Tuesday, September 13, 2011
I LOVE TRAINS! An Afternoon of Fun Riding the Burnaby Central Railway
I've always loved trains. When I was little living on the prairies the train ran through our town, Lloyminster Sask., and I loved watching it pass by from the field where we children played. We were always warned to run home though when the jigger cars came by as they were usually itinerant workers scouting jobs on the farms and heaven knows who they were or where they'd come from. I remember a day I was playing in the field across from our house with one came by and my friend called out "Run to beat the band!" I'd never heard that expression before and thought it sounded very exciting!
When my family moved to Stratford during the years Dad was overseas, we lived at my grandparent's home. Grandpa was a mechanical engineer and worked for the railway. I knew he worked at the CNR shops as a foreman but didn't realize til years later that he was actually a mechanical engineer and had some hand in developing the first diesel engine.
So trains have been in my blood. And that very long cross-Canada train trip from Stratford to Vancouver when I was twelve years old was the adventure of a lifetime. And on that trip the historical fiction writer in me was born.
I still like trains, though I seldom get to ride on them. But this weekend I spent an afternoon Confederation Park in Burnaby where there is a miniature train museum, the Burnaby Central Railway, and miniature trains of every type: diesel, steam, electric. The engines and some of the box-cars and cabooses are exact models of real trains and in between are seats for passengers. For $2.50 you get a 10 - 15 minute ride through the woods, over trestles and under tunnels. Great fun!
At the Rainbow Creek Station you'll find all amenities including a railroad museum with RR paraphernalia. There's picnic sites and a place for private parties. That day a group were celebrating some children's birthdays.
The tracks and trains are built and maintained by the BC Society of Model Engineers www.bcsme.org
The railway is located behind Confederation Park in North Burnaby at Hastings & Willingdon Ave, behind the park on the foreshore area. The railway operates weekends and holidays 11 am - 5 pm from May to October. It's not only for kids. Lots of adults were riding it the day I went there.
Contact 604-291-0922 or www.burnabyrailway.org