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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 Calgary.

"(Visitors) are quite impressed and they figure we are doing a good job."

According to Wilson, the museum started off small 17 years ago and bit-by-bit pieces have been added to a collection, which continues to grow.

"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 Village home
(Innisfail Province May 2010)
       News article: 'Sleeper' village grand opening set
(Red Deer Advocate May 2010)

Calgary and Edmonton Railway (CPR)
Alberta Central Railway (CPR) - Red Deer to Rocky Mountain House
Canadian Pacific Railway Stations in Central Alberta

Current Rail Heritage Preservation in Central Alberta


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