One of the most important aspects of Canada’s history and in particular the formation of B.C is the railway. The settlement in the West and formation and development of British Columbia would not have been possible without the railway. It is for this reason that the town of Squamish and B.C at large has a unique railway history and preserves the railway heritage.
The railway that passed through Squamish to Vancouver called; The Pacific Great eastern Railway was incorporated into in Vancouver in 1912. The railway was built between 1912 and 1921 and it operated between North Vancouver and Prince George. This opened up the areas making it develop very fast and by the end of 1921 the area was booming with business. It is safe to say that the railway opened up or gave rise to the larger B.C.
When visiting west coast railway museum there is plenty for you to enjoy and it is a perfectly suitable place for the whole family.
West Coast Railway Heritage Park
This park is situated in Squamish, about 70kms from North Vancouver. The park has been built to restore and preserve the railway history. The park contains and offers a complete experience of the railway systems and operations in the 20th century. All the types of wagons and trains used back then, when the railway was in its early years of operation have been recovered with some of them restored to working conditions for you to have a feel of how things were back then. Visitors can now see and experience how the railway worked during the yesteryears.
West Coast Railway Park is also set in one of the most beautiful sceneries in Canada (in the home of the world famous royal Hudson) and will most definitely please the whole family. Nonetheless, this museum offers more to see than just trains, during the visit you will also be able to experience the following:
A 12-acre park of fun and exhibits for all age groups
This park is set at Royal Hudson’s home and there is plenty of history that has been collected in this place. It suitable for the whole family as there are locomotives, freight cars, rides as well as other static displays. Most of the locomotives and cars are restored and available to walk-through.
The Royal Hudson Steam Train
This is the massive Royal Hudson 2860 steam locomotive. This steam engine train used to transport people from Vancouver to Squamish back in the 1980s and 1990s. It is a great piece of art and there is a lot to learn about how this steam train worked.
Mini rail ride around the park
The west coast mini rail line has once again been restored and the good news is that you can now enjoy a ride around the park with some new sites along the line. One particular site is the new “Garden Railway” which is a large model railway that is outdoor operated. The model is quite impressive and a good attraction for all to see.
Eagle Viewing Tower
If you love bird watching, then this would be the most interesting place for you. This is a strategically located tower which gives you an excellent view of the birds and most common and in particular the eagles. You can spend hours here just watching as these majestic birds fly high into the sky and descend down at frightening speeds spectacularly and with skill.
Rail cars and 80 locomotives
This park contains a collection of over eighty pieces of heritage railway pieces as well as other railway related artifacts. This collection is a true representation of all the types of railway that served British Columbia.
There is also a collection of relevant vintage automobiles used in the larger British Columbia. These are the classics that were used back then and they offer sense of class and great heritage.