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Monday, 20 July 2015

A Day At the Alberta Railway Museum - Part 1

July 1st, 2015 we had a chance to visit the Alberta Railway Museum. First we went through the open air museum, then we got a special behind the scenes tour.  So on behalf of Chinook & Hobby West, the Gale family and of course, the Alberta Railway Museum - enjoy!

What's greeting you at the beginning?

CP  GP30 - 1 of only 2 that CP owned this one is just a husk and very cool to see one live and not just in photos


Once we got into the park No. 73 was waiting to greet us. It's a NAR 2-8-0 Consolidation: missing a drive gear, but impressive sitting at the front of a boom car and bay window caboose.


The next on our tour was the NAR (Northern Alberta Railway) 40' Flanger (Val's fav).  #16601 built in 1914 by National Steel Car Company in Hamilton, ON.


The NAR Cook Car #17062. Built in 1917 - this 40' wood sheathed cook car was originally built as a box car and was converted in 1944 to a kitchen car.


Then we were distracted by  CN #9000 - Canadian Nationals very first F-3 delivered in 1948. For Canada Day it sported Canadian flags. It was the first run of the season. Followed by coaches that were in service until  1975. They're light weight coaches used for daytime commuters, back East.

On this run the conductor was Hans Huzinga. It was fascinating listening to all the history of the park and the different trains that he was sharing with us all.

The engineer was Graham Wood. He worked for CN as an engineer before retiring and volunteering to help run the #9000 at the Alberta Railway Museum.

The tail end brakeman for the day was Joel Mullan. He was great with the kids, encouraging them to come and try the whistle that was at the back of the car.

The ride itself takes you back and forth along a shortline. Graham, the engineer, made sure we had a smooth ride with no jolts, hesitations or bumps. He said 'the Old Lady needs to be treated gently so everyone can have a fun ride'.

On our short trip we pass by an old set of trucks and some prime movers that were donated to the museum by Northern Alberta Railway and Western CNR.

Our conductor shared how this shortline connected to the main line that was once used for runs to Lac La Biche.

As Hans shares all his wealth of knowledge the whistle blows twice.  Then as the train comes to a stop and then smoothly shifts to traveling in reverse, the whistle then blows three times.  Hans lets us know that when the train travels forward on a main line it blasts its whistle twice.  If it travels in reverse, that's three blasts.

After the train ride ends, we pull into the St. Albert station that houses a fun gift shop and the telegraph office which leads into a mini museum of the history of the telegraph.  Both are a must see before you leave this great museum.

After a couple of hours taking our time through all the wonderful pieces - all with differing degrees of restoration; we were given a behind the scenes look in the car sheds and engine shops.

But that's for next week.........

Come back and check out our next post and feel free to comment on this one.  Share thoughts, memories or what you may want to see.

Val & Rob

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