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  CPR Red Deer station and park

Forth Junction Project
CPR Railway Stations of
Central Alberta

Forth Junction Project Vision Sharing Historical Perspective Ground Transportation
Heritage Preservation
Forth Junction
Heritage Society

Canadian Pacific Railway Stations
built in Central Alberta
revised and updated May 2014

CPR portable stationUsually, when a new rail line was built, the railway placed a temporary (sometimes a boxcar) or portable station at a location until it was determined what kind of station would be appropriate. Sometimes the 'temporary' station was in place for several years. The following are some of the 'permanent' stations built by the CPR in Central Alberta. In many cases, the 'permanent' station was replaced by a larger one if the railway or the community had special significance and usually they were 2 storeys.
C&E combination station 1891Wood Combination Station and Freight House (1891)
The Calgary & Edmonton Railway was constructed from Calgary to Red Deer in the fall of 1890 and continued on to Edmonton the following spring. Stations were primarily boxcars until, in 1891, the railway built a cookie-cutter combination station and freight house approximately every twenty miles along the route. Each was constructed in about three weeks.

C&E combination station Innisfail 1911They started out virtually identical but over the next several years, modifications were made to each station to make them more functional according to the needs of the community and station master resulting in some distinction but the primary characteristics remained.

Red Deer CPR 1892 combination station 1905Besides Red Deer, this design was built south at Innisfail, Olds, Carstairs and Airdrie. North of Red Deer, they were built at Lacombe, Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Leduc and Strathcona.

Innisfail CPR station 1890sBy 1914, the stations at Red Deer, Lacombe, Wetaskiwin and Strathcona were replaced by larger stations and the original stations were relocated and converted to freight sheds that were in use until the 1950s. The stations at Ponoka, Innisfail and Olds remained as the principal station also until the 1950s. The Innisfail and Olds stations were replaced by unimaginative and utilitarian cinder block buildings. South of Calgary, similar stations were built at High River, Claresholm, Okotoks, Nanton, and De Winton.

The Calgary & Edmonton Railway (owned partially by railway builders McKenzie and Mann as well as James Ross, a contractor with the CPR) leased the line to the CPR until the CPR purchased it outright.

These and similar stations were built in Saskatchewan and Manitoba on railway lines built by railway developers McKenzie and Mann who eventually formed the Canadian Northern Railway which competed with the CPR.

A replica of this type is located in South Edmonton (Strathcona) based on the Innisfail station although the freight shed portion was not replicated.

See C&ER combination station and freight house page for more detailed information including renderings of all 4 views of the station and interior layout.
CPR Standard Portable Stations (1902-1931)
rendering of typical CPR portable stationAbout 400 of these small stations were built in Western Canada and, in many communities, the 'portable' station was the only one they ever had. Some portables replaced even smaller temporary stations.

original portable Hobbema station at ACR Museum near WetaskiwinMany portables were replaced by larger stations and were repurposed for a variety of uses including freight houses or bunk houses. Some portable stations were moved from place to place and occasionally replaced larger stations when they were no longer needed.

Portables were used in many Central Alberta communities including Penhold, Bowden, Hobbema, Millet, Ellerslie, Nisku, Tees, Mintlaw, Cygnet, Sylvan Lake, Rocky Mountain House, Eckville, Bentley, Rimbey and Wimborne to name a few.
At least four of this type have survived in Central Alberta, the Hobbema station at the ACR Museum near Wetaskiwin, the Tees station at Paskapoo Park in Rimbey, and two privately owned -- the Wimborne and Sunnyslope stations.

More info on CPR Portable Stations
CPR Standard #2 Station (1904)
rendering of CPR Std 2 Station similar to PenholdThe Calgary & Edmonton Railway, operated by the Canadian Pacific Railway, had stations approximately every 10 miles. The combination station and freight house described above were located about every 20 miles. The intermediate stations had portables until more substantial stations were constructed several years later.

The following four stations along the line were the only ones of their type built in Alberta.

