News and Updates

Annual General Meeting 2023

November 28, 2023

Greetings all,

The Annual General Meeting for Friends of the Battle River Railway will be held on Tuesday, December 12, 2023 at 7:00 pm at The Station in Forestburg. Public is welcome.

Find out about our train excursions this past year.

Volunteer opportunities - find out how you can be part of our organization. There are many ways to volunteer with us. You have talents to share! We'd love to find out more.

Get a sneak peak at 2024 train excursions that will be coming down the tracks!

Agenda for our Annual General Meeting will be posted online by December 8th.

Minutes from last year's Annual General Meeting are available upon request.

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Christmas Train Rides

November 9, 2023

'Tis the season of giving! Once again Friends of the Battle River Railway is partnering with Battle River Railway to offer seasonal community train rides in conjunction with area community events.

These community rides do not sell tickets for, rather we offer these rides for cash donations, with proceeds going to support local area charities. We have a number of rides scheduled in November and December.

Enjoy Jolly Jingles Christmas Market by Rail!

On Sunday, November 19th the train will be heading to Rosalind for the Jolly Jingles Christmas Market. The market hours are from 11:30 am - 4:30 pm.

Catch the train from Forestburg and Heisler, and travel to Rosalind. Where you can get a jump on your Christmas shopping and enjoy lunch.

Train departs from Forestburg at 10:00 am, arrive between 9:30-10 am to get a seat on the train.

Train will arrive in Heisler by 10:30 am to pick up additional passengers. Train departs from Heisler by 11:00 am to head to Rosalind. Train will arrive in Rosalind by 11:30 am just as the Christmas Market opens.

While train guests from Forestburg and Heisler enjoy the Jolly Jingles Christmas Market, we will offer Rosalind and area folks train rides. First Rosalind area mini train ride will depart at 12:00 pm.

This ride will be a 1 hour round trip, and return to Rosalind by 1 pm. A second train ride will be offered if there is interest.

Return Trip  back to Heisler and Forestburg - Train departs Rosalind at 4 pm,

Arrives in Heisler at 4:30 pm; and then Forestburg at 5:15 pm.

Proceeds from these trips will go to support the Rosalind Ag Society Self Help Shelf.

These community train rides are made possible by the generous support of Battle River Railway, who are donating the cost of the train operation and engineer, and the volunteer crew of Friends of the Battle River Railway.

Lights up the Night in Forestburg & Ride the Rails!

Friday, November 24th is Forestburg's annual Light Up the Night Christmas event, and the Christmas Market is on Saturday, November 25. Friends of the Battle River Railway and Battle River Railway will once again be offering mini train rides in the evening. And I hear that Santa might be on hand as well. We will be accepting cash donations with proceeds going to the Flagstaff Food Bank.

The Station is also a collection site for any non-perishable food items that you may wish to donate as well.

Mini Train rides will start after the lighting of the tree!

Discover the Magic of Christmas at Santa Daze in Alliance

On Saturday, December 9th we will be heading to Alliance for Santa Daze! This year, we have been able to offer these tickets for free, but we are encouraging guests to make a cash donations to support the Flagstaff Food Bank and the Alliance Museum. Santa Daze is the major fundraiser for the museum in Alliance.

Seats on the Santa Daze Train do need to be booked in advance, and the train is already full!

  • Depart Forestburg 1:00 pm
  • Depart Alliance 6:30 pm

Cost: Free (accepting cash donation, proceeds go to Flagstaff Food Bank).

Add-on this year

Local Mini Train Runs offered to others joining Santa Daze celebrations 3 pm;

Cost for mini run tickets: Cash Donation, proceeds go to Flagstaff Food Bank

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Oktoberfest Supper and Dance Tickets ON SALE NOW!

September 17, 2023

We are 30 days out from Oktoberfest 2023. We are once again holding a supper and dance at the Heisler Community Hall. Our Oktoberfest Supper and Dance features Heisler Sausage and Music by the River Jacks!

Supper and Dance Tickets are available for purchase at area business and directly from FBRR board members. Tickets are available in Forestburg at Coutts Home Hardware, at the Galahad Post Office.

In Daysland, contact Ken Eshpeter

In Heisler, contact Shara-Lynn Weller

In Forestburg, tickets can be purchased also from John Oberg and Leona Jahns.

In Bashaw, contact Brenna Oberg.

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AGM 2022

October 13, 2022

Friends of the Battle River Railway will be holding their Annual General Meeting on Monday, November 14th, 2022 at 7:00 pm at The Station (5009 50th Ave) Forestburg, Alberta. The Public are welcome.

