Historical and Research

Historical and Research

Many sites and associations preserve Canadian history and provide help to NMRA Canada members. They have kindly submitted the following descriptions of their assocations and activities.

We will showcase your site. Send details to webmanager(at)nmracanada.ca with updates when required, and ensure it is age appropriate for all model railroaders.

As many NMRA Canada members model railroads that are not Canadian we encourage you to visit the main NMRA site at www.nmra.org

National Sites

Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA) The C.R.H.A. is a volunteer non-profit charitable organization. Its aims are the preservation and dissemination of information concerning railway heritage in Canada as well as the acquisition of artifacts and archival material which depict the historical or technological development of Canada’s railways.
Railways of Canada Archives A site of links to other Canadian Railway sites.

PACIFIC NORTHWEST REGION

British Columbia

British Columbia Railway Historical Association The BCRHA is a Victoria, B.C. based group dedicated to the preservation of the railway history of British Columbia. Members of our group have in the past written a number of books on BC railway history. We have also been involved with the various fights over the years to keep the Esquimalt & Nanaimo Railway operational when CPR has tried to abandon it.
Canadian Museum of Rail Travel see website for more information
CRHA E&N Division The E&N Division is dedicated to the preservation of BC railway heritage.
CRHA – Selkirk Division The Selkirk Division provides support to the Revelstoke Railway Museum as well as our work on Engine CPR 5468. We help with a number of things at the museum such as work on the rolling stock, painting, oiling and other repairs. The Selkirk Division has members on the Board of Trustees of the Revelstoke Railway Museum
Fraser Valley Heritage Railway To restore and to operate heritage interurban cars on the original BC Electric Railway Route through Surrey and the Fraser Valley to link heritage tourism destinations.
Kamloops Heritage Railway see website for more information
Kettle Valley Steam Railway Enjoy a 2 hour journey on one of British Columbia’s few remaining fully operational steam railways.
Prince George Railway and Forestry Museum We are a non-profit registered charitable organization. The Society’s goal is to preserve and display historic railway and forestry artifacts. The Museum opened in July of 1986 to coincide with Expo ’86 and the 150th Anniversary of rail travel in Canada.
West Coast Railway Association Preserving British Columbia’s Railway Heritage

Yukon and North West Territories

Miles Canyon Historic Railway Society Since 1995, we have been looking toward the future, when an interpretive railway would be operating in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. Now we operate on not one, but two rail lines!

Alberta

Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions Alberta Prairie offers an exciting one day adventure on board a real steam or diesel-powered train. Different themes are enacted throughout the season, including murder mysteries, family, dinner theatre, seniors and teddy bear specials.
Alberta Railway Museum The Alberta Railway Museum is run by the Alberta Pioneer Railway Association. The APRA is a non-profit organization of volunteers whose interest is the collection, preservation, restoration, and interpretation of artifacts that represent the technology and history of the railways in Western Canada.
Atlas of Alberta Railways The Atlas’ 224 detailed maps are accompanied by short articles, illustrations, historic photographs, charts, graphs and interesting trivia that provide a comprehensive overview of the railways in the province.
CRHA – Calgary Division and Southwest Division The Calgary and South Western was formed in 1973 to bring together people with the common interest in any aspect of Railways. This interest encompasses the past, present and future development and operations of railways. Our members cover a wide spectrum of interests, expertise and ages.
Rocky Mountain Rail Society The Rocky Mountain Rail Society is a registered non profit organization of volunteers dedicated to the preservation of Canadian National Railway steam locomotive 6060, known as The Spirit of Alberta. It is the aim of this society to ensure that The Spirit of Alberta remain in full and complete operating condition for the enjoyment of steam rail fans.

Saskatchewan

Bulyea Junction
The website purpose is to document the history of the historical town of Bulyea. For it was here in 1925, Saskatchewan Wheat Pool Elevator #1 opened, providing a way for farmers to sell their wheat.
Rockglen Gift Shop Located in a heritage train station in Rockglen, Saskatchewan. See website for more detail
Saskatchewan Railway Historical Association The Saskatchewan Railroad Historical Association (SRHA) was formed in 1987 as a non-profit organization to preserve and interpret Canadian railway and street railway history, especially that of Saskatchewan.

THOUSAND LAKES REGION

Manitoba

Prairie Dog Central Railway The Prairie Dog Central Railway is operated by The Vintage Locomotive Society Inc. and is one of the oldest regularly scheduled vintage operating trains in North America. It began operations in regular public service on July 11, 1970. From 1970 – 1974, the train operated out of Charleswood along Wilkes Boulevard on the former Canadian National Cabot Subdivision. From 1975 to 1996 the train then operated out of St. James and the old St James Station, immediately west of Polo Park on the Canadian National Oak Point Subdivision.
Winnipeg Railway Museum dedicated to the preservation of Manitoba’s rail heritage.

