On Saturday, I took in the lightly-promoted annual Railway Days at the Winnipeg Railway Museum, located inside Union Station at the corner of Main and Broadway.
Railway Days was something I first heard about in one of my visits with Carli Ward at Grace Hospice. She was a train enthusiast and she showed me pictures that I still have from one of her visits and if I hadn’t heard about it from her, it’s likely I would never have heard about it. Shockingly, it’s an event that’s not even promoted on the Railway Museum’s own Web site. The lack of promotion is a shame, since there are a lot of priceless artifacts on display that give a good insight into the importance of the railway in Canada’s history. Even if you could care less about trains, I would recommend it as a worthwhile visit for the historical value.
It would be my third visit on Railway Days and fourth visit to the museum overall. While waiting for them to open, I took some shots around Union Station.
Upon walking up the stairs to the museum, you are first greeted by the railroad crossing sign:
To the left is some seating where you can watch some railroad movies:
There are a number of engines where you can climb aboard and look around:
There was also this car on display:
Unlike past years, there was not a VIA car available for touring, but there was a train waiting, so I got a shot of it:
There is a caboose that you can explore as well:
An old sign on display:
Inside one of the cars is a display featuring a number of old pictures as well as signal equipment used by the railway in years past:
These two shots are of the stations in Eriksdale and Ninette. I hope they have a plan to scan these photos digitally to preserve them for posterity.
There are even a couple of cars on display once used by the City of Winnipeg. This one is a car from City Hydro:
In addition to the railway cars on display, there are many other items of interest for the historian, including a display from the Transcona Historical Museum, maps of rail lines from the days of the early pioneers, and plenty of model railroads around.
Sadly, during my self-guided tour, I noticed only one other person in attendance younger than the age of 55. It is unfortunate that more people of all ages do not take advantage of this obscure, but valuable resource tucked away in a seldom-visited corner of the downtown area.