We encourage all members of Friends of the Battle River Railway to attend. Nominations are now open. We are accepting nominations for the position of Board President.

The slate of train excursions planned for 2023 will announced at our AGM as well as other presentations. If you haven't had the opportunity to visit the Station this past year, then join us for our AGM on Monday, November 14th at 7:00 pm.

Public welcome!

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World Tourism Day

September 23, 2022

Coordinated by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), World Tourism Day (September 27, 2022) is celebrated internationally and provides an excellent opportunity to spotlight the value of our incredible industry. The global theme “Rethinking Tourism” aims to inspire the debate around rethinking tourism for development, including through education and jobs, and tourism’s impact on the planet and opportunities to grow more sustainably.

  • Alberta’s economic recovery relies on the recovery of our province’s tourism businesses.
  • To stay competitive and realize our potential requires us to continually enhance and add to the diversity and breadth of experiences visitors can enjoy and places they can stay. Bolstering this supply for the long-term will ensure Alberta continues to have desirable travel experiences that meet the ever-changing needs of visitors.
  • Optimism is a key characteristic of Albertans. We have a nose to the grind, get things done, always forward attitude which has, and will continue, to guide our recovery efforts.
  • Together, we are creating the winning conditions to realize a prosperous visitor economy that benefits all Albertans.

Some Alberta Tourism Facts:

  • Before the pandemic, tourism was a $10.1 billion industry and a key driver in our province – contributing billions to Alberta’s Gross Domestic Product, supporting about 24,000 tourism-related businesses and 82,000 jobs
  • Pent-up travel demand is showing positive signals for growth, with total searches for travel to Alberta exceeding 2019 levels in both 2020 and 2021
  • International travellers spend four times more than domestic travellers and the return of international visitors, particularly U.S. visitors over the coming year, will be critical to recovery. The further the journey, the longer the stay and higher the visitor spend.

In 2019:

  • Visits from other Canadians had an average duration of 4.1 days with a $523 spend
  • Visits from the U.S. had an average duration of 5.2 days with $828 in spend
  • Visits from overseas had an average duration of 13.4 nights with $1,119 in spend

At this time, total tourism spending is expected to return to 2019 levels in 2024:

  • Alberta visitor spending is estimated to reach 2019 levels by 2021
  • Spending from the rest of Canada will recover by 2023
  • The U.S. spend is expected to recover by 2024
  • and spend from the overseas markets to recover by 2025

The Tourism Investment Program is Travel Alberta’s commitment to invest $15 million annually from 2021-2023 to support businesses and communities in all regions of the province

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A Community Park for Forestburg

June 28, 2022

A new community park across the street from The Station would make Railroad Avenue much more attractive. Located between Moore's Shop Easy Food Store and the Masonic Hall, it is an ideal location. Every community benefits from parks, and park areas. In Paris, France one third of its geographical area is parks.

At the moment, this area is a grassy lot, but it could be much more. Parks in general have walkways, a central focus such as a pond, a statue, a structure of beauty and a shelter. It could be a gazebo, a pagoda or some kind of a pavilion. All should provide shade or protection from the elements of weather.

Trees and shrubs, conifer and deciduous, all can play an important part of a park on the Prairies. Both as borders along walkways, and in clusters creating focus, beauty and shade. As well, colour changes through the seasons.

Trees, shrubs, hedges, flowers, rocks, gravel, objects of structure, stairs, bridges, different levels of the park will be used to balance the look of this green space. Lighting in the park is important for safety, design and colour. The west side of Moore's Shop Easy store would be an ideal spot for a large mural to tell the stories of the village of Forestburg.

Pictured below are examples of murals in Killam, the blue is on the side of the building on the south side of the Co-op Parking lot, and the other is an interior mural in the Smitty's restaurant.

Living in a northern prairie latitude, we welcome the sun yea round. Lights during the night on poles, trees and building can add a lot to the year round enjoyment oand beauty of a park. With the train station across the street, the park and the Station will compliment each other.

The support for the park will come from, Friends of the Battle River Railway, The Village of Forestburg, Communities in Bloom, Battle River Railway, Forestburg Masonic Lodge, Citizens at large, Government Grants (CIP), Moore's Shop Easy, and other area businesses.

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The Station in Forestburg

June 22, 2022

Our Station in Forestburg has recently gotten another face lift, and expansion. This building has quite the history, and we would like to share its journey to what it is today with you here.

The purchase of the Forestburg Youth Centre by Friends of the Battle River Railway (FBRR) saved a former parish hall and gave FBRR an opportunity to have a home and develop a train station. We took over the buidlign on November 18, 2011, just over 10 years ago.

