Historic Sites of Manitoba: Prairie Dog Central Railway (Prairie Dog Trail, Winnipeg)
The Prairie Dog Central Railway uses one of the oldest running steam locomotives in Canada. Their coaches are all around 100 years old, and its Inkster Junction station in northwest Winnipeg is over 100 years old. In the early 1970s, the railway used an abandoned CNR track in southwest Winnipeg that is now the Harte Trail. Today, the train runs to Grosse Isle and Warren, a trip of about 20 miles, once a day each weekend and holiday from March to September.
A highlight of the facility is Steam Locomotive No. 3. Built at Glasgow, Scotland in 1882, the locomotive was used on lines in western Canada and it pulled the first train to reach Dauphin, in 1896. Sold to the City of Winnipeg in 1918, it serviced hydroelectric generating stations along the Winnipeg River until 1961, being damaged in a fire in a roundhouse at Pointe du Bois in December 1943 and subsequently repaired. It was brought to Winnipeg in February 1967 and refurbished by a group of railway enthusiasts.
“Round house is burned at Pointe du Bois,” Winnipeg Free Press, 28 December 1943, page 12.
“It’s all aboard for the Prairie Dog Central,” Winnipeg Free Press, 8 May 1975, page 26.
We thank Nonni Jonsson, George Penner, and Edward K. Bricknell for providing additional information used here.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough.
Page revised: 5 November 2017
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