Love trains? This is the place for you! The perfect place for kids, you can definitely spend all day here! Rainy, or snowy days? Here we go. The big closed train hangar has a permanent exhibition where you can discover the evolution of the Canadian rail transportation from the early years to modern time. During the summertime, there are also temporary exhibitions at the museum.
We visited the museum during one mid-November weekend when the theme ‘Magic of Christmas’ was on and we loved it. The museum had lots of Christmas decorations throughout!
Address: 110, Saint-Pierre Street, Saint-Constant, J5A 1G7, QC
Car: from Montreal about 30 minutes
Entrance fee: during December 2017 we paid 52$ for a family of 4 (2 adults, 2 kids)
Parking is free from the main road (St Pierre) with a short walk to the main building
Opening times: From November 3, 2017 to May 20, 2018: open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Weekday for groups only (reservation only). During The Holiday Season, Exporail will be open from December 27 to 30, 2017 and from January 2 to 7, 2018.
The museum offers theme days (Railway Ghosts for Halloween, Railway Christmas etc)
Suitable for baby strollers (lifts are available to enter train carriages along the platforms)
At the entrance, we were given a full explanation for what’s on today, when and where to go and what to see. We could not make up our mind what to choose! So many options. We finally decided to start visiting the trains from platform 22 going up and down the tracks, reading the information about the old trains and progressing along the platforms towards the last one (platform 11). We stopped the walk when there was something worth seeing at a specific time, like visiting Saskatchewan car – the private train of the Canadian’s Pacific Railway president William Van Horne, and then we resumed the walk. A lot of carriages are accessible to hop on, to see and feel from the inside. Some carriages have kids stations with bricks, games, train toys, dressing up etc.
During our visit, there were two different trains departing (few departs per day); we decided to go for the Christmas Train which departs from the Hays Station (located outside of the main building). Only a few minutes walk and we arrived at a relatively old blue train, we went aboard to a nicely heated train. The train’s journey takes about half an hour in total. Very short ride to the Santa’s house, who boarded the train with his lovely assistant. The kids were queuing with the rest and were happy to receive a nice gift each! The train continues just a few more hundred meters and goes back the same way.
Hays Station where we boarded has toilet room inside and also a small indoor playground – train related of course.
We returned for the main building just in time for cookie decoration session (at extra cost – 2$ per cookie). This workshop was located at the main building’s coffee shop near the miniature train models (near station D on the map).
There were many more activities indoor: video screening and workshops and outdoor activities with another miniature open train departing but we did not have enough time. We will definitely try these next time we visit.