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“Wonderful Railroad Time in Squamish, BC” 5 of 5 stars
Review of West Coast Railway Heritage Park

West Coast Railway Heritage Park
39645 Government Road, Squamish, British Columbia V8B 0G3, Canada
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Ranked #7 of 11 Attractions in Squamish
Type: Museums, Outdoors
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Attraction details
Owner description: The West Coast Railway Heritage Park is the perfect place for groups of all sizes and ages. Explore Western Canada's largest collection of heritage locomotives and railcars. Tour vintage railcars dating to 1890 in our climate controlled Roundhouse, take a ride on the Mini-Rail ( the kids will love it) and take a walk through over 20 heritage rail cars, buildings and exhibits.
Austin, Texas
Top Contributor
62 reviews 62 reviews
22 attraction reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
31 helpful votes 31 helpful votes
“Wonderful Railroad Time in Squamish, BC”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 10, 2012

My wife and I both love trains and we had a fabulous two hour visit to the West Coast Railway Heritage Park. We learned about this attraction in a AAA booklet and decided to visit whilst driving the Sea To Sky Highway on a leg of our journey that took us from Whistler to Seattle all in one long and fun day. This was a great stop along the way. We were warmly greeted by several people who volunteer or work at the park. The gift shop was open and I found so many nice, metal/cloisonné hat pins that I had trouble settling on one of them. As a special treat, the fascinating HO gage ( with a small amount of N gage ) model train layout was open and running in one of the pullman cars. A railroad inside a railroad car. The " conductor" held forth with a wealth of model railroading information. The snack shop was open with its small outside patio. Weather was great and we enjoyed having a coffee break in the railroad yard.
But, the main attraction of this railway museum is the huge collection of rolling stock, a significant amount being wide open for walk through and self tour along with steps and access-ways that take you from car to car in a sensible progression. Examples of dining car dinnerware, historic posters, railroad gear, uniforms, all sorts of memorabilia make this a very special place. If I lived there I would want to be a volunteer member and may even become a member at a distance. The folks who keep this place growing obviously love railroading.
I am posting a few photos. If you travel through Squamish, be sure to consider making a "whistle stop" if you have an interest in railroads and railroading history. Five stars!

Visited June 2012
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57 reviews from our community

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English first
Sooke, Canada
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Trains and more trains”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed June 22, 2012

This park is one of the largest train museums that I have been to. It has examples of every type of railway equipment that there is. You can wander around and touch the equipment. There is a 3 mile, 20 minute mini rail that you can ride for a small fee. Every year on the first two weekends in June Thomas the tank engine visits the park to give every one rides. Also Mini Thomas is there at the same time to give rides on the mini rail. Check their website for special events through out the year. If you are into history, railroads, and/or train modeler, then this is a must see place.

Visited June 2012
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Horam, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
10 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
“Trains sleeping : do not disturb”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed May 31, 2012

On a Victoria Day public holiday, when I visited, I had expected to find a hive of activity - engineers, fitters, other volunteers and hundreds of visitors. Quite the opposite in reality : the place is almost "dead". What a contrast between this sleepy museum and Britain's heritage railways and the National Railway Museum which I am familiar with!
Admission to the hard-to-find park (unless you came prepared with a directions leaflet or map) is through MacNorris Station built in year 2000 to plans for a Squamish station drawn up in 1915. A helpful lady supplied our admission tickets and a site map for a self-guiding tour.
There were no other staff to be seen except two volunteers on site, which is managed by the West Coast Railway Association. The collection of assorted railway vehicles seems to lack a coherent theme, although Squamish was served by the Pacific Great Eastern Railway according to the printed guide.
A really huge wooden shed, a former railway car shop, is of great architectural and historic interest, having been moved in one piece from its original site, 2km away.
In the modern 21,000 square foot CN roundhouse there is the Grand Hall which houses the Royal Hudson steam locomotive, now retired and awaiting major repair. This building doubles up as a conference centre which can house 1200 people theatre-style.
We walked through some of the railway carriages, mostly parked outdoors, and found some good restored examples. The mail car, which in Britain would be called a travelling post office (TPO), is a good vehicle to have in preservation, and it was well presented with authentic-looking mail still in the sorting area.
Back in the station building, we looked in the gift shop, which we thought was very poor except for a good quality guidebook and a few souvenir items such as the coffee mug.
An upcoming event was to be a "Day out with Thomas" but I wondered if anyone would be there, as our visit was so quiet. Thomas the tank engine had already arrived on a lorry parked outside.
The admission charge of $26.88 for we two seniors was gladly paid by us, considering that the Association needs the money to preserve historic railway relics, but in terms of value to the visitor it is quite poor.
Verdict: send a donation to the museum instead of travelling from far away.

Visited May 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 21 cities Reviews in 21 cities
42 helpful votes 42 helpful votes
“Rail fans & history buffs unite!”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 26, 2012

They have a good collection of rolling stock and locomotives that you can go through, and many static displays laid out inside converted rail cars. However, I found the actual history with the progression of PGE to BC Rail and associated locomotive color schemes was somewhat lacking. Also the gift shop was lacking any "real" souvenirs like maybe old spikes or something in favour of the typical gift shop trinkets. That being said, the do have a pretty neat simulator where you can pretend to be driving an RDC, and I think the whole park is worth visiting and the price of admission is fair. Allow yourself about 2 hours to take in everything.

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1 review
“Loved this attraction”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed April 25, 2012

The Heritage Park in Squamish is a great way to spend the afternoon. I loved learning about Canada's history. Every time I go back there is something new to see. Great for rail enthusiasts and families who are looking for a different way to spend the day.

Visited February 2012
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