The hall had been brought to Forestburg in 1978 from Heisler for youth groups and a kindergarten downstairs. The development of the Station and the railway tourism business has been steady over the last ten years.

To develop the project such as it is, involved volunteers, government grants, donations from our communities, socials and income from our train excursions as well as Battle River Railway. All together, these partners have made it possible to develop the Station to what you see today.

Because the building was placed on a new cement foundation in 1978, and renovated twice before FBRR took ownership, the building was in relatively good condition.

The development of the main station has cost approximately $250,000. The West Wing of the Station, which has become the business centre (offices) for Battle River Railway is now complete. It has been a joint project between FBRR and the Battle River Railway.

FBRR contributed $102,000 to the project by securing a Community Facilities Enhancement Program Grant alongside of volunteer contributions, and the Battle River Railway contributed approximately $135,000.

As John Oberg researched the designs of train stations across Canada, he found many designs. The Canadian Northern, Canadian Pacific and the Grand Trunk Pacific all wanted and did make design statements in the building of train stations. They wanted them to be functional but also beautiful inside and out, to be a place in a community of civic pride.

People who helped with the design and construction of the Station are Cynthia Sibley, Randy Martz (the builder) and George Chrunik of GC Design. The Station looks new but understand that FBRR wanted some timeless features of old railway stations incorporated in the design. We have been successful in achieving this.

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Celebrate Canada with a Ride on the Rails!

June 21, 2022

In conjunction with the Village of Forestburg's Forestburg Community Development And Promotion Committee is hosting the Canada Day celebration in Forestburg on Friday, July 1st, Friends of the Battle River Railway will be offering mini train rides at 1 pm and 3 pm. The cost is $20/person.

There is a great schedule of activities you can enjoy all day! Come out to Forestburg on July 1st for various activities throughout the town.

Starting with a Community Breakfast at Cedars Restaurant; then Community fun run-gather at the Community Hall at 10:30; for lunch enjoy Hot dog and mini doughnut lunch at the Hall; Races all day at the area 53 raceway grounds; basketball tournament at Forestburg School; Paper airplane contest at the hall-no registration and paper will be provided.

At the Station: Make and Take Arts and Crafts, and a Walking Book reading offered by the library in the Gardens next door. Mini Train rides at the Station at 1 pm and 3 pm, with option of a third run at 5 pm if there is a lot of interest. Tickets can be purchased in advance on Eventbrite or at the door.

Take in the Farmer's market  from 4-6pm at the Community Hall and Fireworks at dusk at the area 53 raceway grounds.

Plan to come out to the country and enjoy Canada Day like no other!

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A Partnership that Gives Back to the Community

January 27, 2022

In November the Battle River Railway passenger car was pulled out of storage, dusted off and decorated in lights and festive decor for guests to once again have an opportunity to climb aboard.  Throughout the holiday season, Battle River Railway and Friends of Battle River Railway volunteers partnered to offer short train rides in each town, with cost of admission by donation and BRR pledging to match all donations for the Flagstaff Food Bank and the Rosalind Ag Society Self Help Shelf. 

The first train run was held November 26 in conjunction with Forestburg’s Light Up the Night event.  The second was on December 11 for Santa Daze in Alliance.  On December 22, the train headed west with stops in Heisler and Rosalind to bring festivities to two more communities on the rail line.  Over 300 visitors joined us on the train throughout these 4 events.  Their generous donations and the donations of BRR staff giving their time for these runs, matched dollar for dollar by BRR, resulted in a total of $6334 for the Flagstaff Food Bank and $1020 for the Rosalind Ag Society Self Help Shelf. 

Friends of Battle River Railway volunteers hosted guests on the train, spreading Christmas cheer, giving them a taste of what they’d experience on a Battle River Train Excursion.  Santa was on the train too, along with his elves.   These community train runs would not have been possible without the collaboration between Battle River Railway Board and their staff, Friends of the Battle River Railway volunteers and the communities along the railway that allowed us to bring the train to their community events.  By bringing people together, creating memories and a magical night for our train travellers, the community runs helped to fill the shelves for these essential organizations in our communities and we are grateful to those who came along for the ride.

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Santa Daze in Alliance - Local Community Runs

December 7, 2021

Spend Saturday, December 11th with us at Santa Daze in Alliance! Friends of the Battle River Railway is teaming up with Battle River Railway to offer

mini community train runs while the train is in Alliance for those who have come to the event by car. The fee for these community mini train runs is a cash donation for the Flagstaff Food Bank.  All proceeds collected during this excursion and the mini train runs on Saturday, December 11th will be matched by Battle River Railway.  You make make a cash donation upon your arrival or by etransfer.  E-Transfers can be sent directly to the Food Bank, send email to Just put "FBRR Train Ride" in the memo line of your e-transfer and tell us the amount you donated.

