About the West Coast Railway Association
The West Coast Railway Association (WCRA) is a non-profit society incorporated in 1961 with the mandate to restore, preserve and maintain Canada’s railway heritage.
The Association has over 1,500 active members and many volunteers who are the heart of the organization.
The Association manages the West Coast Railway Heritage Park in Squamish, a 12-acre site replicating a turn-of –the-century railway town including multiple historic buildings, train station, mini-rail, and the CN Roundhouse & Conference Centre. There is a significant collection of railway artifacts and the second largest collection of vintage locomotives in Canada at over 90 pieces. The Heritage Park represents the vital role railways played in the development of B.C. with Canada, and how railways perform today.
The Heritage Park and Conference Centre offer year-round educational opportunities to schools and is a popular venue for parties, weddings and conferences and events such as Thomas the Tank Engine and Polar Express. It is also home to the historic Royal Hudson steam train.
The Association has also leased the former B.C. Rail shops complex from B.C.R. Properties and is the base to maintain the WCRA’s operating fleet, and home to railway educational training and contract maintenance work.
The Association has won many awards over the years, including
- Two preservation awards in 1990 for its restoration of the 1890 built Canadian Pacific business car British Columbia.
- A Volunteer Achievement Award in 1994 from the Heritage Society of B.C. recognizing its volunteer workers who put in 10,000 hours to successfully open the Heritage Park that year.
- An Outstanding Achievement Award in 2001, from the Heritage Society of B.C. for the preservation of CPR locomotive 4069 and open observation car 598.
- A Locomotive Preservation Award In 2007, from the Tourist Railway Association for the return to steam of Royal Hudson #2860.
The Association also operates the 374 Pavilion in Yaletown in Vancouver where the historic CPR locomotive 374 train resides and is open daily to the public. No. 374, hauled the first passenger train, carrying 150 passengers, to go beyond Port Moody over the 12 mile extension to Vancouver on May 23rd, 1887, thus finally joining Canada from East to West
For more information about the 374 Pavilion click here.