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Heritage Railcar Preservation Project


Business No: 125105825RR0001

Heritage Railcar Preservation Project

The Project

Since the formation of the Cranbrook Archives, Museum and Landmark Foundation in 1976, constructing a space to protect the unique and historically valuable collection of heritage railcars has been our most crucial goal. With the realization of Phase 1 of the Heritage Railcar Preservation Building in 2019, the Cranbrook History Centre Board of Directors is preparing to undertake Phase 2 of the 3 phased project. By helping us to make this development a reality, you are investing in the lasting legacy of our country’s heritage and the essential role placed by railways in Canada.

Community Benefit

The museum occupies a highly visible site on Highway #3, near the center of the City of Cranbrook. It is already recognized as a top destination for visitors, offers an expanding range of programs and displays for visitors and locals to explore our regional history, and is an active presence in the community. Once complete, the Project will also support the local community, stimulate partnerships, and regenerate tourism in the Kootenay. The 30,000 square ft timber frame structure will ultimately cover the entirety of the Cranbrook History Centre’s Railcar Collection. Completion of this highly visible “shovel ready” project will employ skilled local workers and use locally sourced materials. The Cranbrook History Centre will become a landmark site to congregate, create, and strengthen links between diverse communities in the region.

Significance of the Collection

The museum exhibits a collection of nationally significant railway passenger cars, some of which have been designated as Canadian Cultural Property. The significance of the complete 7-car Trans-Canada Limited, built in 1929, was recognized by the National Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada and given the designation of National Historic Event. The collection is unique in Canada and provides an opportunity for visitors to experience the history of Canadian rail travel. 9 of the 19 historic railcars are now protected, but the remaining cars are exposed to the elements and temporality covered with tarps. Time is running out to preserve this irreplaceable legacy of Canada’s railway heritage.