Temporary exhibitions

In correspondence for a limited time.


Train, a Railroad to Dreams: A World in Miniature

First presented at Pointe-à-Callière from February 11 to September 6, 2021, the exhibition Train, A railroad to Dreams was produced by Pointe-à-Callière, Montréal Archaeology and History Complex, with the participation of Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum. The exhibition presented at Exporail until February 26, 2023, renamed Train, a Railroad to Dreams: A World in Miniature, is devoted to model trains which, beyond being a toy, imitates the reality of the railway. They recall a great history, that of Montreal, the cradle of the railway adventure in Canada, and that of the companies that have marked it.


Since the advent of the steam locomotive in the 19th century, trains have been synonymous with development and opening up to the world. It evokes the spirit of adventure and discovery as well as meetings, departures and reunions on the platform of a station. For some people, the train reminds them of one of their first childhood toys, while for others, young or old, it is a real passion!


The train is undoubtedly one of those objects that mankind constantly reproduces, in all its forms and in different ways. Faithful models or simple toys for children, there are model trains since its invention.


The spirit of play awakens our identity, our childhood and our openness to the world of travel and technology. The declination of the models is endless and the scales go from very small to very large. We can take some of them in our hands while others invite us to climb aboard.


On this path, two perspectives are presented to the visitors:


At first, that of the smaller than oneself, where the child’s imagination in front of the toy contrasts with the adult’s lust for for the collector’s item.


Secondly, that of life size, where the child and the adult become capable of sharing the same fascination and the same feeling of smallness in front of the fifty vehicles which are presented in the Grand Gallery.


This exhibition offers a playful, technological and historical look at the world of railroading on different scales!


Whether imaginary or real, this trip on rails has everything to make you dream. All aboard!

Dates: 31 December, 1969
Target audience: All ages
Durée appro.: 20 min

Voices From The Engraver

Voices From The Engraver

This exhibition will include artifacts such as watercolours, photos and drawings along with engraver’s tools and printing plates used in the production of bank notes and stamps. We will also take a peek behind the scenes and show bank note and stamp designs that were not retained.


Experience the creative process, the technical skill and the sheer artistry that underlies every series of Canadian stamps and bank notes from concept to final product. Original art, printing plates, videos, interactives, rare stamps, and money—lots of money—are waiting for you in this fun, informative and enriching look into the beauty and intricacy of Canadian stamps and bank notes.


Aimed at youth, families and adults, this exhibition is rich with artifacts and hands-on interactives and is accompanied by school and general programming. Design your own currency or stamps, reproduce the beautifully elaborate patterns of classic bank notes and browse through a millennium’s worth of engravers and engraving history. For booking information and specifications, please download our on-line brochure.


A travelling exhibition from the Bank of Canada Museum in partnership with the Canadian Museum of History.


The presentation of this exhibition has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.


Canadian Railway Troops, Forgotten Heroes (2015)

Born alongside the railway, recognized for its expertise in this area and proud to be part of the British Empire, Canada was a young nation that entered the 20th century with confidence.


During the First World War, despite its small population, this peaceful and prosperous country was nonetheless able to send an expeditionary force of 600,000 troops, including 20,000 members of the Railway Troops. One in ten would not return home alive.


From 1915 to the German defeat in 1918, these railroaders in khaki were to prove again and again their exceptional efficiency and courage under fire while dealing with the task at hand: BUILDING THE ROAD TO VICTORY.


What’s in the box, recent acquisition in perspective (2009-2010)

This unique exhibition was comprised of a hundred or so archival documents and as many artifacts being shown to the public for the first time. Several thematic and educational displays, were unveiled, for the pleasure of young and old, key elements that have been stored in Exporail’s reserve.


You saw examples of the oldest toy trains from all parts of the world, replicas of miniature streetcars from Montreal, uniforms and pocket watches belonging to railroad personnel, antique railway station equipment, china and silverware, works of art, photographs and documents, each commemorating Canadian railway history.


What’s in the Box would never have seen the light of day were it not for the generosity of passionate railway history enthusiasts who donated their personal treasures to our institution. This exhibition is our way of saying  “Thank you“  to all of them and in particular to Frederick Forbes Angus, who, in 2007, donated thousands of archival documents and artifacts of great heritage value. In fact, you would have noticed that most of the pieces on exhibit were donated by this great benefactor.


