Museum Admission & Hours:
Regular Admission: $5/adult+HST
$2/child+HST, children 2 and under admitted free
GROUP TOURS AVAILABLE BY APPOINTMENT. Call 519-637-6284
WINTER HOURS: Special Event Days and Saturdays only, 12-4pm
Elgin County Railway Museum Mission Statement:
To preserve, teach, and display to the public the rich heritage of the railroads and their role in the development of St. Thomas and Elgin County.
The railway has been part of St. Thomas since the completion of the London and Port Stanley Railway in 1856. More than 26 railways have passed through the city. This provided the foundation for the birth of St. Thomas due to the provision of employment and, subsequently, the income to sustain the community. At one point, St. Thomas was interchangeable with the term “Railway City.” It was also known as the “Railway Capital of Canada” in its heyday.
St. Thomas was a convenient shortcut between Chicago and New York: two major railway cities, especially concerning freight shipment. South Western Ontario is also predominantly flat terrain which is perfect for railways. The city and surrounding area grew rapidly which resulted in immense change for the community. St. Thomas became the “Railway Capital of Canada.”
The 1913 MCRR shops are the oldest continuously operating locomotive repair shops in North America.
The Elgin County Railway Museum is located in the former Michigan Central Railroad (MCRR) locomotive repair shops, just south of the Canada Southern (CASO) train station. The 55,000 square foot “shops” building have served as headquarters of the museum since 1988. The building and surrounding 15 acres of railway land were purchased by the museum in 2009. Locomotive, passenger car and railway service vehicle repairs and restorations are performed today. The adjacent CASO station was, and still is, innately tied to the MCRR shops. The CASO station, now owned and operated by the North American Railway Hall of Fame (NARHF) was divisional headquarters for many American railway companies and provided passenger service, while the MCRR shops provided maintenance and repair service for locomotives. Both buildings remain important heritage sites in the heart of the City of St. Thomas. Guided tours of the Elgin County Railway Museum are available year round (see Events & Hours). CASO station tours/rental information are available at the NARHF web site (see Links).
Museum Manager: Dawn Miskelly