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On Our Radar: Full steam ahead as Prince George’s railway museum is open again

The museum is now welcoming back visitors
The Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum is located at 850 River Rd. in Prince George. (via Facebook/ Central BC Railway and Forestry Museum)

All aboard! The Central BC and Railway and Forestry Museum has reopened for visitors.

While there may be changes to the regular operating hours and access to railway and forestry equipment throughout the park, the excitement of walking among the giants of industry remains! 

The Prince George park is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and admission to the park will be by donation.

"We are very excited to welcome visitors back to the Railway and Forestry Museum," says executive director Katherine Carlson.

"As always, the safety and well-being of all our visitors, volunteers and staff is a priority. Because of the concern for keeping the spread of COVID-19 in check, there are necessary changes to our hours of operation, access to more enclosed spaces, as well as tours, events and other activities onsite."

She says the museum's industrial park will open in phases that will see a logical progression of equipment opened for public access.

Unfortunately, staff won’t be able to operate the Cottonwood Mini-train until regulations to social and physical distancing are lifted.

“Despite not having full access to the equipment, there is still so much to see and explore around our site," says Carlson.

"Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy your time among the giants of industry or stroll through the gardens and urban orchard. We continue to work on restoration projects and maintaining the grounds while implementing social and physical distancing. As a result, the grounds and space create a beautiful and interesting opportunity to imagine our industrial history."

The gallery is host to the exhibit “Beehive Burners Behind Us”, a collection of oil paintings by Lou Englehart that depict beehive burners from across B.C.

There will be a limit to the number of guests in the gallery, as well as directional signage to assist in moving through this exhibit, and to ensure appropriate physical spacing.

The museum is also going to continue with virtual events and online activities over the summer.

It's Steampunk online collaboration is next on the schedule for later this month.

Staff say they are taking several precautions for the health and safety of visitors including increased cleaning regime, the addition of hand sanitation stations, safety shields at the reception area, additional signage, a revised disposable guide booklet, a limited number of people inside the visitor centre, gift shop and industrial park.

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