Canadian railway history made a rare appearance today at the Canada Science and Technology Museum. Ingenium’s steam locomotive, the CP 1201, and Governor General’s rail cars were relocated to the new Ingenium Centre this morning.

The public was invited to watch the trains hit the tracks for the first time in about 30 years.

Built in 1927, the Governor General’s rail cars were used for the royal visits of King George VI, Queen Elizabeth, Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Princess Margaret and Queen Elizabeth. These visits took place between 1939 and 1959.  

The trains ran for the last time during the 1977 Jubilee tour.  

“We refurbished them when the Queen and Prince Philip for the Jubilee tour,” said Sharon Babaian with the Canada Science and Technology Museum.

“They were the last Royals that would have been in these cars, they didn’t live in these cars because they just took them up to Wakefield, so they really just travelled in them for old time sake.”  

The CP 1201 was last used in 1990. It is one of the largest objects in the museum’s collection, weighing 185 metric tons.

It was built in 1944 by workers as the last steam locomotive made in the CP shops. It was saved when the railways converted from steam to diesel-electric because of its significance to Canada.

This year marks the seventy-fifth anniversary of the building of CP 1201.