History of the CRHA

The CRHA is the most senior railway enthusiast organization in Canada devoted to preserving and interpreting Canada’s railway heritage, which its founders and members have safeguarded from coast to coast. 

Today, Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum, owned and operated by the CRHA figures among the most important railway museums in the world. 

Exporail’s Archive Centre—recognized by the Province of Quebec as an Accredited Private Archive Service in 2008—is testimony to the work accomplished by the CRHA’s volunteers and the Association’s interest in sharing this work with the general public and researchers alike.

Today, the Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA) remains a non-profit volunteer organization that counts close to 1,000 members and eleven Divisions throughout Canada. 

Our milestones

1932 Founding of the Canadian Railroad Historical Association (CRHA)
1937 Start of publication of Canadian Rail and Bulletins
1941 Incorporation of the CRHA
1950 First important rolling stock acquisition
1961 Founding of the Canadian Railway Museum
1961-1971 Expansion of the collection, Construction of two storage buildings and trackage, Barrington & Hays station and opening of the Canadian Railway Museum
1978 Naming of Exporail as a "specialized railway museum" for Canada
1979 Museum receive an annual operating grant from Quebec government
2004 Opening of Angus Pavilion and Exporail, the Canadian Railway Museum
2007 Adoption by the House of Commons of a recommandation to designate Exporail as Canada's National Railway Museum
2008 Archives accredited as a private archive service by the Province of Quebec
2009-2010 $1.3 Million permanent exhibition completed
Always The ongoing commitment of Exporail's volunteers and staff members
Next Securing Exporail's future and longevity