Anyone traveling through Saskatchewan by train these days is probably on VIA Rail’s "Canadian", stopping in Saskatoon. In the past, however, the province had a robust network of regional passenger trains connecting small communities. Today, you can take a trip back in time on historic excursion trains. All aboard, please!
"Made in Saskatchewan" - that's the motto of the Wheatland Express Excursion Train, running on the Wheatland Railway short-line along Highway 2 between the towns of Cudworth and Wakaw, about an hour drive northeast of Saskatoon. The themed rides include tasting excursions, medieval feasts and maybe even a train heist, creating a feel of real gangster romance.
Often, talented local artists are on board, and there are family-friendly tours for children. The dining car offers snacks and drinks during the two- to three-hour ride through the wheat and canola fields in the heart of the Canadian prairies. Dinner & Show programs will treat guests to a locally inspired dinner at Cudworth Community Hall following the train ride, before ending the evening with a theatre performance with plenty of local colour. New in 2022, Wheatland Express added a wheelchair-accessible car to its fleet for passengers with limited mobility, and plans are underway for a sleeper car to offer overnight accommodation packages.
Southern Prairie Railway will transport you back in time with style, elegance and a bit of old-fashioned charm. The train rides begin in Ogema, about 1.5 hours drive south of the provincial capital of Regina, and travel east and west to the towns of Pangman and Horizon respectively. As the vintage locomotive and coach from 1925 travel through rolling landscapes and grassy hills, listen to stories of a bygone era, when railways criss-crossed southern Saskatchewan and people took the train to visit friends and family. The trips take between 2.5 and 3.5 hours and may include – depending on the booked date and program - culinary components or a visit to the Farmer‘s Market in Pangman.
Following your tour, explore the pioneer village made up of 31 heritage buildings and more than 150 pieces of vintage farm machinery at the Deep South Pioneer Museum.
Further information on Saskatchewan can be found at www.tourismsaskatchewan.com.