The Prairie Dog Central Railway is a short line railway owned and operated by The Vintage Locomotive Society Inc. (VLS) and it is one of the oldest regularly scheduled vintage operating trains in North America. The VLS is a Registered Charity whose primary objective is to maintain and operate the Prairie Dog Central Railway vintage steam train. It takes many volunteer members both on the train, at the station and in our shop to run the Prairie Dog Central Railway every operating day.
How can you help? Why not consider making a donation? While we are a registered non-profit organization, and the majority of our activities are provided by ticket sales, a donation is also sincerely welcomed and a Charitable Tax Receipt can be issued for amounts over $10.00.
The Prairie Dog Central Railway began operations in regular public service on July 11, 1970. From 1970 – 1974, the train operated out of Charleswood along Wilkes Boulevard on the former Canadian National Cabot Subdivision. From 1975 to 1996 the train then operated out of St. James and the old St James Station, immediately west of Polo Park on the Canadian National Oak Point Subdivision and ran to Grosse Isle and back.
In 1996 the Society was advised by CN that the Oak Point Subdivision was to be abandoned and in addition to that, the Transcona shops (where the train was stored and maintained) could no longer support the Prairie Dog Central Railway operations. Consequently, soon after 1996 the Prairie Dog Central Railway ceased its train operations for two seasons and the Society embarked on a major fundraising campaign and raised $1.3 million dollars to purchase the Oak Point Subdivision. The St. James Station had now been declared a Heritage Building by Parks Canada. Under special approval the Station was relocated to its current location at Inkster Boulevard and Sturgeon Road along Prairie Dog Trail. Operations began shortly thereafter travelling from Inkster Junction Station to the Manitoba communities of Grosse Isle and Warren for a stop-over, before heading back to Inkster Junction Station.
My wife and I had the enjoyable experience of spending an afternoon in July
on the Great Train Robbery. We laughed a lot and met some nice people on
the train. And the stop over in Grosse Isle was very nice. We took many
photos and some video of our day.
Just came back from the Lazy Labour Day ride and once again, was not disappointed. All the people at the station and on the train were just great (as usual). Luckily, we had Albert in our car #107. He is so good with adults and children,no one could not like him. So personable and patient. Thank you and all the volunteers who made this a fun day. (again)
It was a great ride and very interesting, thank you.
Absolutely loved our day on the Prairie Dog Central. It was our first time and we will definitely come again.
Keep up the good work, it was a fabulous trip
Passenger on the Great Train Robbery
It was a really fun day with great staff. Thank you!
Just a quick hello and thank you for the great evening we had on the Prairie Dog Central! The staff were fantastic and the meal at Grosse Isle was awesome!
Coordinator of a Group Charter
We had so much fun on the Prairie Dog Central today, it was a wonderful experience, please don`t change a thing.
We have just returned from the Fall Supper and I wanted to E mail you and thank you and the volunteers at Grosse Isle for a great evening. Your train staff are superb and the food at the Hall was wonderful. Myself and my friends enjoyed the evening immensely and thought that everything was well organised. We will be booking again in 2012. Thank you.