Museum Site & Facilities Description



Canadian Museum of Rail Travel - Exterior Buildings and Trains
Freight shed to right - Main buildings at center - Train Display Area to left
Total length buildings and displays 400 m (1,300 ft)
View to southwest along Highway 3/95 downtown Cranbrook.
Google Maps can show a moving image of the entire site.

Brief Description

The new museum complex of buildings is made up of two main parts, (1) the new facilities, which includes the new brick building and the historic wooden Freight shed and (2) the trains display area.

The new facilities for visitor services, display, and various programs. The Grand Opening took place in September of 2004.

  • Historic Railway Freight Shed (built 1898) 5,000 sq.ft on each of two levels

  • The Main Entrance Hall (3 storeys high and 2,000 sq.ft) with a 2-storey-high carved oak
    fireplace as the display of first impression and links the Freight Shed to the rest of the building complex.

  • The Office area (two levels of 1700 sq ft total)

  • The Royal Alexandra Hall (2800 sq ft and 21/2 storeys high) made entirely of oak, is the former ‘grand café’ of the luxurious 1906 Royal Alexandra Hotel of Winnipeg, Manitoba, the pride of the Canadian Pacific Railway until it was demolished in 1971. It was resurrected/restored at the Museum between 1999 and 2004.

  • The Reception Hall (1250 sq.ft and 2 1/2 storeys high) and The Palm Court (600 sq.ft) are both located alongside the Royal Alexandra Hall.

  • Back Addition (constructed 2004-05) 2600 sq. ft on two levels with historic archives on 2 upper levels and access corridor to the rail excursion track at the back of the Museum, and a large 2000 sq/ft gift shop/museum store.

The Trains Display Area

  • Railcar collection relocated in September of 2002.

  • 3 tracks (800 to 1000 feet long each) displaying the best of Canadian Passenger trains of various eras from 1887 to 1955.

  • The 650-foot long and complete 7-car set of the 1929 Trans-Canada Limited is strategically placed along the street side of the museum as a major visual impact for the trains display. This train set received National Historic designation in June 2011.

  • A 600 foot long raised "Viewing Corridor” is built between tracks 1 & 2 for ease of pedestrian access for tours in all types of weather.

The History of and Development of the Museum

An extended view of the museum facilities, with the Freight shed to the right, and the historic trains to the far left, beyond the brick buildings.