Cranbrook History Centre

Cranbrook History Centre: Hours, Address, Cranbrook History Centre Reviews: 4.5/5

Cranbrook History Centre
4.5
Speciality Museums
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10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Tuesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Wednesday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Thursday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Friday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Saturday
10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
The Cranbrook History Centre is a landmark site located in Cranbrook BC. We preserve and display internationally recognized paleontology specimens, a nationally designated railcar collection, and serve as a repository for the history of Cranbrook and the East Kootenay region for all to explore and discover. Located in beautiful downtown Cranbrook, the History Centre offers something for visitors of all ages. The Centre is also home to the Trans-Canada Limited, a luxury train that ran in the 1920s, as well as many other restored Canadian trains.
Suggested duration
1-2 hours
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Detailed Reviews: Reviews order informed by descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as cleanliness, atmosphere, general tips and location information.
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4.5
161 reviews
Excellent
87
Very good
50
Average
16
Poor
4
Terrible
4

Sarah K
Edmonton, Canada1,012 contributions
Couples
The museum was a bit old, but the train tour was wonderful! Our tour guide Logan was great, taught us a lot about the TransCanada line. The amount of work that went into restoring each car is remarkable. Highly recommend stopping in!
Written September 30, 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Hi Sarah, We're glad to hear your enjoyed the Trans-Canada tour, and appreciate all the work we've done to restore the cars. Thank you for the review!
Written October 1, 2020
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

apintherockies
Cranbrook, Canada8 contributions
Friends
This museum was a real surprise for us when we moved from Ottawa to Cranbrook I thought the name "Canadian Museum" of Rail Travel was a little presumptuous for a small (but beautiful) town in the Rockies but it was as good or better than the rail museums we had visited in Ottawa and Ontario. The renovation of the train sets is just amazing. Half the rail car in its original state and half the way the rail cars were found. There is quality and quantity at this museum that sits along side the CPR line in Cranbrook.
Written December 2, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Darcy Spady
Calgary, Canada1,094 contributions
Great museum with a real railroad focus. History is nicely laid out, and there is even a model railway in the basement!! Great for an afternoon.
Written October 17, 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.
Thank you for your kind words! We are so glad that you enjoyed our our railroad collection and exhibits.
Written October 30, 2021
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TandT94
Vancouver, B.C.21 contributions
Avoid this tedious experience at all costs. Visitors are required to take audio tours of the rail cars on display, accompanied by a guide, and are not permitted to wander freely on their own. The patronizing orientation video is geared to the level of a rowdy school field trip and, among other things, warns visitors not to talk above a whisper during the tours. The audio tours themsleves are mind-numbing and repetitive recitations of the decorating history of each car, which hold nothing of interest for non-afficianados, let alone for children. Mine are usually very attentive at museums and they were thoroughly bored from the outset. It takes a special kind of rail-buff myopia to ruin the experience of visiting these beautiful trains, but the organizers of this museum have succeeded.
Written August 27, 2010
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

SKH2013
Calgary, Canada4 contributions
Friends
My friends and I visited this museum last fall/winter, 2013. The guide for the 1pm or 1:30pm time lot did not show up, the receptionist tried calling around to find a replacement ... to no avail. We left disappointed as we drove from Calgary to Cranbrook. I called again today to make arrangements for May 24th, 2014, more than one week out. I was told again that no one would be there to guide us as the summer students would not be in place yet. After a discussion with the current Executive Manager, he decided that the best way to deal with me was to 'hang up'. This, in my opinion, was completely unprofessional. Do yourself a favour and don't waste your time, chances are you won't get in because either no guide will be there or you will have the door slammed in your face.
Written May 15, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Kobayaski C
Calgary, Canada1 contribution
Friends
I would love to tell you that this is a great museum to visit but from all account this "museum" appears to be only a gift shop. Their railway exhibits never seems to be open regardless of what their web-site states. If you call ahead to the museum to confirm the tours are open - they are not, but surprise the gift shop is! After a year of trying to tour the museum's rail exhibit without success, I have resigned myself to the fact this will never happen. This is one of the most poorly run tourist attraction I have been to.
Written May 17, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

munchkinmommy
Sparwood, Canada54 contributions
We were initially very excited to go to this museum, especially since our son is a big "choo-choo" buff. We registered for a one hour tour and unfortunately never made it on the tour. During the "pre-tour" video we were informed there would be no touching, sitting, talking or conversation above a whisper during the tour. And childrens hands would have to be held at ALL times- something that wouldn't happen we knew with our hands-on dude. Also, we were told we would not be permitted to ask detailed questions about the exhibits as the guides would not know the answers basically. This museum is great for anybody interested in interior design of trains but not great if you want to explore it at your own pace .
Only guided tours are available and you cannot access or view the exhibits on your own. A grand tour of all their trains is about 2 hrs long but you can pick and choose which sections you would like to see.
Written August 15, 2011
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

G G
Scotland, UK220 contributions
Family
First of all the layout of the museum/tour was not how we imagined it would be. When we arrived at reception we were told there were different tours to choose from, either do them all for approx 2 hours, or pick and choose, shorter individual tours. We chose tour 1, approx 35 mins. I can't imagine going round this for 2 hours, unless you're really interested in trains/history. Our group was small and yet we felt rushed, each carriage you stop in an audio guide is played, which was very informative. However I had more questions about things and my guide couldn't answer them? :( The restoration on the carriages is amazing, a lot of work has been done and millions of dollars spent. However we felt the tour was very restricting. For instance, it would be impossible for a disabled person to go through and even very challenging for senior citizens. We expected the carriages to be on display inside a big hangar or warehouse, but instead they're actually on the track. We've been to museums all around the world and never seen this format before.
The history of the railway and how Canada was built by pioneers from Britain is getting a bit tiring now, every museum, or national site I visit in this country has a background story that involves someone Scottish. All the stories, blend into one now. The whole story behind the railway was nothing new, it was really the restoration process and just imagining the people actually traveling the train. The smell in these carriages must've been something else, with gentlemen smoking, fumes, ladies perfume etc.
A great piece of history, but could've been done better - and definitely not for kids, there wasn't even a baby changing table in the washrooms!
Written June 16, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

RoapTripper3081
USA420 contributions
Family
Pros: Model railroad setup looked like it would be neat on. The restored railway car panels in the gift shop were interesting.

Cons: Located in a dilapidated building are several unfinished, perpetually under construction exhibits. One of the exhibits said it would be finished in 2010, but still remains under construction. The model railway's sign said it was to be open in 1990. Felt like I wasn't supposed to be in the museum since it was unfinished.
Written August 18, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Scott W
Saskatoon3 contributions
As a rail fan I had expectations of this being an entertaining and interesting experience. The subject is interesting but the delivery method leaves a lot to be desired. The guided tour is led by uninterested people who just play a prerecorded message in each railcar. The repeated pleas for money are just too much. Something at this museum has to change because this way of doing things is not working as is evident by no patrons on a beautiful July tourist laden Cranbrook afternoon.
Written July 5, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Cranbrook History Centre

Cranbrook History Centre is open:
  • Tue - Sat 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM