NE Building Sept 2015

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.


Make memories together at the Day Out With Thomas – THE FRIENDSHIP TOUR 2017!

Tickets are now on sale at:

July 15 &16, and July 21-23, 2017

at the St. Thomas-Elgin Memorial Centre
(80 Wilson Ave.  St. Thomas, ON)

Tickets are $25 + hst per person (age 2 and up) and include;

  • A 25-minute (approximate) ride with Thomas the Tank Engine and hear Thomas greet his fans!
  • Meeting Sir Topham Hatt, Controller of the Railway
  • A Thomas & Friends Imagination Station; featuring temporary tattoos, hands-on arts & crafts, play dough, train play tables, and coloring.
  • Storytelling, video viewing, live children’s entertainment featuring music, magic & puppets
  • Bubbles, Misty Island cool mist tents, inflatable bouncers, model railway displays, and more!
  • Event tickets also include free admission to the Elgin County Railway Museum.




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.

  • 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:
  • 01_1542 8.5 x 11 ECRM Presentation Boards_2016-08-09