Visit the historic Michigan Central Railroad Locomotive Shops – home of the Elgin County Railway Museum. Discover why St. Thomas was known as the Railway City. Explore railway artifact displays, our rolling stock collection – including the CN 5700 steam engine, and the History in Motion Model Railway exhibit.
Haunted Museum Halloween Dance Party!
On Saturday, October 28th from 6-9 pm you are invited to join us for a night of family fun at the Elgin County Railway Museum.
This family event will feature a DJ with dance floor lighting, Haunted Hallway, Pumpkin Scavenger Hunt, Face Painting, & Spooky Crafts! Food and refreshments will be available for sale.
The first hour from 6-7pm will be Tot Time, then we will turn things up for the big kids party from 7 – 9pm.
Admission by donation. All children must be accompanied by an adult.
We’re excited to see you there!
Elgin County Railway Museum recently received a $20,000 donation from the Colchester Fund, an anonymous fund within the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation. Foundation Vice-Chair, Elaine McGregor-Morris (left) and Chair, Shawn Jackson (right) visited the Elgin County Railway Museum and made the presentation to Executive Director, Dawn Miskelly. The contribution will support the centre roof replacement project scheduled for this fall. The organization continues to actively fundraise for the project and donations can be made through the Railway Museum’s Managed Fund at the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, or through the Canada Helps button on this website.
Railway Museum to receive $327,125 from Canada Cultural Spaces Fund towards roof replacement
For Immediate Release April 10, 2017 – St. Thomas, Ontario: Visitors to the Elgin County Railway Museum The Elgin County Railway Museum received a $20,000 donation from the Colchester Fund, an anonymous fund within the Elgin-St. Thomas Community Foundation. Foundation Vice-Chair, Elaine McGregor-Morris (left) and Chair, Shawn Jackson (right) visited the Elgin County Railway Museum today and made the presentation to Executive Director, Dawn Miskelly. The contribution will support the centre roof replacement project scheduled for this fall. The organization continues to actively fundraise for the project and donations can be made through the Railway Museum’s Managed Fund at the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, or soon be able to experience more railway heritage. For more than twelve years, the organization has been unable to realize the full potential of its magnificent facility, because of the deteriorating condition of the century-old concrete paneled roof that is original to the building. The Museum, located in the former 1913 Michigan Central Locomotive shop currently has only 30% of its available floor space is accessible to the public for safety reasons. This limits visitors’ access to displays, and to the impressive collection of rolling stock railway equipment. Full replacement of the concrete roof with a modern metal system is needed. The organization has broken the project into sections, mirroring the stepped roof-line of the building, make the project and fundraising more manageable.
This fall, the Museum plans to replace the roof over the centre section of its heritage building, which will increase the publicly accessible floor space by 35%, to a total of 65% of the extensive 52,000 square foot facility. This will open up an additional 18,200 square feet of cultural space that the Museum can offer to the community for programming, while increasing space available for exhibitions. This project will improve conditions for the protection of the largest artifacts the Museum has been entrusted to preserve and display, and support an improved environment for volunteers to work on rail equipment maintenance, restoration, and exhibit construction.
“The public, and tourists the Museum attracts will benefit from an improved visitor experience, as their distance from our impressive rolling stock collection of coaches, cabooses and engines will be significantly reduced”, says Executive Director, Dawn Miskelly, “They will finally get the up-close experience so many of them have been asking for.”
The total budget for the project is anticipated to be $654,250. The Canada Cultural Spaces Fund will contribute $327,125 in matching funds to the project, and the Museum’s fundraising efforts and contributions towards the project are $147,250 to date. According to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Canadian Heritage, “Cultural spaces like the Elgin County Railway Museum bring people of all backgrounds together. By supporting the renovation of cultural infrastructure, we are creating jobs, strengthening communities, and putting arts and culture within reach of all Canadians.” The organization will actively continue fundraising the remaining $179,875 for the roof replacement through to its completion. Donations can be made through the Railway Museum’s Managed Fund at the Elgin St. Thomas Community Foundation, online at www.ecrm5700.org, or by calling or visiting the Railway Museum.
This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.
RAILWAY ORGANIZATIONS ANNOUNCE AMALGAMATION DISCUSSIONS
After over three decades of individual efforts to restore the city’s heritage railway assets, four organizations have agreed in principle to pursue an amalgamation of their operations.
Representatives of the four boards – Elgin County Railway Museum (1988), North American Railway Hall of Fame (1996), On Track St. Thomas (1994) and the Iron Horse Festival (1994) – have been meeting over the last several weeks to identify the benefits and to discuss the options available to them.
Jeremy Locke, President of the Elgin County Railway Museum, clearly sees the benefits. “For years, our four organizations have been busy planning, fundraising, managing their assets and building a relationship with the community. There’s been a lot of hard work but also a lot of duplication. Going forward, we’ll be stronger together.”
For Matt Janes, Chair of the North American Railway Hall of Fame, the focus should be on future growth. “These four groups have had terrific success helping to build the St. Thomas brand as the Railway City. When you look at the plans currently on the drawing board, such as restoring the MCR Shops, establishing Railway Park and building the Elevated Park, it’s pretty clear that the community will benefit greatly from increased cooperation.”
Dubbed “Railworks”, the amalgamation project will continue to seek legal, accounting and marketing advice over the coming months and will begin a process of community consultations, the aim being to identify an acceptable amalgamation model and to implement it in stages over the next two to three years.
All four groups agree that it will be critical to achieve the obvious benefits of consolidation without affecting current operations or creating confusion with community stakeholders.
- RAILWAY MUSEUM RELEASES CONCEPTUAL PLANS FOR “RAILWAY PARK”
- The Elgin County Railway Museum (ECRM) Board of Directors approved the conceptual Site Master Plan as presented by a+LiNK at their August 18th meeting. The ECRM Site Master Plan – “Railway Park” Design is an exciting long-term vision created around the community’s desire to have a multi-use central park for all ages, with the ability to provide event space, recreation activities, and extend the heritage culture of the Elgin County Railway Museum.
- Through public design charrettes, meetings with stakeholders, and input from the ECRM Board, a+LiNK Architecture Inc. and York Urbanist developed the conceptual plan. Some of the key concepts include; celebrating the rich history of the rail lands, pedestrian connectivity within the site, connections to the downtown, neighbouring properties and City trail systems, and providing festival venue and event spaces for all seasons. Principal Architect and Heritage Consultant with a+LiNK Architecture Inc., Ed van der Maarel, believes the design will connect all the cultural railway elements of the Railway City stemming from ECRM’s desire to create event space. The park and it’s trails will connect ECRM to the CASO Station, the St. Thomas Elevated Park, the PSTR, and the downtown. Identified by an iconic water tower landmark – a key component of the park, the central plaza space and eventually connect through the City’s trail system to the surrounding City Parks.
- Development of the conceptual plan was made possible through a $20,000 donation from the Estate of Dorothy Palmer. A portion of the remaining funds were used this summer to begin grading the property to improve the grounds to host Museum and community events. The Iron Horse Festival also contributed funds to this initial site levelling work.
- This Master Site Plan will provide the Museum with a long-term vision for the property, and blueprint to use for future implementation of site elements, as fundraising and resources permit.
- Click here to view the pdf file of the plan:
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