Railway Day promises fun for the whole family

Old trains seem to strike the imagination of just about every child; pulling the cable and announcing a train's departure

Bill Wilson

Old trains seem to strike the imagination of just about every child; pulling the cable and announcing a train’s departure is probably on their bucket list of things to do in life.

They just might be able to fulfill that dream at Alberta Central Railway Museum Aug. 19. The museum will host its annual Railway Day with a range of activities and rides for the entire family, explained operations manager Bill Wilson. “We try to keep it family-oriented.”

The museum celebrated its 20th anniversary in June, and Wilson expects to see at least 400 people attend.

“We just enjoy seeing the families come and have a great day.”

It starts with pancake breakfast at 10 a.m. and all you can ride train rides at 11:30 a.m. Expect a spike pounding demonstration as well as speeder rides (track maintenance cars) and hot dogs, ice cream and pop on sale as well. Two trains will operate on the one-mile track to give children a chance to enjoy older train engines.

“We have two trains: one is a conventional one, and the other is a Dayliner…we have two full crews because we’re running two trains,” he explained.

The Dayliners used to run between Edmonton and Calgary and would travel at 90 mph to stay on schedule. The conventional train has old sleepers in the rooms of the passenger car and shows how what the seating was like a few decades ago.

Tickets for the day are $8 and children under two are free and activities should end by 4 p.m. Take Secondary Highway 611 east from Hobbema and then north on Secondary Highway 822, follow the signs to the Alberta Central Railway Museum.

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