Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas at Winnipeg's Assiniboine Valley Railway

Note: Since this post was written in 2011, Bill Taylor, the creator and owner of the Assiniboine Valley Railway, passed away (in 2013). Although the trains still operate in December, the volunteers who have kept the railway running no longer are able to put on the Christmas light runs. 

One of the great Christmas traditions in Winnipeg is the annual Assiniboine Valley Railway Christmas train ride.

The AVR is 1.6" scale 7.5" gauge riding railway located in the backyard of local Winnipeg Model Railroad Club member Bill Taylor—if you can call a seven acre site a backyard.

Started in 1995, the AVR has a 3,700 foot long mainline, and about 6,400 feet of track altogether. There are three diesel locomotives, one box cab and several steamers, plus 39 cars.

Each Christmas Bill puts on a light show, with over 100,000 lights illuminating the line, along with nativity scenes, angels, stars, snowmen, candy canes and more.

The train rides are available every evening in December, with the exception of Dec. 25. Between 10,000 to 13,000 people come out each year to ride the trains. Donation boxes are set up around the area to raise money for local charities.

Not being much of an outdoor winter person, I prefer to ride the AVR in summer. Click here to see a video of a ride along the line, and click here for a summer photo visit.

1 comment:

  1. Now THAT looks like fun, John, but C-O-L-D I'll bet.

    Merry Christmas to you, and watch for an upcoming seasonal post on Trackside Treasure.