Montréal’s new métro cars (2013-2014)

The full-scale model of Montréal’s new métro cars will be on display at Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum. Unlike their rail transit predecessors, the new AZUR cars, of which the model represents a significant step in the manufacturing process, are the future of métro transportation.


The Société de transport de Montréal invites you to see this model firsthand at Exporail. With its streamlined, modern design featuring the distinctive blue of the Montréal métro system, the model AZUR métro car awaits your visit.


It’s worth the trip!


In spring 2012, the model AZUR car created quite a stir at the Berri-UQAM métro station, where it was on display for a few weeks. Curious to see how it got there? A video showing how the model was transported from the Bombardier factory at La Pocatière to the métro station can be seen here: http://www.mouvementcollectif.org/en/grand_projets/la-voiture-modele-est-en-ville


To learn more

The technical data for the new AZUR métro cars and their design and development can also be found at the above address.


Railway Witnesses: Memory of a Nation (2012)

Railway Witnesses: Memory of a Nation (2012)
The exhibition produce by Exporail is now presented at the  Revelstoke Railway Museum in British Colombia, from the 17 of June until the 30 of September 2012.


This exhibition highlights the important role played by railway companies in Canada’s history for the last 175 years. From the beginning, the arrival of the railway filled the need for travel in any season. With an iron hand, the railways initiated a chain of events that would help build the country.


Its various achievements not only affected the lives of the population, they also transformed the political landscape and economy of the country. Come and discover what dramatic changes the people experienced since the beginning of the railway in 1836.


The Canadian Railway for Teachers!


Closely linked to the «Railway Witnesses: Memory of a Nation » traveling exhibition, the «Rail History » website provides an overview of important times in Canadian railway history and is a valuable tool for teachers whose students are between the ages of 9 to 13. Its content was designed to help teachers convey basic railway concepts to their students.


Rocket Richard (2007)

Rocket Richard (2007)

Maurice “The Rocket” Richard, hockey legend and a model for young canadians of all ages, came to Exporail!A hero and a symbol of courage for both french and english canadians, he left an unperishable heritage.


This exhibition, designed by the Canadian Museum of Civilization, present more than 100 artefacts from a collection acquired in 2002. Some were directly linked to the “Rocket”, others illustrate the tremendous impact he had on society at the time.



This travelling exhibition was sponsored by Canada Post.


Montreal Snapshots, Streetcars from 1904 to 1932 (2007-2008)

Montreal Snapshots, Streetcars from 1904 to 1932 (2007-2008)

Relive Montreal’s glorious streetcar era with photographic documents from the “ Montreal Tramways Company”.


Did you ever wonder how people moved around the city, where could they go, how could they get there and what was the streetscape that they travelled through?


You could discover the answers to all these questions from the collection of evocative period photographs that bring the Montreal of days gone by to life.


The Underground Railroad (2006-2007)

The Underground Railroad (2006-2007)

This exhibit explained the extraordinary feats accomplished by a group of dedicated citizens in the XIX Century. Simple folk and freed slaves “built” a clandestine network to facilitate the escape of African American slaves to Canada.


What does that have to do with the railroad world? This network was based on and used the nomenclature and structure of a classic railway system. The “Underground Railroad’s” staff used titles such as “Conductor” and “Station agent”, while the fugitives were described with terms similar to the different types of freight carried on the real railways.


Chinese Legacies : Building the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia (2010-2011)

Chinese Legacies : Building the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia (2010-2011)
Produced by the Revelstoke Railway Museum, Chinese Legacies : Building the Canadian Pacific Railway in British Columbia, the exhibit was presented from January 15 to May 29, 2011.


This exhibit explores the fascinating story of the Chinese laborers who contributed to the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway between Port Moody and Craigellachie.


This presentation of their travel to British Columbia, their living and working conditions and the contribution they made to the construction of the railway has been visited by thousands in British Columbia over the last two and a half years.


Several thousand Chinese men worked on the CPR mainline and it is estimated that between 600 to 2,220 of these workers died as a result of accidents, disease, and starvation.

Acres of Dreams – Settling the Canadian Prairies (2008)

This exhibition revisited the unprecedented marketing campaign led by the federal government that lured immigrants into Western Canada.


It also examined the origins, motivations and experiences of the settlers who forever changed the Prairie landscape and played an essential role in building Canada.


A travelling exhibition produced by the Canadian Museum of Civilization in collaboration with Library and Archives Canada.

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