We finally made it out to Confederation Park to ride trains with the Burnaby Central Railway Association. An entire month has passed since they opened on the Easter long weekend; if our boys could actually read a calendar, they would be appalled it took us so long to get there.
If you are brave enough, it is worth going on a grey/rainy day. The crowds are non-existent and the kind engineers tend to give extra long rides as there is no line-up of waiting guests.
For those who haven’t been to Confederation Park, let me quickly explain the magic! Over 2km of tracks with 70 switches combined with an ever changing selection of locomotives guarantees a new adventure every time you visit. The trains are 1/8 scale, which in layman’s terms means big enough for kids and adults to ride. The tracks wind through a 7-acre plot of land which has been landscaped to entertain the kids. Around every corner and tucked in amongst the grass and trees are little critters: Mickey Mouse, a parrot, a family of geese, Humpty Dumpty, turtles, and more. The tracks wind through tunnels and over bridges. Our boys can’t get enough!
Today our engineer was Thomas (what a perfect name!). Despite the increasingly enthusiastic downpour, he took us on extra long rides through the grounds. We went on the first 3 trips of the morning and Thomas kindly altered the route so each trip was different. We learned that Burnaby Central Railway is celebrating their 20th year at Confederation Park; they were at Burnaby Heritage Village for 17 years prior. The actual club is 85 years old!
After our ride we went inside Rainbow Creek Station to watch the miniature trains. While we watched, 5 different model train enthusiasts ran their trains around the track. (My apologies for the slightly blurry photo; I was juggling a 2 year old who desperately wanted to touch the display.)
Visiting the model trains is free; riding the big trains costs $2.50 per ride for anyone over the age of 3. There is a package deal for $25 which gets you 12 rides. The rides are generally 10 minutes in length. There are covered, and uncovered, picnic tables so you can make a day of it. Also, if your little one LOVES trains, you can arrange to host their birthday party at the train station. The trains run 11am – 5pm Saturdays, Sundays and holidays until Thanksgiving.
If you are seeking additional train adventures, be sure to check out the write up I did on numerous train activities in and around Vancouver.