All aboard! It’s almost time for Railway Days 2009


By David F. Rooney

It is just about time for that perennial Revelstoke event — Railway Days.

This nine-day event celebrates the railway and its role in the creation of our community as both an industry and economic driver and as a fomenter of social progress.

“Chinese Legacies was intended to be mounted for two years (as the official theme for Railways Days),” said David Johnson, president of the Revelstoke Heritage Railway Society. “We hope to, next year, send it on the road. In fact, we have the executive director of Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum in Montreal, coming to see it in September. That’s a possible location for it next year.”

The Chinese Legacies Exhibitions are at the Railway Museum and the Revelstoke Museum & Archives and were organized and sponsored by those institutions. They chronicle the history of Chinese-Canadians’ contributions to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway and to the growth of railway towns like Revelstoke. These exhibitions are highly polished and, if you haven’t yet seen them, well worth a visit to the two museums.

There are a lot of familiar events going on, such as chances to ride the speeders at the Wye to an illustrated talk by author and historian Graeme Pole entitled Gravity, Steam and Steele: the Railway History of Rogers Pass, in the Doug Weir Theatre at the Railway Museum next Saturday and Sunday at 7:30 pm and 2 p.m., respectively.

There are also some amazing vintage films about railways at the Nickelodeon Museum on Saturday and Tuesday evening starting at 7:30 p.m. The Nickelodeon is also hosting a Grand Magic Lantern Show on Aug. 21 and Aug. 22 at 7:30 pm. If you haven’t seen one of these exquisitely interesting Victorian-era entertainments before, you must get out and see them this week. They are truly fascinating.

The traditional CPR Employee Appreciation Day will be held on Tuesday at the Railway Museum starting at 9 a.m.

One of the most popular events is the annual Beer & Wings afternoon at the Revelstoke Museum & Archives. That’s on Friday, Aug. 21 from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m.

And there’s much, much more on the schedule of events, which you can find at, including many children’s activities, including a Kids’ Day at the Railway Museum. There will be lots of great activities for children and a lunch is included in the registration fee.