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EDITOR’S DESK – The Train Museum


Editor-in-Chief and Sales Director René J. Roy is also an experienced book editor, photographer, member of the local PAB business chamber, and diehard Montreal Canadiens hockey fan. He likes to rant about most of these things on Twitter as @hfxhabby. You can email him at: rjroy@wreckhousepress.com.

I’ve never actually taken a tour of the Train Museum. However, last Thursday, my son Silas and I decided to check it out.

For $5 each, it turned out to be really cool. The young man who guided us through the museum, Ty, turned out to be a descendant of Lauchie McDougall’s. He walked us through, explaining all of the artifacts, beginning with the astrolabes and ending with the model of the Caribou. My son learned about everything from old lead shoes used on the diving suits, to the rail bed repair cart.

But the icing on the cake was actually getting on the train.

I’ve been here for years, and only ever managed to take a peek in one of the old cars, but on that day, we got to go in the caboose. Inside we were able to see how the Brakeman would hop from one side to the other, depending on the direction of the turn. We also might have gotten slightly buzzed from the smell of fuel oil that had been spilled some years back, but we recovered quickly.

We walked from one end of the passenger car to the other, another first for me. We saw the Spartan womens restroom, and the Grandiose mens room (complete with a waiting room couch). We saw how private the seating was, despite being very small.

In my sons words, “This is SO narrow!”

Drapes hanging between sections would have afforded more privacy, and every seat came with its own upper bunk, no more than five and a half feet in length. At 6 ft. 2 in., I would have not fit in one at all.

And then came the snowplow.

Very creepy according to my boy, mostly due to the spiderwebs and the bare decor. But it was also so very fun.

The whole tour actually took the better part of 45 minutes. For a sawbuck, that is an amazing value.

Despite living here for years, it was still great to learn a little bit more about the history of the area, and the information provided to us by Ty was very well presented.

I can’t recommend enough that you take in the tour. You might live here, you might not, but either way I’m sure you’ll learn something.

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