The CNR line (known at the time as Canadian Northern Railway) was completed in 1916.
The first passenger train arrived at Victoria Beach on June 11, 1916, It consisted of three coaches, filled to capacity. The "passengers" were mostly landowners who had purchased lots earlier in the year and were coming to see their new properties. The train trip took 3-4 hours. It left Winnipeg at Paddington Junction, with stops at Transcona, Water Tank, Parkmount, Gonor, East Selkirk, Semple, Libau, Scanterbury, Balsam Bay, Grand Marais, Belair, and Victoria Beach.
In June 1918, the railway agency was opened at Victoria Beach. (At that time there were fewer than 12 buildings at V.B., including a small store, post office, the Pinehurst Inn and a handful of cottages).
By 1926, there were three trains to the beach on Friday's (called the "Daddy Specials"), at 3:10pm, 5:30pm, and 7:45pm. The trains would bring approximately 900 people on the weekends, with as many as 1500 some times.
Eventually a road was constructed along the causeway and soon automobiles became the transportation method of choice.
By 1957, Highway #59 was finally paved all the way to VB, and CN Rail was losing money because more and more people drove to the beach. The last train pulled out of Victoria Beach in the fall of 1962. And the rail lines linking VB to Grand Marais were removed later that year.
The location of this cache is not actually a train, but instead a small STEAM ROLLER. This very roller was used by CNR during Victoria Beach’s by-gone train era from 1916-1962. It was also used during the construction of VB’s original tennis courts. This very spot sits along the now-removed railroad tracks near where the old train station used to stand. (See photo).
You are looking for a small flat container in the middle of the "The Village Green" park at Victoria Beach. The container holds a logbook and a first-to-find certificate.
PLEASE REPLACE AS FOUND. THIS ROLLER IS A CLIMBING STRUCTURE FOR KIDS AND IS WELL-PLAYED ON. FAILURE TO REPLACE PROPERLY WILL CAUSE THE CACHE TO DISAPPEAR.
Please make sure container lid is snapped shut tightly before replacing.
Nearby you may enjoy the Vincent Memorial. It features shade, shelter from the rain, a bench, an electrical outlet, and wheelchair accessibility. It commemorates the person that many consider to be the father of Victoria Beach, Art Vincent.
Muggles will be an issue, especially in the summer, so stealth is an absolute must. Also watch out for restaurant patrons at the nearby Moonlight Inn (N 50° 41.992 W 096° 33.521), and everyone else who may be enjoying this greenspace. If you are searching for this one in the summer, please don't be too obvious, or this one will not last. There is really only one place an altoids-style container can be placed and still be out of sight, so approach from the north and survey the object from afar before you begin.
Aerial view from a vintage postcard. Across the railroad tracks are the Moonlight Inn and other stores. The building nearest the Moonlight Inn is now the VB Library. On the far left is the Sports Field (former aerial field), and Pier Point is towards the upper left (beyond the edge of the photo.
A nostalgic drawing of the old VB train station area.
Thanks to Mark Strople for the photo and Harry McFee for the drawing. (As published in the "Victoria Beach Herald").
The most popular day beach is Clubhouse Beach (N 50° 41.925 W 096° 33.687). There is no campground at Victoria Beach.
In the summer months, you'll find public washrooms at N 50° 42.055 W096° 33.555 (Village Green), or N 50° 41.919 W096° 33.646 (near the Clubhouse).
Parking note: During the months of July and August, vehicle traffic is restricted at Victoria Beach. If you arrive between the last week of June and Labour Day (first weekend in September), you must park your car in the parking lot (N 50° 42.135 W 096° 33.191) and walk from there. Parking will cost you $7.00 (in 2018) for the day. So bring your family and beach gear and make a day of it. Note: All other times of the year, your vehicle is welcome to travel with you throughout the community.