society Transcona MB 1
Vintage Locomotive Society (Prairie Dog Central) Winnipeg MB X X 20+ Yes
Whitemouth Municipal Museum Whitemouth MB 1
Winnipeg Railway Museum Winnipeg MB X 25
Bristol Shogomoc Historical Railway Site Bristol NB 3
Chipman Musuem Chipman NB 1
Minto Station Museum and Information Centre Minto NB 1
New Brunswick Railway Museum Hillsborough NB X 27
Village Historique Acadien Caraquet NB 1
Bishop’s Falls Display train Bishop’s Falls NF & LAB 4
Clarenville Heritage Society Clarenville NF & LAB 8
Clayton D. Cook Loop Railway Trinity NF & LAB 5
Mary March Regional Museum Grand Falls NF & LAB 1
Museum at Avondale Station Avondale NF & LAB 5
Railway Society of Newfoundland Corner Brook NF & LAB X 10
South West Coast Historical Society Port Aux Basques NF & LAB 9
Museum of Industry Stellarton NS 11
Musquodobolt Harbout Museum Musquodoboit NS 5
Orangedale Museum Orangedale NS 5
Pier 21 – Halifax Ocean Terminals Halifax NS 1
Sydney & Louisbourg Railway Historical Society Museum Louisbourg NS X 5
Sydney Mines Heritage Society Sydney Mines NS 1
Tatamagouche Train Station Inn Tatamagouche NS 12
Arbor Park, Mactier Historical Assocation Mactier ON 1
Memory Junction Railway Museum Brighton ON X 7
Canada Science and Technology Museum (Ingenium Canada) Ottawa ON X 40 Yes
Canada Southern Railway Station St Thomas ON X 0
Cannington Historical Association Brock ON 1
Chapleau Chapleau ON 1
Chatham Railroad Museum Society Chatham ON X 1
Civic Centre Museum and Historic Park Atikokan ON 4
Cochrane Railway and Pioneer Museum Cochrane ON 4
Crysler Farm Battlefield Park Morrisburg ON 3
Cumberland Township Museum Ottawa – Cumberland ON 1
Elgin County Railway Museum St Thomas ON X 22 Yes
Englehart Englehart ON 1
Fisherville Farm – Bygone Days Heritage Village Museum Collingwood ON 1
Fort Erie Railroad Museum in Oakes Park Fort Erie ON X 2
Founders Museum & Pioneer Village Thunder Bay ON 1
Georgina Pioneer Village Georgina ON 1
Gibson Gallery (ex Michigan Central Railway Station) Amherstburg ON 1
Glen Morris Glen Morris ON 1
Guelph Historical Railway Association Guelph ON 2
Haileybury Heritage Museum Haileybury ON 2
Halton County Radial Railway (Ontario Electric RHA) Milton ON X X 50+ Yes
Hockley Valley Model Trains Alliston ON 1
Huntsville & Lake of Bays Railway Society Huntsville ON X 9 Yes
Kaministiquia River Heritage Park Thunder Bay ON 4
Kapuskasing & District Historical Society Kapuskasing ON 5
Kent Erleau Heritage Park Erieau ON 1
Kingville Historical Park Kingsville ON 1
Komoka Railway Museum Komoka ON X 3
Lake of the Woods Railroad Museum Kenora ON 2
Markham District Historical Museum Markham ON 3
Moore Musuem Mooretown ON 1
National Capital Transit Heritage Foundation Orleans ON X ?
Niagara Railway Museum Fort Erie ON 12
North Bay Heritage Railway Company North Bay ON 1
Northern Ontario Railroad Museum & Heritage Centre Capreol ON X X 12
OC Transpo Garage Ottawa – Nepean ON 2
Ontario Steam Heritage Museum Puslinch ON 5
Owen Sound Marine Rail Museum Owen Sound ON 2
Palmerston Railway Heritage Museum Palmerston ON 2
Port Stanley Terminal Rail Port Stanley ON X 35+ Yes
Puddicombe Estate Farm & Winery Hamilton ON 8
Rossport Musuem Rossport ON 1
School House Museum Laurentian Hills ON 1
School on Wheels Railcar Museum Clinton ON X 1
Simcoe County Museum Midhurst ON 2
Smiths Falls Raillway Museum of Eastern Ontario Smith Falls ON X 28 Yes
Soutern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society Amherstburg ON 4
South Simcoe Railway Heritage Corporation New Tecumseth ON X X 28 Yes
Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society St. Jacobs ON X 25
Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society Paisley ON 1
Toronto Railway Historical Association Toronto ON X 17 Yes
Underground Railroad Museum Lakeshore ON 1
UTDC/CAN CAR Historical Society Thunder Bay ON 2
Valleyview Railroad Museum Thamesford ON 2
Waterloo Regional Museum Kitchener ON 1
Westfield Heritage Centre Rockton ON 2
Wild Wings Brechin ON 3
York-Durham Heritage Railway Association Uxbridge ON X X 22 Yes
Elmira Railway Museum Elmira PEI X 1
Museum – Confederation Bridge Borden PEI 1
Angliers Museum Display Angliers QU 1
Courcelles Museum Courcelles QU 1
Exporail (CRHA) Saint-Constant QU X X 160+ Yes
Hull Chelsea Wakefield Railroad Gatineau QU X 11 Yes
Musee de la Lare Riviere-Blanche QU 1
Musee ferroviaire de beauce Vallee Jonction QU X 4
Orford Express (formerly Trains Touristiques des Canton-de-l’est Magog QU 6 Yes
Train Touristique De Charlevoix Quebec City QU 12
Avonlea & District Museum Avonlea SK 1
Barr Colony Heritage Museum Lloydminster SK 1
Bienfait Coalfield Historical Museum Bienfait SK 1
Biggar Museum and Gallery Biggar SK 1
Broadview Muesum Broadview SK 1
Canora Station House Museum Canora SK 1
Deep South Pioneer Museum/Ogema Heritage Rail Assn Ogema SK 7 Yes
Esterhazy Heritage Park Esterhazy SK 1
Frenchman Butte Depot Museum Frenchman Butte SK 1
Glaslyn & District Museum Glaslyn SK 1
Harris & District Museum Harris SK 1
Herbert Heritage Association Herbert SK 1
Herbert Saskatchewan Station Museum Herbert SK 1
Kamsack Museum Kamsack SK 2
Lanigan & District Heritage Association Lanigan SK 1
Maidstone District Historical Society Maidstone SK 1
McCord Museum McCord SK 1
Melville Regional Park Railway Museum Melville SK 3
Nipawin & District Living Forestry Museum Nipawin SK 2
Nokomis & District Museum Nokomis SK 1
Outlook District Heritage Museum Gallery Outlook SK 1
Pelly Museum Pelly SK 1
Rusty Relic Museum Carlyle SK X 1
Saskatchewan Railway Museum Saskatoon SK X X 37
Souris Valley Museum Estevan SK 1
Sturgis Station House Museum Sturgis SK 1
Sukanen Ship Pioneer Village Museum Sukanen SK 1
Turtleford District historical Museum Turtleford SK 1
Unity & District Heritage Museum Unity SK 1
Vintage Power and Machines Museam Prince Albert SK 1
Wadena Museum Wadena SK 1
Western Development Museum Moose Jaw SK X X 12
Wilkie Agriculture/Town Museum Wilkie SK 1
Dawson City Museum Dawson City YK X 4
Macbride Museum Whitehorse YK X 6
Miles Canyon Historical Railway Society Whitehorse YK X 4 Yes
Yukon Transportation Museum Whitehorse YK 5



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