Every year, the Winnipeg Railway Museum hosts Railway Days, with admission by donation. I dropped by on Sunday, September 16 to see Railway Days 2018 and what was new with the museum. The big news is the new locomotive simulator, “CN 9633”.
This simulator (OSCAR-4) taught many engineers at the CN training centre in Gimli, Manitoba. It was at Exporail outside Montreal and was shipped via flatcar to Winnipeg this spring.
The simulator is now set up in a corner of the museum and is open for people to examine it. It is not operational at the moment and I am not sure that it will be. The technology is a little old…
The real CN 9633 became Rocky Mountaineer 8014, a locomotive I’ve seen a few times.
VIA Rail usually lends a car or two to the museum for Railway Days, and this year they parked the entire “Churchill” train at the museum. Technically, it’s the “Gillam” train since the line between Gillam and Churchill is still being repaired…
The train had two locomotives and a baggage car at the head end (not open for touring), then coaches VIA 8110 and 8122, diner “Princess” (VIA 8201), sleeper Chateau Argenson, and special guest “Evangeline Park” on the rear. The Churchill train usually runs without a Park car but it was added for Railway Days. This is not a Prestige Park car but it’s still quite nice.
The cars were open for touring and I took full advantage of the opportunity. I used my iPhone to take some video and I put it together as a tour of the train.
There were a couple of VIA staff around but in general the public was allowed to roam wherever they wanted.
It was nice to be able to tour the train.
One thing I was surprised by is how the track is laid directly on concrete with no ballast. I guess it is not needed inside the track shed.
The Winnipeg Model Railroad Club’s “Gateway Western” layout was operating and the public could view it from outside the layout. I was recognized and invited in by one of the members. There were several people working on the layout and ensuring everything was working well for the show. The layout has come a long way!
Unfortunately, BNSF didn’t bring their locomotive and caboose this year – I guess they needed it! (see 2012’s display)
Congratulations to the Winnipeg Railway Museum for another year of operation and another successful Railway Days! Visit the museum to learn more about Manitoba’s railway history.