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Revelstoke Railway Museum 30th Anniversary Commemoration

June 16 @ 4:00 pm - 5:00 pm


The Revelstoke Heritage Railway Society (RHRS) is pleased to celebrate the Revelstoke Railway Museum’s 30th anniversary at a special event in Revelstoke on June 16, 2023.

The Revelstoke Heritage Railway Society was formed in 1988 with the dream of highlighting Revelstoke’s railway history in a new railway museum, featuring the story of railroading in the mountains of British Columbia. A group of local business leaders, retired CPR employees, historians and civic-minded Revelstokians worked hard to make the dream a reality. Funded by the Government of Canada, the Province of British Columbia, and local private and corporate donors, construction of the Revelstoke Railway Museum began in 1992 and it opened on June 16 of that year.

The Museum’s unique architecture recalls Revelstoke’s historic CPR Shops and a stylized water tower. The building was constructed by local tradesmen using beams from the local Kozek Sawmill, the largest beams ever produced by that mill.

Perhaps the Museum’s most popular feature is CPR steam locomotive No. 5468, on long-term loan from ExpoRail in Montreal. The locomotive worked in Revelstoke for many years and has become a local icon. Canadian Pacific Railway (now CPKC Railway) hauled No. 5468 in a special train from Montreal to Revelstoke, with a team of Museum volunteers ensuring the locomotive’s security and maintenance throughout the journey.

Since opening, the Museum has delighted over 500,000 visitors from Revelstoke and around the world. Widely considered one of Canada’s best small railway museums, it has received several awards, hosted numerous special events, temporary and permanent exhibits, and has amassed a collection of over 20,000 artifacts. It is governed by a local Board of Trustees and operated by a small team of dedicated employees and volunteers, the latter collectively donating well over 1,000 hours per year.

“Building the Revelstoke Railway Museum was a bold act of vision, risk taking and love for community” says RHRS President George Hopkins. “I hope the founders would be proud of the Museum’s work in both preserving a vital part of Revelstoke’s history and culture, and in serving its local communities.”

“Revelstoke is the perfect place for a railway museum. It is less than an hour away from the Last Spike site at Craigellachie, the iconic Rogers Pass, and the history-rich town of Arrowhead to the South,” says Jim Cullen, RHRS Executive Director. “Its status as a ’division point‘ — a major regional railway hub — and being home to the largest workshops between Winnipeg and Vancouver until 1911, meant that Revelstoke was a place of advanced technology and craftsmanship. And its status as an important railway town still resonates today.”

Long before Revelstoke was a railway town, it was important territory of the Secwepemc, Sinixt, Syilx and Ktunaxa nations. The museum is working to build connections with these nations, whose relationships with the land continue to this day, in order to better represent their involvement in the transcontinental railway in British Columbia and its impacts on them.

The Museum is celebrating its 30th Anniversary with a special public event at 4 p.m. on June 16, additional activities as part of its annual Railway Day celebration on September 24, producing a special short video documenting the museum’s history, and launching a special $250,000 fundraising campaign for the restoration of its nationally-significant SD40 diesel locomotive No. 5500.

Built in 1966, No. 5500 was Canada’s first 3,000-horsepower diesel-electric locomotive. This highly significant artifact ushered in a whole new era of high-horsepower diesel locomotive technology and its type became widely-recognized across Canada. A private donor has committed to fund the entire design and construction of a roof structure over the locomotive, enabling the Museum to launch the largest fundraising campaign since its founding to cosmetically restore No. 5500 for the enjoyment of future generations.

“We are fortunate to have such generosity in our community” says George Hopkins. “Many people do not think of diesel locomotives as historic, but the reality is that No. 5500 is already over 50 years old. The locomotives that run past our Museum daily can be viewed as the descendants of this pioneer locomotive. However, time and the elements have not been kind to No. 5500 and the Museum’s 30th Anniversary is a wonderful opportunity to ensure this pioneer locomotive’s long-term preservation.”

The Museum is seeking donations for No. 5500’s restoration project. Donations can be made directly at the Museum or through the Canada Helps webpage, which issues instant tax receipts: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/revelstoke-heritage-railway-society/campaign/5500-restoration-fund/

Jim Cullen
Executive Director
Revelstoke Heritage Railway Society
Tel: 250-837-6060


June 16
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Revelstoke Railway Museum
(250) 837-6060
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Revelstoke Railway Museum
719 Track St W
Revelstoke, British Columbia V0E 2S0 Canada
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(250) 837-6060
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