If you are into railways, then there is one place in Prince George, BC that you should definitely visit: the Prince George Railway Museum. There is a lot of rail history around Prince George and this museum helps keep that history alive. The museum is located beside Cottonwood Park and contains many different types of old train cars, engines, vehicles, and various historical buildings moved to the 8 acre site.
It is lovingly run and taken care of by a group of dedicated volunteers. The volunteers are so dedicated at the museum, that there is even someone who shovels a path in the winter outside, so you can access the many major sights even when there is snow on the ground. I explored it on my own this fall, and here is some of what I saw:
The Endeavor was was built in the 1920’s as a passenger car. It was also once used as part of the 1976 US Centential Celebrations. It was then used on the BC’s Royal Hudson Train that ran from Vancouver to Whistler. When it was retired, it was bought by the Railway Museum to display at their site.
The locomotive below is one of the few BC Railway’s Electric engines that was used to move coal on the Tumbler Ridge line for almost 15 years, until it was retired in 2000.
There is an old train station on the museum site that is from Penny, BC , which was a busy lumber town east of Prince George in the 1950s and 1960s. The railway was the only way that you could get to the many small lumber towns east of the city in those days, as there was no highway heading east until 1970. This station was originally built in Lindup BC, in 1914, and was eventually moved up to Penny in 1947.
This photo below is from inside the Nechako car which was built in 1913 for the Grand Truck Pacific Railway. In 1984 it was converted into an Entertainment Executive car. Many important people have been hosted on this car including Prince Charles and Princess Diana!
This is only a taste of the museum; there are so many things to see, that you could spend hours exploring the site and the museum is always on the lookout for more items to add to its collection. It’s definitely a must see for any railway enthusiast!
Culture & History in Prince George, BC