NIAGARA FRONTIER REGION

Ontario

Bytown Railway Society The Bytown Railway Society is a volunteer, non-profit organization incorporated under federal government statute to promote an interest in railways and railway history. It was founded in 1969 and has a membership of approximately 1400. Among the Society’s activities are its twice-monthly meetings, the publication of a magazine for members (Branchline) and the restoration and operation of a number of pieces of historic railway equipment located at the Canada Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa.
C. Robert Craig Memorial Library The Library was established in 1994 to collect, preserve and make available to the public, materials that document the history of rail transportation in Canada. Materials focusing on the railways surrounding the Ottawa area are of particular interest. The materials comprise books, magazines, photographs, slides, plans, and archival materials of Ottawa area railway-related organizations. The objective is to provide a comprehensive research base for those seeking information about Canadian railways.
CRHA – Kingston Division Kingston Division of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association
meets in Kingston at KCVI school on the second Wednesday of the month (except summer and March). See website for details. CRHA Kingston Division hosts the annual Rail-o-Rama Train Show in Kingston every March.
CRHA – Toronto and York Division Our Division offers the following services and activities to our members; At this time our Archive Room, with our collection of books, periodicals, photos, diagrams, and plans of various railway related items, such as locomotives, stations and freight and passenger equipment, is closed. Arrangements are in place to have a location in Toronto’s Union Station. Once renovations are completed, we will announce our reopening in the Winter of 2005/06.
Elgin County Railway Museum The Elgin County Railway Museum was incorporated in 1988 as a registered non-profit charity for the purpose of preserving and restoring the railway heritage of St. Thomas and surrounding area. Our knowledgeable base of volunteers are dedicated to keeping alive the memory of the railway which put St. Thomas on the map.
Guelph Historical Railway Society The Guelph Historical Railway Association was founded in 1991 and is a registered non-profit organization incorporated in Ontario dedicated to the preservation of our railway history, especially in the Guelph area.
Halton County Radial Railway Founded in 1953, Halton County Radial Railway is Canada’s first and largest collection of operating restored electric railway equipment. Situated at Stop 92 on the former right-of-way of the Toronto Suburban Railway, we offer the opportunity to enjoy a trip down memory lane with rides on a variety of 1890’s to 1990’s restored streetcars, interurban, radial and work cars, through 5km (3 miles) of scenic woodlands. Settle back to the creak of the leather seats and the clang of the gong as your car carries you back to a period around the turn of the century
The Huntsville Lake of Bays Railway Society A non-profit organization for the preservation of the history of steam transportation in the Huntsville and Lake of Bays area. Dedicated to the memory of “The smallest commercially operated railway in the world.” Take a ride on the famous “Portage Flyer” steam train for a pleasant and memorable train ride along one of the most picturesque routes in the Huntsville area. Our beautifully restored vintage open-sided coaches “Algonquin” and “Iroquois” are pulled by our 1926 “0-4-0 ST” steam locomotive, all original Portage Railway equipment.
Kinmount Model Railway & Museum Located in the former baggage room of the preserved Kinmount CNR railway station, the Kinmount Model Railway is a reproduction in HO scale of the CNR’s former Haliburton branch from Kinmount to Haliburton. The baggage room and agent’s office also display a growing collection of railway artifacts and memorabilia.
Northern Ontario Railway Museum and Heritage Center The Northern Ontario Railroad Museum & Heritage Centre (NORMHC) is a non-profit organization of volunteers whose interest and passions are focused on the preservation of: a) our past heritage and to pay tribute to the community, its founder and to the railway, and b) to collect and preserve artifacts and to educate the public through the exhibition of these artifacts.
Ottawa Railway History Significant dates in Ottawa’s Railway History
Owen Sound Marine and Rail Museum Officially opened in 1985, the Museum’s collection includes scale models of ships, steamers, trains, a dugout canoe, shipbuilding tools, marine and railway uniforms, various flags and many other items relating to the area’s marine and rail past. The displays are rotated on a regular basis, so each Museum visit offers a different glimpse into days gone by.
Palmerston Railroad Heritage Museum Association see website for more information.
Smiths Falls Railway Museum (Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario) The Smiths Falls Railway Museum Association was formed by a small amount of volunteers and citizens in 1983 to save the 1912 Smiths Falls Station building built by the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR). The SFRMA became incorporated in 1989, thus becoming The Smiths Falls Railway Museum Corporation, (SFRMC). Today the SFRMC owns and operates the Smiths Falls Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario which includes 10 acres of land and the station building.
Toronto Railway Historical Association The Toronto Railway Historical Association (TRHA) was established in 2001. It is incorporated and is a Federally registered charity. Its primary purpose is to promote the development of the Toronto Railway Heritage Centre.
Upper Canada Railway Society The Upper Canada Railway Society was founded in 1941. We are a volunteer non-profit organisation that has regular monthly railfan meetings in Toronto and Hamilton, Ontario, and offer occasional railway and transit tours and trips, ranging from evening visits to longer weekend trips.

