This hands-on model train exhibit tells the 100-year history of commercial and personal activities surrounding the railway in Bruce County, when the railway displaced marine travel as the prime means of transport, until our modern road system and fast efficient vehicles displaced rail transport.
Both children and adults alike will enjoy taking a step back in time when they experience the views along the railway circa 1920s to the 1950s, as the train rolls through realistic dioramas of Mildmay, Walkerton, Paisley, Port Elgin, and Southampton, and whistle stops along the way in rural Bruce County.
It was through the vision, interest and passion of many model train enthusiasts and local history buffs that this exhibit was created. Led by Randy Schnarr, there have been more than 30 “Bruce County Museum Railway members” working with the team at the Museum. They contributed their talent and skills in research, electronics, wiring, woodworking, structural engineering, drafting, model building, photography, graphics, creative writing, and fabrication! It took more than 8,000 hours to create “Riding the Rails”.
Take the historic journey that traces the cultural transition of traffic from marine, to rail and ultimately to the roads that formed the County. Both children and adults alike will enjoy the trip on this fully functional track system. Download the full story of Bruce County Railways and the creation of Riding the Rails here.
In October 2020 the Bruce County Museum & Cultural Centre was thrilled and proud to be recognized with an honourable mention from the Ontario Museum Association Awards of Excellence in the category of Community Engagement for its exhibit “Riding the Rails”.
The OMA Awards of Excellence are awarded annually at their provincial conference. The awards are designed to recognize outstanding contributions to the Ontario museum community with emphasis on innovation, advancing the museum profession in Ontario and encouraging high standards of excellence in the museum field.
The OMA Award of Excellence in Community Engagement is presented to individuals, institutions, corporations, or agencies that have increased the community’s engagement with the museum or institution.