Formerly called the West Coast Railway Heritage Park, the Railway Museum of British Columbia features trains and railway artifacts in Squamish.
The museum is home to a steam locomotive and special events like the Polar Express in November and December. Thomas the Train also visits the attractions in May and/or June each year too.
This article contains the following information about the Railway Museum:
Railway Museum of BC in Squamish
Formerly called the West Coast Railway Heritage Park, the Railway Museum of British Columbia includes a real steam locomotive (the Royal Hudson), a three-kilometre miniature railway and a collection of cabooses (cars on a freight train housing crews’ quarters), train cars and locomotives. It’s where you’ll find the most heritage trains and railway artifacts in Western Canada.
The park is set up to resemble a railway yard from the middle of the last century and it’s a fun place for families and anyone who loves trains.
Museum Hours and Rates
In years before COVID, the West Coast Railway Heritage Park was open 363 days a year, which was every day except Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. It was open from 10:00 am until 4:00 pm in the off-season, and usually longer in the summer.
Since the pandemic began, however, the museum has been closed more often than not. During the summer of 2021 it was only open on Saturdays. It was open more during the Christmas season but then temporarily closed again. Since 2022 the museum has been open in just the summer months, beginning in May, and only on weekends, plus on select dates at other times of the year for special events.
In 2023 the Railway Museum of British Columbia opened for the summer on July 1st, which is Canada Day, and then every Saturday thereafter. The 2023 season ended on September 4th. Operating hours during this period were from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. In addition to the summer season, the attraction is open on a few select dates for special events (including when Thomas the Tank comes to town or during the venue’s Polar Express season before Christmas).
Admission typically costs about $25 plus taxes for adults, $20 for seniors, $18 for students (ages 12+), $10 for children (ages 6-11) and $75 for families (where members must reside at the same address). Toddler under 5 years of age are free admission.
There is also a mini railway that visitors can go on when the venue is open. Admission tickets usually include all rides and activities.
Railway Museum Location
The Railway Museum of British Columbia can be found at 39645 Government Road in Squamish, which actually isn’t so easy to find unless you have a good map or GPS. On the park’s website, in fact, the address wasn’t even listed at one point. Only the following was provided by way of directions:
“Go approximately 2 km past the McDonald’s stop until you come to Industrial Way. There is a traffic light at the intersection. Turn left and go to the stop sign at Queens Way. Turn right and follow the signs. After the BC Rail tracks, you will see our entrance sign on the right.”
Railway Museum Activities
At the museum there are real trains to go inside and a miniature train to ride. There is also a furnished historic home you can go inside, which is very interesting, and a couple of vintage vehicles to admire.
Railway Museum Events
The museum usually hosts a number of events each year including a Thomas the Train attraction in May and a Polar Express event in the lead up to Christmas.
The Polar Express at Christmas
Each year the museum hosts a Polar Express event. That’s when children and their families can take a magical 50-minute trip to the North Pole similar to what happens in the animated movie the Polar Express starring Tom Hanks.
The Polar Express event usually runs on the last weekend in November and first couple of weekends in December. It too is tremendously popular and usually sells out well in advance.
Click Polar Express for more information.
Thomas the Train Spring Event
Every year in May the museum hosts a special Thomas the Train event for children and their families.
The Day Out With Thomas Big Adventures Tour usually takes place on the last couple of weekends in May. On those days, at set times, visitors can take a 20-minute trip on the Thomas the Tank Engine and meet Sir Topham Hatt from the popular children’s book. The event sells out every year so you need to book your tickets early.
In 2023, the Thomas the Train event took place on May 27th and 28th as well as June 3rd and 4th. The spring dates for the event in 2024 are still to be confirmed.
Tips & Advice
Below are some tips to help you make the most of your experience at the attraction.
TIP #1: If hoping to take part in the Thomas the Train or Polar Express events, reserve your spot early. Tickets sell out months in advance.
TIP #2: Travel between October and March on the Sea to Sky Highway requires vehicles to have tires approved for winter driving.
For more information, check out the Railway Museum of British Columbia‘s website.
Other articles that might be of interest include the following:
- Vancouver’s Top 100 Attractions
- Best Places for Children
- Lower Mainland Festivals & Events
- Port Moody Station Museum
- Engine 374 at the Roundhouse
- Vancouver Model Train Expo