For the first time in decades, Northern Alberta Railways steam locomotive No. 73 once again wears proper cab lettering and numerals. Board member Joel Mullan touched up the 2-8-0 in preparation for its starring role in the Night at the Railway Museum 2 photo event. No. 73's title was officially transferred to the Alberta Railway Museum this summer after many years of ownership by the Canadian Railway Historical Association.
Newly restored Northern Alberta Railways caboose No. 13025 and GMD-1 locomotive No. 302, "Chief Moostoos," pose in the yard tracks at the Alberta Railway Museum on September 10, 2017. Museum volunteers have just completed a stunning $10,000 restoration of the 1953-built caboose. Much credit goes to Lukas Tyzuk, Barry Collis, Ivan Hall, John Watton, Ken Knutson, Jamie Macquarie and summer staff Christina Bardocel, Claire O'Brien and Anne-Marie Mizzi. The project included a new roof, windows, exterior painting and graphics, interior painting and upholstery repairs and upgraded electrical wiring. The matched NAR set was a feature of this year's Night at the Museum 2 photo shoot.
Irene Lay of Edmonton was the lucky winner of the Via Rail travel certificate draw at the Alberta Railway Museum this year. Irene picked up her prize from Treasurer Kevin Franchuk during the Night at the Railway Museum photo event. Thanks to Via Rail for its generous support, and congratulations and happy travels to Irene! (Photo credit: Kaye Ly)
The Alberta Railway Museum's mini-rail train display was a hit with attendees of the annual CN Family Day event Saturday, August 26 at Edmonton's Walker yard. While no full-size museum equipment was exhibited this year, hundreds of CN employees, pensioners and their families had the opportunity to look over displays at the booth and learn about the museum from association President Stephen Yakimets and Treasurer Kevin Franchuk. The Alberta Railway Museum is proud to announce it has been added to the list of organizations supported through the CN Employees' and Pensioners' Community Fund.
115 years ago, the first train rolled across the Low Level Bridge into Edmonton. On Saturday September 2, Donald Ross, early Edmonton pioneer, who drove the first rivet into the Low Level Bridge and who was in the locomotive of that first train, will once again be in the engine as we reenact the historic event. Our 1913 steam engine will be pulling the train, so wear your finery from the turn of the twentieth century and the Klondike era. Tour the displays of Edmonton’s early railway history and discover the story of the Edmonton Yukon and Pacific railway. Bring a picnic and stay for the day.
Train rides Saturday, Sunday, and holiday Monday available behind our steam locomotive 1392. First trip of the day is at 11:00 am, and then on the hour, with last ride at 4:00 pm.
Look forward to seeing you at the Museum. The weather forecast is looking good and this is the ideal family activity before back to school.
Time is running out to save your spot for the Alberta Railway Museum's exciting Night at the Railway Museum 2 photo event, the evening of Friday, September 8!
Admission to this event is by advance ticket sales only and is closed to the general public -- last year's inaugural event was a sell-out and only a few spots now remain.
This is a great opportunity for photographers, rail and history enthusiasts to step back in time and experience vintage vehicles, rail equipment and models dressed in period clothing.
Please check out this link for more information and to purchase tickets.
In addition, the museum is seeking a volunteer videographer to help chronicle the Night at the Museum event. We're looking for someone with an interest in storytelling (and experience with iMovie or similar) to create a short five minute or so video story of the event. This would be an excellent opportunity for an aspiring filmmaker to build their portfolio, and assist the museum in building our brand profile. Please contact Kevin Franchuk at 780-490-4210 or leave your contact information on the contact section of our website if interested.
There will be a tree dedication on Saturday, August 12 to honour Herb Dixon, our Museum president for 25 years up until January this year.
Herb was critical in transforming the Alberta Railway Museum from train club to a functioning railway museum.
Come and celebrate his life and accomplishments at 2:00 pm with dessert and coffee to follow.
All are welcome
Coming up on the Heritage long weekend, the Steam Punks and Edmonton Shutterbug photographers will be visiting on Saturday August 5. We had a wonderful time hosting both groups last year, and the Victorian era clothing fit right in with the Museum’s collection. If you’re so inclined, put on your best steam punk attire and join the fun. Or wear your regular street clothes and observe as a Muggle.
On Monday August 7, the Museum will be having a handover ceremony at 1:30 PM where we take official ownership of Northern Alberta Railways (NAR) steam locomotive #73 from the Canadian Railroad Historical Association. The NAR veterans will be on hand, along with several special guests. This is a wonderful chance to chat with the NAR veterans about life on the railway and their experiences. The purchase price is a loonie, which we can well afford, even with GST. Please bring your loonies to help kick start the restoration of this key part of Alberta’s history.
We look forward to seeing you at the Museum!
Info on two upcoming activities -- our Military weekend July 15,16; and our Northern Alberta Railways day on August 7. Look forward to seeing you at the Museum.
Railway have long played a key logistics role in the movement of military personnel and equipment. To commemorate those ties, the Alberta Railway Museum will host one of the largest collections of Military and Civil Defence Items Edmonton has ever seen on July 15.
An Alberta affiliate of the Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) will display Jeeps and other equipment spanning six decades. In addition, the Canadian Civil Defence Museum Association (CCDMA) will feature a rare auditory reminder of the not-to-distant Cold War past — three tests of a rare Canadian-made CLM Air Raid Siren.
“This is an opportunity for the public to experience and photograph the trains that helped settle the West, alongside the military equipment that helped preserve our freedoms,” said Alberta Railway Museum president Stephen Yakimets.
“It’s especially fitting, not only as part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations, but because July is also the 100th anniversary of a key battle in our country’s history: The Third Battles of Ypres, or Passchendaele.”
The Alberta Railway Museum, located at 24215 34 Street in Edmonton, recreates a small railway terminal with a country station, shops and small rail yard. The equipment collection includes the last surviving steam locomotive of the Northern Alberta Railways (No. 73) and Canadian National’s first road freight diesel-electric (No. 9000).
The military vehicles to be displayed, weather permitting, are privately owned and restored by collectors, and were originally used by Canadian Military, Civil Defence and the Emergency Management organizations. They include:
Dave Dickie of the Canadian Civil Defence Museum Association said his group is excited to show off Cold War treasures: “Some of these were only recently discovered, most from locations so secret Canadians are only becoming aware of them 60 years after their creation!” he said.
Dickie noted the railway museum’s location, on a former spur line that once linked to the Namao armed forces base, is another connection to the military past.
“The isolated location of this section of railroad made it perfect for feeding nuclear weapons to the Strategic Air Command base nearby,” he said.
History buffs can also review maps of rail rights-of-way, long erased from the City of Edmonton, that were known as the “Cold War Railway.” The lines ran west along 106 Ave, to various locations along its way, providing people and material for Cold War preparations.
Dickie said his group will demonstrate how the railway was part of the Nuclear Detonation and Fall-Out Reporting System, providing locations for staff and radiation detection equipment in fall-out shelters throughout the rail system.
The air raid siren, too, will be tested at 1100hrs, 1300hrs and 1500hrs.
The Alberta Railway Museum is open 10-5 on weekends.
A regular column by a regular bunch of folks. Alberta Pioneer Railway Association members take turns at the throttle to drive this blog.
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