Canada’s rail history takes to the tracks for a rare special event


#IngeniumBigMove is going full steam ahead!

OTTAWA, July 11, 2019 — This is not your average move! Ingenium’s iconic steam locomotive, the CP 1201, and Governor General’s rail cars are making a rare appearance on the way to their new home in the new state-of-the-art Ingenium centre.

Ingenium is thrilled to invite members of the media to this unique opportunity to witness three icons of Canadian rail history taking to the tracks for the first time in over 30 years.

How do you move precious national artifacts weighing hundreds of metric tons - through a parking lot?! Railway tracks have been laid from the current storage location into the specially-designed Locomotive Hall of the new Ingenium centre. The Bytown Railway Society will conduct the move with their diesel engine.

WHAT                   #IngeniumBigMove – Locomotive Move

WHEN                  Thursday, July 25th, 2019 | 7:30 a.m.

WHERE                 Canada Science and Technology Museum | 1867 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON


Quick Facts

  • The 1201 locomotive is one of the largest objects in the collection, weighing 185 metric tons!
  • The Royal Connection: The Governor General Rail Cars were used to transport Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip in 1977, among others!
  • Over the next two years, Ingenium will be moving 85,000 artifacts of different shapes and sizes, including eight locomotives and nine rail cars.
  • The Locomotive Hall in the new Ingenium centre will features a Rail Restoration Bay and a specially-designed pit for getting under the vehicles to work on them.

For further details

Media guides and hi-res images are available here.


Christine Clouthier
Ingenium – Canada’s Museums of Science and Innovation

Social Media
@IngeniumCa | #IngeniumBigMove

About the CP 1201
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.

About the Governor General’s rail cars
Built in 1927 to transport the vice-regal 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.

About Ingenium
Ingenium celebrates the innovative spirit of Canadians by telling the stories of those who dared to think differently. Inspired by the power of ingenuity, Ingenium encompasses three national institutions: the Canada Agriculture and Food Museum, the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, and the Canada Science and Technology Museum. These three museums are places where the past meets the future, with spaces where visitors can learn and explore, play and discover. Ingenium continues to evolve — a new Ingenium centre is currently under construction, designed to protect priceless Canadian heritage artifacts for the benefit of many generations to come. Beyond the physical walls of its museums, Ingenium’s engaging digital content, outreach programs and travelling exhibitions serve to educate, entertain, and engage audiences across Canada and around the world.