Focus on... Alberta trains
By Laura Gelder – March 2019 – 2 minute read
When you think of train journeys in Alberta, everyone thinks Rocky Mountaineer and Canada’s Via Rail is a given, but there are two other rail experiences in the province which offer beautiful views and a taste of Alberta’s history and culture too.
Nestled near the small hamlet of Mossleigh, just 45 minutes southeast of Calgary, this award-winning train-themed destination offers 11 different themed excursions on a 28-mile round-trip journey, all showcasing the big skies and open landscapes of Alberta’s beautiful prairie lands.
Excursions include a Champagne brunch; the Sunday Special which has live music and a staged train robbery; Dinner Theatre, where the actors get the audience participating too; the educational Prairie Tour which looks at the Mossleigh grain elevators, one of the rare few original elevator rows left in Canada; a High Tea; a romantic Twilight Tour; the Ales on Rails trip with a tasting for beer lovers; Wine and Cheese for epicureans; the Halloween train of terror; the Circus Train, with Trixtan Entertainment offering face painting and balloon art with various entertainers; and excursions ending with a prairie picnic.
Aspen Crossing has a historical 1887 Pullman dining car restaurant and a century-old traditional prairie farmhouse – now repurposed to hold Escape Rooms and a tavern. Visitors can even stay in one of three retro-fitted Caboose Cabins or the friendly campground.
Alberta Prairie Railway
Experience a journey into history! Onboard an Alberta Prairie Railway Excursion, visitors will experience the sights, sounds and smells of turn-of the-century train travel. Back to a time where life was lived at a more serene pace.
This one-day adventure takes place on board a real steam or diesel-powered train. Different themes are enacted throughout the season, including murder mysteries, family fun days and live stage shows.
The train leaves from Stettler, located in the heart of Central Alberta, a three-hour drive from Calgary and two and a half hours from Edmonton, and trundles through the province’s rolling parkland.
Each journey takes five to six hours and at some point during most the train is brought to a screeching hat and the dreaded Reynolds Raiders outlaws stage a hold up until Canadian Métis hero, Gabriel Dumont, appears to stop them. The historical reenactment features a short but furious gun battle before any loot is donated to charity!
All excursions include a buffet meal, usually Alberta roast beef, and in addition to at-seat entertainment there’s an Open Air Coach for appreciating the views and the Lone Star Saloon for visitors to enjoy a cold drink as the train chugs on.
Special fares are being offered in June 2019 to celebrate Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions’ 30th anniversary.