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May 19th 2024

Every May Long Weekend, the CPR 374 is taken outside and steamed up to Celebrate the 374 pulling Canada’s first transcontinental passenger train to the New City of Vancouver.

Come join the festivities and yes, "Kids" of ALL ages and ALL sizes can have a turn blasting the original 1887 CPR 374 Steam Whistle.

Memories from The Beach

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From 1945 to 1983 the historic 374 was on public display at Kits Beach in Vancouver. For the next 38 years the CPR 374 continued to serve the community by creating moments and memories for children, families, and visitors to Vancover.

Do you have fond memories with the 374?

Would you like to share your story?

We are working on a documentary about the 374 throughout history and would love to hear your stories.

CPR 374 Makes Canadian history

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May 23, 1887 was a great day for Vancouver when CPR Engine 374 pulled the first transcontinental passenger train into the city. Crowds cheered, the city band played, ships in the harbour blew their horns, and hundreds of flags decorated the young city.

It was a great day not only for Vancouver, but for the whole nation. The event heralded the completion of one of the greatest engineering feats of the century, a twin line of steel linking the new nation of Canada from coast to coast, ten years in construction.

CPR 374

Throughout The Years

CPR 374 Arriing in Vancouver BC
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*1886, Built by C.P.R. as a 4-4-0 steam locomotive

*1887, May 23 pulls first passanger train into Vancouver.

*1914, Ungraded to a coal burning engine.

*1945, Retired and given to the city of Vancouver.

*1945 - 1983 On public display at Kits Beach.

*1983, Restoration at Granville Island begins.

*1985, ESSO launches Heritage Brick program.

*1986, 374 on display at the ESSO Pavilion at EXPO 86.

*1990, Lions Club & Friends raise funds for a new home.

*1992, May 23rd the 374 moves into its new home.

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CPR 374.jpg

History of Rail in Canada

Building Canada

1867 - Canada was founded with 4 provinces, Ontario (ON), Quebec (QC), Nova Scotia (NS), and New Brunswick (NB).

As a new country, Canada needed to expand and was adding to new territories as the country grew from east to west.

1870 - Manitoba and the Northwest Territories (N.W.T.) joined the confederation. The N.W.T. went from Manitoba to the Rocky Mountains.

1871 - British Columbia (BC) joined the confederation. BC agreed to join on the condition of Canada building a railroad through the Rocky Mountains to the west coast.

Now that a new transcontinental railroad had been promised, the challenge of construction begins. This includes, contracts, treaties, political blow back, funding, land acquisition, affect of the first nations, how far does the railway go, and where would the western terminus be? This is just the beginning.

Crews to build the railway.

East to west, primarily European

West to east, primarily Chinese




Food / water


Steel (Railway track)

Wood (Railway ties)



Deciding major towns / stations

Infrastructure for towns

Train maintenance

Available ticket management



As construction was planned and built, there were labour shortages, strikes, natural disasters, and a constant shortage of funds. All of that was in addition to the corruption, greed, land treaty's, laws and acts, and naming / renaming of cities.

oh, and of course trains.

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History is Alive

At the Railway Museum of BC. you can see, hear, touch and experience the actual trains and locomotives that are part of British Columbia’s railway history and heritage.

Enjoy unlimited rides on our Mini-Rail Train, Track Speeders and the big BC-21 Budd Rail Diesel car!

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Burnaby Railway Park

One Canada’s largest miniature railways, Burnaby Railway Park is a favourite destination for families, children, seniors, and visitors from around the world.


Where the delight of a young child or the big kids (Adults), taking a train ride for the first or tenth time, is met with a smile by a crew member to make it all happen.

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Vancouver Bike Tours

Join us for a morning, afternoon or private bike tour of Vancouver and hear about the city's history, its current green initiatives and the stories that only a local could provide.

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