C & E Railway began serving Edmonton and Calgary 125 years ago

125 years ago, before Alberta was even officially a province, there was a railway moving passengers between Calgary and Edmonton.

Taking a ride on C & E set you back $9.60 and took 20 hours

Watch this video featuring Sylvia Douglas, the museum coordinator at The Calgary and Edmonton Railway Station Museum, to learn more about some of her favourite gems. 0:44

Something new was rumbling across our landscape 125 years ago. An iron horse.

Settlers climbed aboard the C & E Railway for the trek between Edmonton and Calgary. 
Sylvia Douglas is the coordinator at the C & E Railway Station Museum in Old Strathcona (John Robertson)

The ride took 20 hours, but that was considered a rocket compared to the alternative, a dusty week long ride in a stagecoach.

It's the kind of rail yarn tour guide Sylvia Douglas spins tying the old with the new at the C & E Railway Station Museum in Edmonton. 
In railway stations across Canada clocks like these kept the trains running on time (John Robertson)

Douglas says the train "brought a lot of people to the area especially during the Yukon Gold Rush in 1897 so it made a huge boom for this area."

Since 1982, the two-storey replica of the station sits at the corner of 86th Avenue and 104th Street in Old Strathcona.
Carol McBee is the president of the Junior League of Edmonton. They run the museum and operate the second floor of the station for their offices. (John Robertson)

It was modeled after the rail station that was a northern hub in our city from 1891 to 1907. 
The rail tracks that run pass the museum are now used for the High Level Street Car (John Robertson)

Douglas says the stations agent's office has also been recreated.

"That's where people could do everything from their travel plans to their banking to their mail service."

Maps, photographs and railway artifacts can be found on the main floor of the museum. (John Robertson)

So many prospectors and settlers crowded into the tiny waiting room, that in 1907 a bigger station was constructed to accommodate Edmonton's growing population.  

That meant the end of the line for the original building. 
This stove drew settlers to the station to warm up while they waited to ride the rails (John Robertson)

Members of the volunteer organization Junior League of Edmonton created the replica and runs the museum.

To see more from behind the scenes at The C & E Railway Station Museum watch this week's edition of Our Edmonton.

Our weekly magazine show airs on Saturday at 10 a.m., Sunday at 11 a.m. and Monday at 11 a.m. on CBC TV.