Experience life on the rails with the Cranbrook History Centre’s Historic Railcar Tours.
The Cranbrook History Centre was built on traditional Ktunaxa territory, and our historic tours tell the stories of Canadian trains. We acknowledge that the history of the railroad in Canada is a history of Indigenous displacement and taken land. The railcars in our collection help us tell many Canadian stories, from the federal government’s prominent guests who travelled in the luxurious Strathcona car, to the black porters who suffered labour injustices while working on Trans-Canada Limited. We believe that rail history can open conversations on Canada’s social, economic, environmental, labour, and immigration history. It can also start conversations about settler-colonial history. These conversations are an important part of our tours as we try to understand the significance of rail travel in Canadian history.
At the museum, we offer three distinct historic railcar tours run daily from Tuesday to Saturday. Every tour day, our Historical Interpreters are ready to walk you through over a century of Canadian rail history.
Can’t find what you’re looking for in our train tour schedule?
Please see our Specialty Tours, included at the bottom of this page, where we offer different options for those looking for more extensive or specialized train visits.
Comparative Tour 1927-1970
Duration: 45 minutes
Experience the diversity of rail travel in the 20th century. On this tour, you will visit a variety of cars from the CPR’s invite-only executive British Columbia car to the small caboose where the freight train crew spent their days. With your guide, compare what rail life was like from the 1920s until the 1970s.
Trans-Canada Limited 1929
Duration: 45 minutes
The Trans-Canada Limited 1929 train carried first-class passengers from Montreal to Vancouver daily through its summer season. Explore our 7 restored cars to experience the life of passengers and train workers on the fastest and most luxurious way to cross the continent in the interwar period.
Duration: 20 minutes
Visit our impressive set of wooden Soo-Spokane railcars. On this tour, you’ll travel over a century into Cranbrook’s past by touring the train cars that stopped daily at the Cranbrook train station from 1907 to 1914 on their way to their final destinations.
Please be sure to arrive at least 15-20 minutes before the tour is scheduled to begin. All tours will start promptly at their scheduled time.
Admission for Train Tours
All Tour prices include Museum Admission
|Senior (65 +)||$16.00||$9.50||$16.00|
|18 & Under/Student||$16.00||$9.50||$16.00|
|5 & Under||FREE||FREE||FREE|
Important Information About the Tours
Our train tours are not wheelchair accessible and are designed for visitors over the age of 6. Some of the railcars also have stairs and narrow hallways. Therefore, we offer adapted tours to accommodate the needs of different visitors.
The trains are only accessible as a part of the guided tours offered by the Cranbrook History Centre. We do this as a measure to continue the preservation of the historic railcars.
If you have any questions, if you wish to pre-book a tour, or you have a large group please contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org or 250-489-3918
At the Cranbrook History Centre, we recognize that our visitors have different levels of interest and needs on tour. We have developed three specialty tours that can be pre-booked before your arrival at the museum. To ensure that you can take part in one of these tours, please book in advance by calling (250-489-3918) or emailing (email@example.com) before your arrival at the museum. Read below to learn more about these tours.
The Grand Tour
Duration: 1 hr 50 minutes
Can’t choose just one tour? Pre-book your private Grand Tour. The tour lets you experience all three railcar tours and gives our most complete picture of rail travel history in Canada, all while connecting the importance of the railway to the founding of the city of Cranbrook.
Recommended for ages 13+
Duration: 20 minutes
If you’re visiting with train-loving toddlers, we offer a nice and short Toddler Tour that shares some train highlights with them. Toddler Tours depart daily at 10:15am and 4:15pm. For visitors arriving outside of those hours, Toddler Tours will be offered based on the availability of our historical interpreters.
The Platform Tour
Duration: 30 minutes
If you require wheelchair access or have other mobility concerns, please enquire at the front desk about our Platform Tour. Platform Tours cover much of the same history as our Comparative and Soo-Spokane tours. They give visitors a look into the trains through the windows that look onto our covered platform.
Family Self-Guided Tour of Historic Cranbrook
Do you like to tour at your own pace? Pick up your own self-guided walking tour pamphlet from the museum, or download it below, and lead yourself through Cranbrook’s different historic districts. You can check out the local houses, businesses and churches built over a century ago, all while enjoying Cranbrook’s enviable sunny weather!