Skip to content

Headlines from the past: Port Moody's grand rail car took five years to restore

The old Venosta rail car at PoMo Museum was officially opened in 1992, five years after its restoration began.
A volunteer does some last minute restoration work on the Venosta rail car in Port Moody in anticipation of its grand opening celebration in Sept., 1992.

Stories from Tri-City News headlines of decades past is a recurring feature as the publication approaches its 40th anniversary in 2024.

The old Venosta rail passenger car has become a beloved part of Port Moody's landscape.

Parked in front of the PoMo Museum — itself a restored old rail station — the 1921 CPR sleeper car has 32 seats and four bedrooms.

In September 1992, volunteers from the Port Moody Heritage Society and West Coast Railway Association were putting the final touches on their passion project in anticipation of its grand opening celebrations.

The event included the Metro Band playing live music from the 1920s and '30s, guests dressed in the fashion of the era and hot dogs for 20 cents.

The restoration work had started five years earlier and included a thorough cleaning and repainting inside and out, the installation of new carpeting, electrical work and lighting.

According to the heritage society’s website, the car was originally built by Canadian Car & Foundry and went into service known as the Glen Atha with 10 compartments. It was then rebuilt in 1942 and renamed the Venosta.

The car remained in service until 1964, when CPR refurbished it as a safety instructional car to train its employees in Alberta.

Over its years in Port Moody, the Venosta has been used to host special events like fundraising teas and, most recently, board game nights. It can also be booked for private functions.

The Tri-City News has covered civic affairs, local crime, festivals, events, personalities, sports and arts in Coquitlam, Port Coquitlam and Port Moody since 1983. Bound back issues of the paper are available at the Coquitlam Archives, while digital versions of several past years can be found at