Mini Community Train runs are scheduled for 2:30 pm and 3:00 pm.

Details of the Day:

We wanted to give you a bit more information to help make Saturday a fantastic day for you and yours.  Here are our plans for the day:

2:00 Train Arrives at Alliance for Santa Daze
2:00 pm Christmas Market & meet Santa at the Alliance Community Hall.
3:00 pm happenings at The Sports Multiplex (Arena) include Turkey Toss (Groups of10) Entry fee $2.00 per toss. And Library will be hosting a Craft Station at the Arena. Create your own Christmas Tree Decorations!  

***Don't forget your skates! If the ice is suitable, there will be free skating at the arena.  

5:00 The Parade of Lights on Main Street followed by the giant bonfire with free hot dog & smokies roast, 
6:00 Fireworks before getting on the Trailers for a ride back to the Train!

6:15 Trailers leave bonfire to go back to train.  The Alliance Station, former Lineman’s House which will be open to for you to board the train 
6:30 Train Departs Alliance

*Times are subject to slight changes due to weather conditions.  

Catch the spirit of Christmas on our magical Christmas Train!

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Light Up the Night in Forestburg

November 18, 2021

Get in the Christmas Spirit on Friday, November 26 and Light Up Downtown! The Village of Forestburg is hosting a Light up the Night in the Burg on November 26, starting at 5 pm in Downtown Forestburg.

Come out and join the Fire Department for free hot dogs, hot chocolate, and cookies at the Fire Hall. If you are thinking of joining the Fire Department, then this is your chance to learn more! Forestburg Fire Department is currently looking for new members. The Fire Department will be on hand to answer any questions you may have, or send them an email at

After enjoying hot dogs and other goodies in the Fire Hall, head down to The Station and take a train ride with Friends of the Battle River Railway and Battle River Railway! Masks and proof of vaccination required to ride the train. Friends of the Battle River Railway will be on hand to get you on the train. Fee to ride is a cash donations to the Flagstaff Food Bank. Or if you prefer to send an e-transfer directly to the Food Bank, send email to

Just put "FBRR Train Ride" in the memo line of your e-transfer and tell us the amount you donated. Battle River Railway has offered to match all cash donations made by the public! We will be sending the donation to the food bank in January. So let's fill the Flagstaff Food Bank shelves in the New Year.

Saturday, November 27th is the Forestburg Christmas Market from 10 am - 2 pm at the Forestburg Community Centre (5402 - 50 Ave West). Vendors for the market include: Christmas Crafts, Johnny K Jerky, Baking, Battle River Alpacas, Forestburg Library, Golden Prairie 4-H, Tea, Candles, Sports Memorabilia, Arbonne, Crochet and Knitting and much more.

Pick up your "Passport to the Market" at participating retailers prior to Saturday, November 27th. Get 10 stamps on your card, then enter to win at the Christmas Market on Saturday, November 27th. Draw will be at 1:45 pm. For full details about these events or a list of participating retail store front businesses visit the Village of Forestburg's website and Facebook page.

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Save the Date: Annual General Meeting

October 6, 2021

Friends of the Battle River Railway (FBRR) has set the date for our Annual General Meeting. This will be held on Monday, November 15th, 2021 at 7:00pm at The Station (5009-50th Avenue, Forestburg, AB). Public is welcome to attend.

There has been a lot of activity at the Station with the construction of the new addition to the west of the building. When completed this will be the new home for Battle River Railway. Construction is well underway, and on time. This project has been made possible through a Community Facilities Enhancement Grant from Government of Alberta. Attendees at our AGM will be able to look at the blueprint plans for the building and get an update.

Are you interested in getting more involved with your community? Do you have a skill or talent you would like to offer for service to your community? We are currently accepting nominations for 2 At-Large members to the Board of Directors. Not interested in serving on the board, there are a number of committees that you can get involved with behind the scenes.

Committees are:

  • Runs Committee: This committee is responsible for planning and executing our train excursions.
  • Rolling Stock Committee: This committee is responsible for the maintenance of our train consist.
  • Building Committee: This committee looks after the Station and loading sites.
  • Fundraising Committee: This committee is responsible for looking for and planning fundraising activities, this include our biannual Gala Fundraiser, bingo events and of course seeking grant opportunities
  • Marketing Committee: This committee is responsible for the marketing and promotion activities, advertising opportunities and reviewing what we are currently doing and it's effectiveness.
  • Volunteer Committee: This committee is responsible for engaging with our current roster of volunteers and growing our team.

