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Winnipeg rail museum faces closure, relocation

By | November 12, 2021

Attraction at Winnipeg Union Station to close Dec. 31

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Entry of Winnipeg Union Station
Entry of Winnipeg Union Station
The Winnipeg Railway Museum will have to vacate its home at Winnipeg Union Station. (Heritage Winnipeg)

WINNIPEG, Manitoba — The Winnipeg Railway Museum, which has displayed a collection including a landmark steam locomotive at the city’s Union Station for 30 years, is facing closure and relocation from its longtime home.

The CBC reports the museum has been told its location at the 110-year-old station requires significant work to be brought up to code, and even then, there’s no certainty the museum could stay put.

The museum operated by the Midwestern Railway Association and Winnipeg Model Railway Club displays 37,500 feet of rail artifacts along tracks 1 and 2 of the station, now owned by VIA Rail Canada. Among the rolling stock on display is the Countess of Dufferin, a Baldwin 4-4-0 built in 1872 that was the first steam locomotive in Canada’s prairie provinces.

Museum spokesman Gordon Leathers told the CBC that the group has been told it would have to do “some major, major renovations on it that, quite frankly, we can’t afford.” Even then, the City of Winnipeg has plans to convert the station into a transit hub that would include the use of tracks 1 and 2, which would require the museum’s relocation.

The museum is beginning the process of searching for a new home. In the meantime, it will remain open at Union Station through Dec. 31. “We’re still at the very start of this,” Leathers said, “so we do have to put out our feelers and see what we can do and what people can do to help.”

More information on the museum is available at its website.

7 thoughts on “Winnipeg rail museum faces closure, relocation

  1. Beautiful city. Been there once and I was blown away. I don’t recall the railroad museum so that must have come later.

    1. I agree Charles, Winnipeg is a beautiful city, as for the winters, I am a midwestern person at heart, so winters don’t bother me.

  2. This is sad news. The station is a perfect location for the museum. Visited there during a stopover on The Canadian in 2018.

  3. Terminal Station in Chattanooga, Tennessee would have been an excellent location for the Tennessee Valley Railroad Museum (TVRM) as Southern Railway was phasing out its few remaining revenue passenger trains. It is a missed opportunity now that the station has been severed from the rail network through the removal of the wye and conversion to a hotel.

  4. There’s the former Canadian Pacific station north of there when I was there it was partially used but seemed to have room to spare & it was adjacent to the CP rail line.

  5. Penelope. There was one decrepit track still going into the station at least in 2012. I ran the private car owners train to there then. I remember the NS manager on the train mentioning a lot of work had to be done to allow the train to be spotted in the station. Even that is gone now?

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