Monday, March 8, 2010

Museum Train - Part 1

Museum Train, Prince Rupert, June 1959. What a treat. I learned at the Yard Office that a very special colorful train would soon be trundling into town “Journey into Yesterday” was the name of Canadian National Railway’s Museum Train.

The train had its inaugural run in 1953, and consisted of six cars and three vintage steam engines. She hosted thousands of people in Canada and the US. On this occasion, she was brought in to help celebrate British Columbia’s Centenary – 1858 to 1958.

More than just a static display of the history of Canadian railroading, there were a cadre of men and women, dressed in period clothing acting as docents for this magnificent one-of-a-kind walk-through museum.

There were six cars which housed the history exhibits, and cars for the docents, including dormitory support. Each car interior replicated, to the smallest detail:

- An 1875 Dining car
- An 1859 Day Coach
- An 1890 Sleeping Car

And exhibit cars, containing such memorabilia as an original Chicago and Grand Trunk Railway timetable from 1880, plans for expansion to Manitoba and the “Northwestern British Possessions,” and the bell that heralded the record breaking 67 hour run of the first rail diesel car from Montreal to Vancouver in 1925.

Included were three vintage steam engines. This train was the last and only one of it’s kind.

I wonder what became of it?

2 Comments - Click here:

Anonymous said...

Engine 40 and at least one of the passenger coaches are at the Canada Science and Technology Museum- the exhibits from the train have been dispersed.

GLX said...

Dining Car 1875, renumbered CNR 4006, is now at RMEO, Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario in Smiths Falls. Moved here in November 2019. Previously stored away indoors at Museum Of Science & Tech, Ottawa, since taken out of service. Repainted the original yellow exterior this past year, 2020. Interior of dining room just as pristine as it was in 1958.

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