Back­yard His­tory

Whether you’re in­side or out­side, there are places all over Canada where you can dis­cover more about the story of our rail­ways.

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take a trip

Many towns have a his­toric rail­way that takes visi­tors on short rides. The Ket­tle Val­ley Steam Rail­way near Sum­mer­land, B.C., (shown at left) takes you over the Trout Creek Tres­tle Bridge, once the third-largest of its kind in North Amer­ica. Peo­ple flock to Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., to ad­mire the fall colours on the fa­mous Agawa Canyon Train Tour. Near Win­nipeg, Man., you can hop on the Prairie Dog Cen­tral Rail­way, and in Que­bec’s East­ern Town­ships, the Or­ford Ex­press of­fers meals and beau­ti­ful views. Be care­ful when you’re rid­ing the Al­berta Prairie Rail­way near Stet­tler; there just might be a (fake) train rob­bery!

All over Canada, former rail­way lines have been turned into beau­ti­ful trails where you can walk or ride your bike.

Ask a par­ent or grand­par­ent if they know “The Cana­dian Rail­road Tril­ogy,” a fa­mous song by folk singer Gordon Light­foot. Give it a lis­ten!

The Spi­ral Tun­nels were built in 1909 so that trains could grad­u­ally climb or de­scend through the steep moun­tains in what is now Yoho Na­tional Park. If you hit the view­point at the right time, you’ll see trains loop in and out of the tun­nels.

Sta­tion Your­self

Dot­ted all over the coun­try are train sta­tions that have been turned into mu­se­ums. Here are just a few of them. You can check out the Orangedale Rail­way Sta­tion Mu­seum on Cape Bre­ton Is­land or P.E.I.’s Elmira Rail­way Mu­seum. The Port Moody Sta­tion Mu­seum and the Sta­tion Mu­seum in Castle­gar show off B.C.’s rail his­tory. The Rail­way Coastal Mu­seum in St. John’s, NL, (shown at right) is one of the grand­est you’ll see — it’s in an im­pres­sive stone build­ing that was once the River­head Train Sta­tion.

Rail­way Mu­se­ums

Climb onto lo­co­mo­tives and in­side all kinds of train cars when you visit th­ese spots. There’s the Saskatchewan Rail­way Mu­seum near Saska­toon, (shown at left), the New Brunswick Rail­way Mu­seum in Hills­bor­ough, N.B., and of course the Cana­dian Rail­way Mu­seum in Saint-Con­stant, Que. Dis­cover why St. Thomas, Ont., was once known as the rail­way cap­i­tal of Canada when you visit the North Amer­ica Rail­way Hall of Fame.

Ket­tle Val­ley Steam Rail­way

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