As most CRO readers are aware, last year VIA FP9Au 6300 was donated by VIA to the British Columbia Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society. The locomotive was delivered to the Braid Street warehouse in September 2011 from the VIA Vancouver Maintenance Centre. The covered wagon had not operational at the time, and in fact had not run since it suffered a Main Generator Flashover on August 17th,  2005. Prior to that, it was used as the shop switcher at the VMC.  VIA personnel had replaced the Main Gen., but the repair was never completed and it sat outside in the elements until it was delivered to the NRHS last year.

  The unit started life in March 1957 as CN 6524 and worked till March 1978 when it changed hands to the newly formed VIA Rail. She was VIA 6524 till December 1983 when her number was changed to VIA 6300 after being remanufactured and upgraded both mechanically and electrically. A major collision on February 8th, 1986 near Hinton Alberta saw the front end of the 6300 destroyed. The cab of the unit was replaced with that from the Kansas City Southern 4062, an F7A. She re-entered service and was the last active FP9 on the VIA roster till September 2011 when it found its new home at the BC Chapter of the NRHS. A handful of dedicated and talented people set out to make this locomotive the pride of the fleet! The remaining work from the previous Main Generator replacement was completed, and the unit had a thorough mechanical/electrical maintenance undertaking done. Then, on September 30th 2011 she was grudgingly awoken from her Six Year sleep, and after an initial throat clearing purred like a kitten. All systems were a go after a good thorough running check! However, this was just a part of the process. Now that she is awake, it was time to get cleaned up and dressed. After toiling endlessly for months, the crew have taken off the old colors, repaired/replaced damaged car body sections as required and given here a brand new outfit to wear. Decked out in Light Cream and Royal Blue, and accented with the reflective Red Maple Leaf, she emerged from the house to step into the morning sunlight of July 6th 2012 for her first showing. Skytrain commuters above looking down were no doubt oblivious to the history making moment before them. She is now almost ready now for a new chapter in life fulfilling future endeavors of the NRHS in conjunction with VIA and others as opportunities arise. Her first anticipated public showing in conjunction with another premier event is slated for September 6th at the VIA Vancouver Maintenance Centre where she will be accompanied by a couple of the society’s classic coaches. More info on this event will be forthcoming soon. On a technical note, due to time constraints the sun was dead ahead and not at the best angle for good exposures on the side shots. Nonetheless, it looks pretty good if I do say so myself! The body work, paint job, and graphics done is outstanding. 

VIA 6300 is seen outside The NRHS BC Chapter, Warehouse at Mile 145.2, on the CN New Westminster Sub on July 6th, 2012








CPR Stainless Steel Display Vancouver - 1954

By Randy Zarowny

 In August 1954, the Canadian Pacific Railway placed a pair of their  new Budd-built stainless steel passenger cars on display in downtown Vancouver, BC.  The cars were “Algonquin Park” and “Chateau Bienville”.   They truly look like cars of the future in this view~ 

Today, the yard still exists and is vital to the railways Vancouver waterfront operations.  The area where the coaches are on display has been redeveloped with new platforms to handle commuter trains. Behind it, the transit authorities Skytrain tracks are located as is the systems boarding platform.  Also surviving are the station and adjacent building with the parking lot on top. The buildings behind remain but are now house offices or condos.  The tank car in the foreground with the warning was used to haul tallow, which the railway continues to do to this day from a nearby refractory.  

Sadly, the CP box car in front of the tank car with the wording "Spans the World" told of an international conglomerate that no longer exists.

When VIA was first formed, a choice was given….VIA could either have this location for its trains or the current location on Railway Street which was the old CN Station. At the Waterfront location, once could receive passengers by train, boat and bus….all history and most of it long forgotten.



Sponsored Railway Societies & Museums


Upcoming Events:

August 1 to 31: Exporail will be open daily 10:00 AM to 17:00 (5:00 PM).

August 1 to 31: View a water-color exhibition by artist Alice Macredie, she paints in memory of her father, who was a railway bridge engineer in western Canada. This exhibition combines history, art and engineering!

August 1 to 31: 'Little Railroaders' Car', an entire baggage car in the Angus Pavilion devoted to an interactive activity for junior railroaders. Children age 7 and under can have fun dressing up and playing engineer, conductor, chef or cashier and one of the many work stations. Exhibit created with the help of the ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition fémenine du Quebec and the Caisse des Berges de Roussillion.

AUGUST 11: Canadian National Railways Diesel Locomotives (Volume 1) book launch and signing! Join Ken Goslett and Kevin J. Holland authors of the new comprehensive first volume of Canadian National Railways Diesel Locomotives as we launch their book at Exporail on Saturday, August 11 at 11 AM. The ceremony will fittingly take place beside CNR 77, CNR`s first diesel switcher. Books will be on sale afterwards and the authors will be available for signing.


August 18 and 19: Exporail's now famous Model Train Weekend and Used Book Sale will take place Saturday and Sunday August 18 and 19. Bring the whole family to enjoy the model train layouts and exhibits that will be set up by clubs from as far away as Ottawa!

Canadian Rail Magazine: The July - August issue of Canadian Rail features an in depth look at the creation of Ottawa's Union Station one hundred years ago. The article is backed up with Stan's Photo gallery featuring over 30 black and white and colour images of Ottawa's trains through the years.

CRO Production Manager Michael Berry compiled the following photo report from his many visits to Exporail over the past two years:


GE 70 Tonner CN #30 built at GE's plant in Schenectady, NY smokes it up as it switches ONR MLW RS10 1400.  

CN 6765 is MLW built FPA-4 and has been restored to its original CN paint scheme

 VIA 6921 (BBD LRC-2) gets a ride on Exporail's turntable, which was donated by CP and came from St-Lin, Qc.


CP 4563 (MLW M630) was donated by CP in 1995, and was delivered in the Spring of 1996, one of several Big M’s retired in serviceable condition.  CP 4563 was repainted into CP Rail Action Red at the St-Luc Roundhouse by CP employees, and delivered to Exporail in fabulous shape and operating condition.  On September 15th 2007, it was sent as the fourth unit on a CP train to MacAdam, New Brunswick for a CP reunion of employees to celebrate the refurbishment of the MacAdam Station.   

STM streetcar 1959 passes CP 9733 (GE AC4400CW), which was on display on July 24th, 2011 for the 50th anniversary of Exporail


Sydney Collieries 2-4-0 #25 has a very rare wheel arrangement. It was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works and greets visitors to Exporail at the front of the parking lot.

 What Greg McDonnell once described as "a diamond-shaped holy grail," a Canadian Locomotive Company builders plate. In this case it is for CP 8905, the only surviving H24-66 Train Master in existence.

British A-4 steam locomotive “Dominion of Canada” is undergoing final preparation at Exporail, for transport to England in mid-August.  This unique Steam lined 4-6-2 from the Museum's collection will be on loan to the world's most prestigious railway museum, the National Railway Museum ( in York, England. The National Railway Museum's collection includes over 300 locomotives and rolling stock, 628 coins and medals, 4899 pieces of railway uniform and costume, railway equipment, documents, records, artwork and railway related photographs. Built in 1937 for the London and North Eastern Railway (LNER), the “Dominion of Canada” will be part of a program of celebratory events in 2013 commemorating the 75th anniversary of the world speed record by a steam locomotive.

Exporail is proud to be associated with this unique and historic series of events of international scope that will reunite six Class A4 steam locomotives, including Mallard, which set the famous speed record on July 3, 1938. The origin of the name Designed by Nigel Gresley (1876-1941), chief mechanical engineer, Locomotive 4489 was one of the first of a series of steam locomotives with a streamlined profile for high-speed travel that embodied the English ideals of modernism in the 1930s. Five Class A4 locomotives assigned in 1937 to the rapid-service line between London and Edinburgh (the Coronation) were named after British Empire countries. Originally called Woodcock, then renamed Dominion of Canada, Locomotive 4489 was easily recognizable by its Canadian coat of arms and whistle, gifts of the Canadian Pacific Railway. A bell added later (another gift from Canadian Pacific) further distinguished the Dominion of Canada from other British locomotives. During the nationalization of the British railway system following the Second World War, the Dominion of Canada's initial numbering of 4489 was changed to 60010.  “Dominion Of Canada” will be returning in LNER Blue and white with its original LNER number 4489.

The Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA) has been managing Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum, since it was founded in 1961. In 1966, Robert Nicholls, President of CRHA, learned that Dominion of Canada was to be retired. He contacted the Board of Directors of British Rail, who donated the locomotive to the Canadian people on the occasion of the 1967 Centennial celebrations.

The Dominion of Canada will be restored and repainted in workshops at Shildon, England, for the 2013 celebrations before being returned to Exporail in 2014. Visitors to Exporail will have a unique opportunity to witness the locomotive's movements for the last time before it leaves on its trans-Atlantic journey.  (Peter Cunningham photo with thanks)






Revelstoke Railway Museum 




The Revelstoke Railway Museum is pleased to partner with Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum, to present Railway Witnesses: The Memory of a Nation. This exhibit highlights the important role played by railway companies over 175 years of Canadian history. Initially, the railroads enabled people to travel twelve months out of the year. Later, the railway companies boldly initiated a chain of events that contributed to building the country as we know it today. Progress in rail technology not only affected the daily lives of people, but also transformed the country on the political and economic fronts. Come and discover the major breakthroughs made since the founding of the railroad in 1836. This exhibition presents more than 80 artefacts, lithography's and documents from its collection, including the 1881 CPR contract, the portrait of Alexander Ross McKenzie, engineer in charge of the Victoria Bridge and the Diary of a member of the Canadian Railway Troops of 1917.   This exhibit will be featured from June 17 to September 16, 2012.

 Revelstoke Railway Days:  August 16 – 19, 2012


Be sure to include Revelstoke, BC in your festival travel plans this summer as the Revelstoke Railway Museum presents its annual Railway Days festival from August 16 to 19.  Packed with railway related events and activities, this event has become a favourite of railfans and general tourists alike as it offers something of interest for everyone and celebrates the region’s rich railway history.

Railway Days will feature special exhibits, events, and activities surrounding the railway heritage that is deeply rooted in our small mountain town.  The Revelstoke Railway Museum, the Revelstoke Museum & Archives, Parks Canada, BC Interior Forestry Museum, the Enchanted Forest and Sky Trek Adventure Park, and the Nickelodeon Museum will be hosting a variety of events at various locations.

The Railway Museum will host its annual fundraising dinner with guest speaker, Robert Turner, and renowned author and curator emeritus of the Royal BC Museum, on August 17.  Guest musicians for the evening are Cats and the Fiddle

The weekend also includes a family day, a vintage car show, walking tours, speeder rides, storytelling, special music, a photo contest, model railroad demonstrations, and much, much more. 

Admission to all activities, except for the dinner, is free for all four days, courtesy of the Columbia Basin Trust and a wide range of sponsors supporting this significant event in our community.




Canadian Railroad Historical Association E&N Division


Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway Society


York-Durham Heritage Railway (YDHR)



The Guelph Junction Express is on the move to YDHR:  The cars consist of Cab Coach V101, coach V102, Cab Coach V106 and coaches V310, and V312, all of which started their live as B&M RDC 1’s 2’s and 3’s.   One of the cars is going to require a wheel change-out before departing Guelph Junction.  The cars will moved by a GO transit unit on a special train throughout.

West Coast Railway Association (WCRA)


Bridge Line Historical Society - Delaware and Hudson RR


 The Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society 


Former CP S-3 6593 (built by MLW in August 1957)  has been purchased by the Waterloo Central Railway.  She had been working at the National Research Council's Centre for Surface Transportation Technology labs in Ottawa, ON.  Ian McCord snapped her on train 589 arriving at CN's Walkley yard atop a QTTX flat car

Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario  (REMO)


The Canadian Pacific Railway will be donating their 100' turntable at Smiths Falls, Ontario, to the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario. RMEO is embarking on a fundraising drive, to allow removal of the turntable from its existing pit, and transport the bridge, pit rails, center bearing, and related small hardware across town to the museum grounds.

