Life brought back to Winnipeg Railway Museum as plans to reopen are in the works

The Winnipeg Railway Museum has new life.

After being told it had to move or close last year due to building code issues triggered by a renovation, plans to reopen the museum are now full steam ahead.

The organization signed a 25-year lease with its landlord, Via Rail, as long as it tends to fire code issues in its 1911 building.

The museum has been operating virtually since its closure on a redesigned website.

The Midwestern Rail Association, which owns the museum, is hoping to use the new lease to secure major grants and improve the overall quality of the museum.

“I’m afraid to say that one of the things that we’ve suffered from is that for the longest time we’ve been a collection of things that you can point at. And that’s not really good enough when you look at today’s museums,” said Gord Leathers, the public relations director with the museum.

“So nowadays, we can start building proper exhibits and tell the people of Winnipeg just how important the railway really is.”

Despite the good news, the museum isn’t completely out of the woods just yet when it comes to staying permanently at the Union Station location.

Winnipeg Transit has voiced plans in the past to convert part of the station into a rapid-transit route, which would utilize the tracks which currently house the museum.

For now, the museum is focusing on getting back up and running and hopes to finish repair work and reopen by late 2024 or early 2025.

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