#IngeniumBigMove: Canada’s rail history takes to the tracks

Canada Science and Technology Museum
Jul 25, 2019
7:00 am - 9:00 am
photo of the CP 1201
7:00 am - 9:00 am

This event is sold out.

Canoes and cameras and trains, oh my!

High tech, low tech, big and small....this is not your average move!

Join us this summer for a rare opportunity to see three icons of Canadian rail history take to the tracks. The steam locomotive CP 1201 and Governor General’s rail cars will move to the new, state-of-the-art, Ingenium Centre — located right next to the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

Over the next two years, Ingenium will be moving 85,000 artifacts of different shapes and sizes. This includes eight locomotives and nine rail cars, currently housed in a leased storage warehouse. The Locomotive Hall in the Ingenium Centre will be a more suitable home for these artifacts, thanks in part to a Rail Restoration Bay and a specially-designed pit for getting under the vehicles to work on them.

How do you move artifacts that weigh hundreds of metric tons? They won’t fit in a rented cube van or even on a flatbed truck! Railway tracks have been laid from end to end. The Bytown Rail Society — a volunteer-run organization which restores and operates steam rail equipment — will conduct the move with their diesel engine.

Don't miss this event! A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see the CP 1201 and the Governor General's rail cars in action!

The first 100 visitors will receive a family pass for free admission to one of Ingenium's three museums. Tulips and Maple will be selling yummy breakfast treats & beverages on site (cash only). Please note that seating is not provided for this event. You are welcome to bring your own chairs.

A fun and memorable moment for all the family!

If you plan to visit the museum after the event, please note that parking fees apply after 9 a.m.

About the CP 1201 and the Governor General’s rail cars

Canadian Pacific (CP) 1201 is one of the largest artifacts in Ingenium’s collection, weighing 185 metric tons. It was built in 1944 by workers in the CP Angus Shops in Montreal. Because of its unique status as the last steam locomotive made in the CP shops, it was saved from the cutting torch when the railways converted from steam to diesel-electric. The museum acquired the CP 1201 in 1967 as a Canadian-built example of a very successful, late-era steam locomotive design. In 1985, operated by staff and volunteers, it steamed across Canada to celebrate the one-hundredth anniversary of the driving of the last spike of the Canadian Pacific Railway at Craigellachie, BC. The crew then moved the locomotive to the coast where, the following year, it was part of a major steam technology demonstration event that coincided with Expo 86. This year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the building of CP 1201.

Built in 1927 to transport the viceregal representatives on their travels, the Governor General’s rail cars were also used for the royal visits of King George VI and Queen Elizabeth (1939), Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip (1951), Princess Margaret (1958), and Queen Elizabeth (1959). Acquired by the Canada Science and Technology Museum in 1967, these rail cars are fine examples of the well-equipped private passenger cars built and used by many high-ranking business and government officials to travel across the continent, back in the days before air transport was viable. For the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977, the museum arranged for the cars — pulled by the CP 1201 — to take Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip on a trip from Ottawa, Ontario to Wakefield, Quebec.

View in 360°

Image Gallery