Right on track:
Alberta Central Train Museum
celebrates 17th anniversary
reprinted from Wetaskiwin Times (Vince Burke) June 10, 2009
The sound of a train engine being fired up excited the visitors as
they readied themselves for a trip back in time.
The Alberta Central Railway Museum attracted a steady stream of
people, young and old, to check out its exhibits of Central
Alberta's railway history and take a ride on an old passenger train.
It was all part of the museum's 17th anniversary celebration June 7.
"It has been 17 years since we opened in 1992, and every year we
have a bit of a party," said operations manager Bill Wilson of the
museum that is located south east of Wetaskiwin.
That party included a pancake breakfast, birthday cake and a tour of
the museum grounds via its own train.
"Most of the people come for the train ride. We have a model track
and we run a passenger train," he said. Wilson, himself was dressed
in full conductor's garb, as he served up a pancake breakfast,
before getting the train ready for its first set of passengers.
The one-mile track runs around the 10-acre parcel of land that hosts
old and relic buildings like grain elevators that once stood
alongside many rail stops across the prairies.
Wilson said the museum allows visitors to experience a trip back in
time, seeing what the railway offered Central Alberta.
"We have the exhibitions here and there is a scale model of the
Wetaskiwin (rail) yards in the 1930s and then we have a display of
the telegraph and on our Railway Day (in August) we have the
telegraph working," he explained.
"That's when the passenger trains were still running. Right up until
1985 we had the passenger trains running right up to Edmonton and
"(Visitors) are quite impressed and they figure we are doing a good
According to Wilson, the museum started off small 17 years ago and
bit-by-bit pieces have been added to a collection, which continues
"It took us a while to get the model track built. We were probably
10 years building the track and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR)
donated the rolling stock. So as it becomes available they bring it
into Wetaskiwin and we truck it out here," said Wilson, who added
the donations come exclusively from CPR, because of Wetaskiwin's
historical connection to the rail line. The city was a large and
central terminal at one time.
News article: Railway Days still chugging
along to success (Wetaskiwin Times Aug.2013)
News article: New exhibits call Historical
(Innisfail Province May 2010)
News article: 'Sleeper' village grand
(Red Deer Advocate May 2010)
Calgary and Edmonton Railway (CPR)
Alberta Central Railway (CPR)
- Red Deer to Rocky
Canadian Pacific Railway Stations in Central Alberta
Current Rail Heritage Preservation in Central Alberta