Organization: The National Museums of Canada
Year: 1978
Designer: Jim Donoahue



The Discovery Train logo is made up of a stylized train, centred within a maple leaf.


The Discovery Train was a Canadian mobile museum train that travelled across the country from 1978 to 1980.


About the Discovery Train

The following are public Cabinet records on the Discovery Train, sourced from Library and Archives Canada’s online collection.

Cabinet Conclusions – 43846

Discovery Train Project
Meeting date: 1977-07-28
Found in: Archives / Cabinet Conclusions

The Cabinet had for consideration a Memorandum (Cab. Doc. 392-77MC, July 25, 1977) submitted by the Secretary of State proposing that the National Museums of Canada participate for five years in the operation of a proposed discovery train project at an annual cost of $750 thousand.

The Secretary of State indicated that the American owners of the train would break it up if they did not receive a firm commitment for its purchases by the end of the week. The project involved participation by the Provinces, which would purchase the train at a cost of $500 thousand, and the private sector, which would undertake the cost of refinishing it to reflect Canadian unity themes. The federal government would be obligated to operate the train for a period of five years.

Concern was expressed by the Minister of State (Fitness and Amateur Sport) that the provincial leaders, particularly Mr. Davis, would receive all the credit for the train at the time of its purchase. The Prime Minister indicated, however, that it was desirable to involve the Providences in the national unity issue. While he was not personally committed to this project, he thought Cabinet should authorize the Treasury Board to reach a final decision that afternoon (July 28) based on the Board’s assessment of the cost implications.

The cabinet agreed that the Treasury Board be authorized to make a final decision on whether the Government should support the plans for the National Museums of Canada to proceed with the Discovery Train Project and to authorize any necessary expenditures arising from its decision.

Cabinet Conclusions – 43914

Discovery Train Project
Meeting date: 1977-08-08
Found in: Archives / Cabinet Conclusions

The Treasury Board, at its meeting of August 4, 1977, had for consideration a memorandum from the Secretary of State (Cab. Doc. 399-77MC) seeking approval to proceed with the Discovery Train Project, which involves provincial governments, the private and voluntary sectors, and the national railroads.

The Treasury Board recommended approval contingent upon the Secretary of State being fully satisfied prior to any undertaking for purchase of the train, that the other participants will accept their share of the financial commitment as described in the submission.