August 2001, St Constant, Canada
Built in 1970, the "John Molson" is a replica of a late 1840's locomotive. The original was built in 1849 by Kinmonds, Hutton, and Steel of Dundee, Scotland, and ran on the Champlain and St Lawrence Railroad. This live steam locomotive occasionally runs at the museum, back and forth along a track.
Canadian Railway Museum
Click on the thumbnail to see the full photo.
The Canadian Railway Museum, situated in the town of St Constant, south of Montréal, is the biggest collection of locomotives in Canada. Like other Canadian railway museums, the rolling stock is in varying states of repair, ranging from operational to barely holding together. On display are representative examples of steam locomotives, diesel locomotives, and streetcars. The collection even includes steam locomotives from France and Great Britain.
In addition, you can see a couple of model railroad layouts, and even a garden railroad.
Here’s a partial list of the things you can do at the museum:
- Visit steam and diesel locomotives, both outdoors and inside in one of the engine sheds.
- Visit a variety of streetcars in another engine shed.
- Ride the garden railway. If you’re lucky, you’ll get pulled by a live steam locomotive.
- Take a streetcar ride around the site.
- Take a train trip in the countryside around St Constant. (Weekends only, if there is sufficient staff.)
- Watch the steam locomotive “John Molson” run back and forth.
- Visit the souvenir shop.
There were a lot of improvements to the museum since our visit, and hopefully, we’ll have the chance to visit again. Most significantly, the new exhibition hall with 12 tracks is complete. The hall also contains a new souvenir shop, restaurant, and additional exhibition space.
The Museum was recently granted Official Museum status by Museums Canada, and in July 2008 was granted nearly $400,000 by the provincial government for capital improvements to its access areas and site.
For more information, including directions, visit the museums web site, Exporail.