The Restoration of Colonist Car #1202
A page in Canada's history
In the first decade of the 1900s, the population of Canada's prairie provinces grew by more than 300 per cent. By the millions, people from Europe, the British Isles, Eastern Canada and the United States boarded trains bound for the frontier. Travelers seeking the most economical mode of transportation rode in what came to be known as colonist cars. Aboard these train cars, travel-weary passengers – exhilarated by all the possibilities of their new lives – sat in wonder of the vast prairie landscape rolling past the windows, revealing precious evidence of other homesteaders, sparsely scattered on the land.
The CPR built more than 1,000 colonist cars between the 1880s and 1930s; only two remain.
Colonist Car #1202
Built in 1905, Heritage Park has been in possession of Colonist Car #1202 since 1964. It was originally donated to the Park by Canadian Pacific Rail for preservation and educational purposes for its role in the greatest single wave of immigration in Canadian history. At over 110 years old and made of wood, the car was in dire need of repair.
A meticulous effort to restore Colonist Car #1202 to its original condition has been underway at Heritage Park's Roundhouse. Now the time has come to introduce the newly-restored immigrant car to the world.
Join us during the remaining weekends of our fall season as we celebrate the grand opening of Colonist Car #1202. Heritage Park Historical Village will close for the winter season on October 9th.
Blog Post #1 - A Canadian Story, Embracing Immigration
Blog Post #2 - Colonist Car Reveals Its True Identity
Blog Post #3 - Uniquely Canadian
Blog Post #4 - 3D Printing