It will be restored and eventually installed in its new pit, as part of our planned display facilities:


This April, we finished our multi- year project to fill the low land on which these facilities will be built:


We are looking to raise $25,000 for the move, and all pledges and donations will be very helpful. RMEO is owned and operated by the Smiths Falls Railway Museum Corporation, a federally registered charity, CRA# 124262759RR0001. A receipt for tax purposes will be issued for all donations.

Toronto Railway Heritage Association


As many of you may know, Toronto Hydro has essentially reneged on its agreement with the museum at the John Street Roundhouse in downtown Toronto. It planned to build a new hydro vault under the machine shop which was to be dismantled then re-erected as it had been. Now Hydro also wants the whole machine shop too. There is vacant property nearby but Hydro isn’t interested in the property. If Hydro gets its way, the machine shop will not be re-erected at all and not only will the museum lose the only space available for displaying artefacts, creating educational programs & developing its archives, but all of us will lose an important part of the National Heritage building that is the John St roundhouse, including the Machine Shop. So I very strongly encourage all of you to sign this petition and pass it on to those who you think might be interested. Also, please don’t hesitate to write to the mayor and/or councillors. This is not a local issue, it is a national issue.Yours,Richard  The link below will take you to our Save The Toronto Railway Museum petition.  We are at a crucial juncture in our negotiations with the City of Toronto and Toronto Hydro. Public support is invaluable, and every voice counts. Take a moment and add yours. Get the complete story HERE.

Alberta Railway Museum – Edmonton, AB

Alberta Railway Museum – Stettler, AB

The Beiseker, Alberta Railway Museum – (Calgary, AB)

The museum located in Bieseker, Alberta have two MLW switchers:  Ex-CP RS-23 8017 (ex- Saskferco - Belle Plain, Saskatchewan), and Ex-CN S13u 8704 (donated by CANAC).

Cor van Steenis photographed the move of a 100 year CP old Bassano station on the move on July 18th and 19th in Alberta.

Canadian Museum of Rail and Travel

The Canadian Museum of Rail and Travel in Cranbrook, BC is restoring this CP FA2 4090 and FB2 4469. (See photo below).



The Palmerston Railway Heritage Association


The Palmerston Railway Museum has a new web site and during  August 10-12, Palmerston has a three-day celebration marks the 100th anniversary of the pedestrian bridge.!events/cno0



Museums Listing



West Coast Railway Association:

Roundhouse Museum Project:

Kamloops Railway Historical Society:

Revelstoke Railway Museum:



Alberta Railway Museum:

Galt Historic Railway Park

Rocky Mountain Railway Society:

The Alberta 2005 Centennial Railway Museum Society:



Winnipeg Railway Museum:



Waterloo Central Railway

York Durham Heritage Railway.

Canadian Museum of Science &Technology (Ottawa)

Chatham Railway Museum

Bytown Railway Society:

Elgin County Railway Museum:

Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society:

Toronto Railway Historical Association:

Halton County Railway Museum:

Huntsville and Lake of Bays Railway Society

Guelph Historical Railway Assoc (GRHA)

Northern Ontario Railway Museum:

Friends of 6218:





Montreal Railway Modeller’s Association:




The New Brunswick Railway Museum  Hillsborough, NB

The NBRM in Moncton, NB have on display ex-CNR 4-6-2 #5270, which  was the first of this type to be used in the Atlantic Region, and for many years it operated on the Saint John-Moncton line in passenger service.  Appropriately, the engine was donated almost 101 years after the opening of the line. On passenger runs it carried a crew of two: Engineer and fireman.  During the Second World War, engine 5270 was used in transporting goods and troops across the Atlantic Region. 



Nova Scotia Museum of Industry -  Stellarton, NS

Memory Lane Railway Museum - Middleton, NS

Train Station Inn - Tatamagouche, NS

Orangedale Railway Museum  - Orangedale, NS



Monticello Railway Museum



Lake Shore Railway Historical Society

Steamtown National Historic Site:

© CRO August 2012