Over the long weekend, Mike and I were really inspired to take a day trip (or a half-day trip). After browsing through Edmonton Regional Tourism Group’s Edmonton’s Countryside website, we decided on heading to the Alberta Railway Museum!
I hadn’t even heard of the Alberta Railway Museum before this weekend. The outdoor museum is located north east of the city and is an outdoor display of railway equipment, buildings and trains. We picked a great weekend to go because it was opening weekend! The Alberta Railway Museum is open weekends starting the May long weekend and guests can ride on Steam Engine 1392 on long weekends throughout the summer.
Since it was the May long weekend, Steam Engine 1392 was taking passengers! All board! :) The conductor gave everyone a run-down of the train and the museum. The ‘tickets’ we got are how the original tickets for the Northern Alberta Railway line looked. We learned that this year 2013, actually marks Steam Engine 1392′s 100th birthday! The train last ran as part of the NAR in 1956 and was then donated to the Edmonton Expo and sat at K-Days/Northlands before being donated to the Alberta Railway Museum in 1970.
What was also really neat is that the son of the first captain who worked in Steam Engine 1392 was actually running the train rides at the museum that day too! Fun fact. :) Admission to the museum is only $5 for adults (train rides are $4). So it’s a very affordable outing. The train ride itself was fairly short and not too exciting – the train just went back and forth on the same track for about 20 minutes while conductor Steven talked ARM/NAR history. But the history was fun to learn and the conductor was funny and very friendly! After the train ride you basically take yourself on self-guided tours of the stationary trains/cars and museum grounds.
Fun facts about the Alberta Railway Musuem:
- It has more than 75 cars and locomotives
- You can ride on vintage trains, speeders, and see examples of railway maintenance equipment
- It has archives of railway history
- It’s the third largest railway museum in Canada, largest in Alberta
- It’s home to the most extensive collection of telegraphy equipment in Canada
- They’re looking for volunteers!
Below are some photos from our morning at the Alberta Railway Museum!
The Alberta Railway Museum is also home to the most extensive collection of telegraph equipment in Canada. There’s a looot of old equipment. It was a big blast from the past… I can’t imagine living in a time when there was no Internet! smartphones… laptops… Twitter!
Overall we had a great time at the Alberta Railway Museum. A lot of the other visitors there when we went were families with young kids so it’s definitely a very family-friendly outing. I just love exploring local and exploring Alberta’s local attractions is high on my list of to-dos. If you’ve never been to the Alberta Railway Museum, you should check it out! It’s a quick drive to get there thanks to the Anthony Henday, it costs almost nothing and it’s nice that it’s self-guided and you can go at your own pace. There are a LOT of mosquitos but the museum is nice enough to provide bug sprays to guests. ;)
Pro tip: Go during a long weekend so you can ride the historic train!
Look for more Edmonton area/ explore Alberta-esque blog posts from me this summer!
Have you been to the Alberta Railway Museum? What did you think? ;)