August 2011


On July 15th, Cor van Steenis drove out to Mossleigh, AB, (MP 14-15 on the abandoned CPR Lomond Spur),and photographed this historic railway equipment.Mossleigh is a hamlet about 65 km SE of Calgary and has a population of 47. There are still three (now privately owned) grain elevators along the old line; the elevators were built in 1930 when the CPR line from Arrowwood to Eltham went into operation (it was abandoned in 1999).  As well there is Aspen Crossing (, a garden centre and 85 stall campground with some interesting railway equipment, some recently aquired (such as a GE 45 Ton Switcher), some recently restored and some about to be restored. The oldest piece is an 1887 Pullman SP Official Car (and later a CNR Business Car) that is now a dining car, acquired in 2006 (it was a part of the Sidetrack Cafe in Edmonton until then). Images are attached. If anyone has any provenance information about the 'shorty' caboose that will be undergoing restoration, we would be pleased to hear from you.


Apparently Aspen Crossing has acquired a number of CPR heritage cars that have been removed from CPR's Ogden Yard in Calgary this past winter. These cars are not yet on site but are currently stored on the Aldersyde Subdivision.





The big summer of special events at Exporail

The Canadian Railway Museum continues!

This July, the 175th. Anniversary of Canada’s first railway which ran between Laprairie and St. Johns, Lower Canada was celebrated in style at Exporail. The four day event was kicked off with a celebration held at 11 AM on Thursday, July 21, the actual date that the C&SL’s first train operated.

Numerous very special guests were in attendance including politicians, railway officials, benefactors, members and friends. Via Rail Canada had a newly rebuilt locomotive and sleeping car on display for the event, Canadian Pacific Railway had 9733, a very impressive machine also on display!

 In August, Exporail will be open every day August 1 to August 31, 10.00 to 18.00 (6 PM) and will be in full operation.

August 1 to 31: From Everywhere to you at the Hays Station – This new permanent exhibition illustrates the role of rail yards and the management of rail movements. Learn what goes on behind the scenes in railway operation.

August 1 to 31: Railway Witnesses, Memory of a Nation – This new temporary exhibition highlights the important role played by railway companies in Canada’s history for the past 175 years. It is generously illustrated with artefacts from the CRHA Archives.

 August 20: Model Train Weekend – Our most popular annual event is back, come see many model train layouts in various gauges mounted by Quebec and Ontario model railway clubs and individuals for your enjoyment. This is truly a great family event, don’t miss it! 

August 21: AMT Museum Express – From AMT’s Lucien L’Allier station in Montreal (west side of Windsor station) enjoy a true railroad experience, take the train from Montreal to Exporail where you can enjoy the model trains in action. Call AMT for reservations at 514-287-7866 (week days) information

 Drawing for a VIA Rail Canada trip to Vancouver – While at Exporail, buy a ticket at the gift shop, at a cost of $10 each, for a chance to win a first class trip for 2 persons from Montreal to Vancouver, courtesy of VIA Rail Canada, proceeds go to help support Exporail!

To celebrate the 175 anniversary of railway operations in Canada Exporail had VIA F40PH-3 6409 fresh from her CADRAIL rebuild, VIA “Jarvis Manor”  and CP AC4400CW 9733 that was painted in fresh paint by the Montreal St-Luc Diesel Shop.   This was the third unit damaged in a crossing accident with an Oil Tanker in Alberta with  two SD40-2F’s.  The unit was repaired in Winnipeg and repainted in Montreal.   Mike Berry photographed the engine at the museum in St-Constant, QC July 24th.




In conjunction with the Guelph Historical Railway Association, Saturday August 13th, 2011 will be the final running of the Guelph Junction Express tour train. The train will go out in style: operating a rare-mileage trip over all of the Guelph Junction Railway's trackage. Photo run-bys, an Ontario Southland Railway shop and equipment tour and historical displays will also be included. For more information, see the GHRA flyer:

 The Guelph Historical Railway Association is also progressing on the restoration of their wood-sheathed former Canadian Pacific Railway caboose 436994 (or "van" as per common Canadian railway terminology). Attached are photos showing the progress replacing the wood siding, one of the many restoration tasks GHRA members and volunteers are doing to their caboose.   (via Steve Host with thanks)


 If you are a member of a Museum, Tourist Railway, or Historical Group and have news and photos you would like to post in our CANADIAN RAILWAY HISTORY column, you may contact the Editor.  The information must be approved and authorized to post, and be pertinent and of interest to our readers. All posts must follow our CRO Submission Guidelines, located on our home page.

© CRO Aug 2011