History of the CRHA

The CRHA is the most senior railway enthusiast organization in Canada devoted to preserving and interpreting Canada’s railway heritage, which its founders and members have safeguarded from coast to coast. 

Today, Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum, owned and operated by the CRHA figures among the most important railway museums in the world. 

Exporail’s Archive Centre—recognized by the Province of Quebec as an Accredited Private Archive Service in 2008—is testimony to the work accomplished by the CRHA’s volunteers and the Association’s interest in sharing this work with the general public and researchers alike.

Today, the Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA) remains a non-profit volunteer organization that counts close to 1,000 members and eleven Divisions throughout Canada. 

Our milestones

1932Founding of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA)
1937Start of publication of Canadian Rail and Bulletins
1941Incorporation of the CRHA
1950First important rolling stock acquisition
1961Founding of the Canadian Railway Museum
1961-1971Expansion of the collection, Construction of two storage buildings and trackage, Barrington & Hays station and opening of the Canadian Railway Museum
1978Naming of Exporail as a “specialized railway museum” for Canada
1979Museum receive an annual operating grant from Quebec government
2004Opening of Angus Pavilion and Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum
2007Adoption by the House of Commons of a recommandation to designate Exporail as Canada’s National Railway Museum
2008Archives accredited as a private archive service by the Province of Quebec
2009-2010$1.3 Million permanent exhibition completed
AlwaysThe ongoing commitment of Exporail’s volunteers and staff members
NextSecuring Exporail’s future and longevity

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