History
Southern Prairie Railway began its life as a dream around the table at an Ogema Agricultural Society Meeting in 1998. The original thought was to add another dimension to the annual fair day and increase the heritage experience around the community.
 
In 1999, an extensive search was conducted  at  the Saskatchewan Heritage Foundation and  a CPR train station was located in Simpson, Sask., identical to the station that originally stood at the South end of Main Street in Ogema. The original housing portion of Ogema's station was torn down and the warehouse was bought by a local farmer for storage in the 1960's.
 
The Simpson station was purchased from a local farmer that had been using it for grain storage. The purchase price was the replacement of storage space which included 2-5000 bushel hopper bottom bins. One of which was graciously donated by the late Peter Sakundiak of Sakundiak Equipment.
 
In August 2002, 23 people from Ogema traveled to Simpson to erect the 2 hopper bottom bins in one weekend. Over the next month, the house and freight shed were readied for the big move and in late October, made the 280 km trek to its new home in Ogema.
 
With this new purchase completed, those involved worked towards developing a "Transportation Division" of the local Deep South Pioneer Museum (DSPM) to facilitate this new venture.
 
In 2003, the train station was cleaned, removing the remaining grain and stripping it to the boards. The outside was repaired, pressure washed and painted getting ready for the 2005 Homecoming
 
The inside of the house and office were restored in 2004  to the original plans as per the blueprints from the archives. The loading dock was also completed.
 
In early 2005, the living quarters were furnished with pieces from the museum and the freight shed housed the velocipede, the signs, signal arms, conductor's hat, telephone and telegraph.
 
The train station the fully restored in time for the 2005 Homecoming in July.
 
With this portion of the vision completed, focus turned to the next feasible aspect of the plan; A 1912 water tower was located in Wartime, Sask as well as one community in Alberta. However, these plans were put on hold as all efforts were directed towards purchasing and restoring a locomotive and passenger cars to run on the privately owned Red Coat rail line as a heritage tour.
 
In 2008, the Transportation Division was approached by a group with tourist railway operation experience and a business plan that matched up very well with our latest efforts.
 
With this new partnership in place, the Transportation Division of the DSPM broke away from the museum to form the Ogema Heritage Railway Association (OHRA) with the intention of being designated a charitable non-profit organization.
 
As OHRA's main focus was on building a sustainable railway museum, a separate entity was needed to distinguish the museum from the tourist train ride operations. From here, Southern Prairie Railway(SPR) was born.
 
The OHRA made its first big purchase in November 2010 when a 1944 General Electric Diesel Locomotive was purchased from Conway Scenic Railway in North Conway, New Hampshire. At the same time, a 1922 Pullman 70 Passenger Coach was acquired from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
 
The locomotive was moved by truck and was shipped to Assiniboia, Sask in June, 2011. The passenger coach was shipped by rail and had arrived several days earlier.
 
Work began to restore these units immediately. Much of this work began in Assiniboia as a very wet spring caused several washouts along the privately owned rail line between Assiniboia and Ogema. This postponed the move to Ogema by several months.
 
With the exterior of the locomotive fully restored and the coach partially restored, they made the trek to Ogema for their debut on November 4, 2011. A big crowd was there to greet the train and a successful "kick-off" fundraiser was held that evening at the Ogema School Gym.
 
With train tours beginning in the Summer of 2012, it was decided to hold Southern Prairie Railway's Grand Opening during the Ogema Centennial celebrations on July 7, 2012.
 
Ogema Heritage Railway Association and Southern Prairie Railway provide Saskatchewan with its first full-sized tourist railway and works to enhance tourism in the area as well as preserve this beautiful province's heritage.
 
All Aboard!