Located on the north side of downtown Squamish, West Coast Railway Heritage Park is a mecca for rail buffs. The site is a rail yard like none other, a collection of 90+ pieces of rolling stock collected from across the continent and covering nearly a century of rail. The oldest piece in the collection is the business car “British Columbia” built in 1890 with many other turn of the century pieces including the CP sleeper car from 1905 and the renowned “Royal Hudson” engine #2860 from 1938. The rail collection encompasses all the railways that served British Columbia; Canadian Pacific, Canadian National, Pacific Great Eastern, BC Electric and Great Northern.
The Heritage Park also includes a scale model railway, heritage Station & gift shop, ‘road side’ snack bar, children’s area, and mini-railway around the site. The newest addition to the site is the CN Roundhouse & Conference Centre, a 21,000 sq ft space housing some of the collections premier pieces as well as a CN Museum of rail memorabilia, the space is available for rental and special events.
The West Coast Railway is also caretakers of the Engine 374 Pavilion, located in Vancouver adjacent to Roundhouse Community Centre. Housing a unique piece of Canadian history, Engine 374 was the engine pulling the first transcontinental passenger train into Vancouver on May 23, 1887.
If the rail stock wasn’t enough fun, the family can take in one of the Rail Tours offered throughout the year, like the upcoming “Day Out With Thomas”. On June 1, 2, 8 & 9 the whole family can be a part of “The Go Go Thomas Tour”. The trip includes a 25 minute train ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and the opportunity to Meet Sir Topham Hatt the Controller, storytelling, imagination station, model trains, a railway Post Office (to mail a letter to Thomas), live music, clowns, arts & crafts, Thomas Gift Shop, food vendors and much more. Tickets are required for Day Out With Thomas buy online for $24.15.