The Burnaby Central Railway is an old-school steam train adventure for the kid in all of us. Located in north Burnaby’s Confederation Park, this tiny sandbox offers miniature locomotives and tracks in a safe and supervised environment. With over two kilometers of track and 70+ switches, it’s one of the most immersive miniature train experiences in North America. It’s also home to the BC Society of Model Engineers, a not-for-profit club dedicated to the preservation of antique steam engines, including some of the world’s oldest. Whether you’re a train buff, or just a lover of Victorian architecture, this park has something for you.
The best part is that it’s a short drive from the rest of Metro Vancouver. In fact, it’s so close to the city that you could make a day out of it. Aside from the trains, you’ll also find several restaurants, shops, and activities on the premises. For adults, the best place to dine is the picnic table at the top of the tower, a stone’s throw from the main attraction. But, the real draw is the onsite museum, with its nifty collection of artifacts dating back to the early days of railway travel. Despite being a small community, you won’t be able to visit all of them, so it’s good to know that you can.
Aside from the requisite miniature trains, you’ll also find an old-school model steam engine in a more secluded area, along with a nifty collection of restored antiques from the 19th century. Even the grandpappy of the family will appreciate the historical and cultural relevance of the place. If you’re lucky, you’ll even get to ride in a horse-drawn carriage. Of course, you’ll need to bring your own bridle. As a bonus, you can take in the scenery at the same time.