Each of these committees have representatives on the Board of Directors.

The full agenda for the AGM will be available on our website after Thanksgiving. Please check back for more detail then.

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Update on June 20th Historic Heisler Train Excursion

June 9, 2021


We had been hopeful that with the Alberta Summer Open plan we would be able to hold this train excursion as planned.  However, although Alberta is slated to move into Stage 2 of the Summer Open Plan and restrictions are being relaxed. The province is not yet to the point where our train excursions can run as scheduled.  

We regret that our June Train Excursion will not be running.   But we remain hopeful that by August, Alberta should be in Stage 3 of the Alberta Open for Summer Plan and as such all restrictions will be lifted and we can once more resume our train excursions as scheduled for the rest of the year.

If you purchased a ticket on our June 20th Historic Heisler Train Excursion, you can request a transfer to our August 9th A Day on The Train Excursion, which is a repeat of the June run. To do so please drop us an email at to submit your request.

We look forward to seeing you on the rails when things relax and it is safe to do so.

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Update on 2021 Train Excursions

May 25, 2021


Our 2021 Train Excursion schedule is in place. For full details on the excursions and when these are planned, please visit our Excursion Page. We have planned out the schedule for the rest of the year, but at this time that is all it is -- a plan. Until things improve with COVID-19 pandemic, our train schedule is on hold. Tickets for future excursions are still on sale. However, until we are out of lock down, no train excursions will be running. We are hopeful that things will improve so we can once again ride the rails and offer unique family outings to our guests. We do expect things will be different and that we will have make accommodations. Despite all that, we do look forward to the coming months.

We were able to run an excursion in April, Shake Off Winter Train Excursion just before lock down, although we were not able to do all elements of the excursion as planned, our guests enjoyed the outing with the modifications we made.

We are all looking forward to being able to ride the rails with you again in the near future. In the meantime, please enjoy the slide show of the April Excursion. We look forward to being able to once again offer a unique family train experience to all our guests.

Until then, stay safe and healthy.

All the best,

Friends of the Battle River Railway

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Discover A Host of Characters on the Rails.

May 18, 2020

Discover an array of characters with you ride the rails with Battle River Train Excursions.

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You Never Know Who You'll Meet!

April 27, 2020

You never know who you'll meet when you ride the rails with Battle River Train Excursions. Stay safe and healthy, then join us once we are through this crisis! It's the Experience.

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Good Friends, Food & Conversation!

May 11, 2020

Good friends, food and conversation, there's nothing better. It's the Experience with Battle River Train Excursions. We hope to see you on the rails!

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Take a Step Back In Time

May 4, 2020

Take a step back in time, when you ride the rails with Battle River Train Excursions. Savour the moments and enjoy the ride.

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Music, Fun & Conversation

May 25, 2020

Music, fun and conversation can be found on the rails with Battle River Train Excursions.

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It's Yours to Discover

April 27, 2020

It's all yours to discover on Battle River Train Excursions. Stay safe and stay healthy so we can once again ride the rails in Rural Alberta.

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Spring Winds are Blowing

April 21, 2020

Spring winds are blowing, and before we know it summer sun will be shining upon us! Stay safe and healthy so we can all ride the rails together this summer with Battle River Train Excursions.

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It's the Experience

April 23, 2020

There is no better way to enjoy rural Alberta than by rail. With Battle River Train Excursions It's the Experience!

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Valentines Train Cancelled

January 27, 2020

Due to circumstances out of our control we are unable to run this excursion as planned. All guests who purchased tickets will be contacted by our staff.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

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Partnership for the Arts

March 1, 2019

Friends ofthe Battle River Railway partners with W.H. Webb and Joe Hartung for a fantastic night for The Arts in Forestburg.

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Local Businesses Sponsor

March 2, 2019

Local businesses sponsor Battle River Train Exucursions train runs, thank them by patronizing their businesses.  

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FBRR Wins!

March 3, 2019

Friends of the Battle River Railway receives Wynn McLean Rural Tourism Award at the 2019 Growing rural Tourism Conference in Camrose.

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Volunteers are Key

November 19, 2018

Our volunteers are key to our success. Thank you to Caroline Boddy & Battle River Railway for partnering to design and create escape rooms for local students Grades 1-9 to enjoy.

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Battle River Trains is on TV

June 1, 2018

Battle River Train Excursions featured on CBC TV’s “Our Edmonton” hosted by Adrienne Lamb. Click here to view the video.

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Contact Information

For the most up-to-date information about our upcoming excursions, be sure to email or call.
Battle River Train Excursions is run by the Friends of the Battle River Railway, a registered not-for-profit organization.