NORTH EAST REGION

Quebec and Maritime Provinces

Canadian Railway Museum The Canadian Railway Museum at Delson/Saint-Constant offers its public a unique opportunity to see and experience life in the railway world. In fact, visitors can see not only trains, streetcars and all their related infrastructures, but also use these various modes of transportation right on the Museum grounds. The garden train operates daily on the site while the observation streetcar, nicknamed the Golden Chariot, runs when the weather permits. And every Sunday, a passenger train takes visitors for a short trip up to Montée des Bouleaux.
 The Carillon and Grenville Railway  The Carillon and Grenville Railway operated for 56 years between its namesake towns on the Quebec side of the Ottawa River. It was a portage railway with no outside railway connections so its owners had no need to modernize. When it ceased operation in 1910 it was a living museum with most of the original 1854 equipment still running on the original “U” rails. The rails were still 5’6” (1,676 mm) apart as the original builders intended, making the railway Canada’s “Last Broad Gauge.”
Hull-Chelsea Steam Train Hop aboard one of Canada’s last remaining authentic steam-powered trains and climb the Gatineau hills as did the pioneers at the turn of the last century. Built in 1907, the country’s oldest excursion locomotive carries thousands of visitors, railfans, nature lovers and adventurers to the picturesque tourist village of Wakefield.

New Brunswick

New Brunswick Railway Museum The New Brunswick Railway Museum (NBRM) is located in Hillsborough, NB, and houses an extensive collection of railway artefacts. Come visit our museum to take a trip to the past, when trains were the primary transportation in New Brunswick.
New Brunswick Railways An excellent site with historical and current information as well as maps and pictures.

Nova Scotia

Middleton – Memory Lane Railway Musuem

The Memory Lane Railway Museum is filled with pictures, signs and models from the bygone days of railroading in the Annapolis Valley. The Dominion Atlantic Railway station and freight shed of 1917 is found at 61 School Street off Route 1.

Musquodoboit Harbour Museum

Enjoy the story of Nova Scotia railways at the Musquodoboit Harbour Museum on Route 7. Examine the posters, tickets, maps and photographs in the Canadian Northern Railway station of 1918. Don’t miss the rare ex-CN GE 44-tonner and the unique mail crane. A DAR combine from Nova Scotia’s last mixed passenger and freight train is another highlight. A Visitor Information Centre occupies the waiting room and you will find an ice cream stand beside the quiet picnic grove.

Nova Scotia Museum of Industry – Stellarton

The Museum of Industry collection consists of over 30,000 artifacts that reflect the past, present and future of industry in Nova Scotia. These artifacts represent both traditional industries such as coal mining and steel making, as well as new research and service-based industries. On exhibit are tools and machines, such as saw mills and Canada’s oldest steam locomotive, the Samson. There are also products of Nova Scotia manufacturers such as the MacKay Car, Acadia gas engines, Stanfield’s thermal underwear, and a beautiful collection of Nova Scotia pressed glass.

Nova Scotia Railway Heritage Society

The Nova Scotia Railway Heritage Society (NSRHS) encourages the preservation and interpretation of buildings, artifacts and information related to the development and history of railways in Nova Scotia. If you have information or resources that you would like to provide please contact the Society. The Society needs your support to continue this important work. Donations will be welcomed by the Society and by the individual sites to help sustain our preservation and interpretation activities.

Orangedale Railway Museum

Built in 1886 by the Intercolonial Railway of Canada, later operated by Canadian National and Via Rail (Canadian Passenger Service) until the passenger service was discontinued in 1990, the station was closed and slated for possible demolition until a group of concerned citizens stepped in, calling themselves the Orangedale Station Association they began a long battle to restore the station to its former splendor.

Sydney and Louisbourg Railway Museum

Experience the coal-hauling times of the Sydney & Louisburg Railway and its marine connections. Words, pictures and artifacts tell the story in and around the 1895 station and engine house. An extensive model of the town’s coal-to-ship transfer now occupies the freight shed. A large quilt display and vintage passenger and freight cars are seen here including Nova Scotia’s oldest passenger coach, built in 1881. The Louisburg Station on Route 22 is also home to an important Visitor Information Center.

Train Station Inn – Tatamagouche

The century old Train Station was restored in the 1980s with furnishings reflecting its railway past. The station itself and its spacious cabooses offer a unique Bed & Breakfast experience. The cabooses started arriving in 1994 and date from 1911 to 1978. Each of the cabooses has been renovated into deluxe accommodations reflecting the age of the railway car. Queen size beds, fireplaces, air-conditioning, tv, railway memorabilia and private baths are just some of the amenities in the cabooses.

Prince Edward Island

Elmira Railway Museum Since Elmira Station re-opened in 1975, the museum has expanded and undergone extensive renovations to offer its visitors more than just a historical experience. Those who visit the station, not only leave with a sense of how railroading helped shape the heritage of the little colony, but also experience the beauty of Prince Edward Island.

Newfoundland

Railway Coastal Museum The Railway Coastal Museum is located in the Newfoundland Railway Station, the single most significant reminder of the glory days of the Newfoundland Railway. This very distinctive building was designed here, and built of Newfoundland granite. Completely restored to its original style, the old Station now houses over 100 exhibits and displays.