Penhold #2 station 1940
(C & E Railway arrived 1890) built 1904 to replace small temporary station; renovated 1941; closed and demolished 1969; replicated as office building a few blocks from original site

(C & E Railway arrived 1891) built 1904 to replace small temporary station; sold 1968; demolished

Bowden station at InnisfailBowden (C & E Railway arrived 1890) built 1904 to replace small temporary station; relocated from west side of tracks to east side in 1920s; closed 1968; relocated to Historical Village Innisfail 1974 for use as museum; currently houses historical model rail exhibit
(C & E Railway arrived 1890) built 1904 to replace small temporary station; destroyed by fire 1933; replaced by standard #4A (see below)

The Bowden station has survived but moved to Innisfail and the Penhold station has been replicated (with a lower roofline over the original freight shed portion).
rendering of CPR Std 2 similar to BowdenThis station was typically 87'x24' including 40' freight house with waiting room, office and baggage/express, plus living room and kitchen on the main floor and 3 bedrooms upstairs for the station agent's family.

In Saskatchewan, 16 of this type were built but only 1 in Manitoba.
CPR Pratt Station House Didsbury (1904)

An exception to building the #2 stations at intermediate points along the Calgary & Edmonton Railway was the station at Didsbury.
Didsbury CPR station todayDidsbury
(C & E Railway arrived 1890) built 1904 to replace small temporary station; addition 1907; retired 1977; donated to town 1991, turned 180 degrees & restored; provincial historic site; community use
Typically, these stations were originally 32'x24' plus 30' freight shed, often with expanded freight shed (as was the case with Didsbury). Similar stations were built in Alberta at Bassano and Cochrane. A total of 4 were built in Alberta, 2 in Saskatchewan and 11 in Manitoba.
CPR Standard #10 Station (1905-1910)

Camrose CPR stationCamrose (Sparling) (Wetaskiwin subdivision arrived 1905) built 1907 to replace small temporary station. The town gained further importance with the arrival of Canadian Northern in 1909 and Grand Trunk Pacific in 1911; replaced in 1956 with masonry special station (see below)

Castor (Lacombe subdivision arrived 1910) built 1910, destroyed by fire 1937, replaced by Standard A2 Western station relocated from Loyalist (see below)
rendering of CPR std 10 station tracksideThis station was typically 73'x22' but varied in size. It usually had an express room and baggage room in addition to a large general waiting room, ladies waiting room, office and freight house (which in itself varied in size). The smallest version (#5) was typically 50'x22' with smaller waiting rooms and no express room. All had four rooms on the second floor for either the station agent's family or train crews.

This type of station was usually built at junctions with other branches or railways, or where there was a need for crew changes. There were similar stations at Provost, Exshaw, Vulcan and double-gabled variants at Brooks and Taber.
Bassano CPR stationThere is no indication that any of this station type survived in Central Alberta. However, the Bassano station (162'x20' including freight shed - one of the largest wooden stations still in existence in Western Canada) was sold by CPR in 2010 and was moved to the Beiseker Railway Museum in 2012.
CPR Standard #5 Station (1905-1910)
The Standard #5 was a variation and smaller version of the #10 and was much more common. They were generally built at small communities along branchlines. These stations are sometimes referred to as Standard #10 small. However, they often look larger when they have longer (sometimes much longer) freight sheds attached. They are recognized by narrower or fewer window treatments and a smaller second storey.

(C & E Railway arrived 1891) built 1907 to replace portable built 1902, sold 1968, relocated except for freight shed which was demolished

Alix CPR station
(Lacombe subdivision arrived 1905) built 1910 to replace small temporary station. The station had some importance as a junction with the north-south Grand Trunk Pacific when it crossed the CP at grade in 1912; demolished 1958

First Stettler CPR station 1920

(Lacombe subdivision arrived 1905) built 1905. The station gained further importance with the arrival in Stettler of the Canadian Northern in 1911; station destroyed by fire 1925; replaced by Standard 14A station (see below) built 1925
Botha, Gadsby, Halkirk
(Lacombe subdivision arrived 1905) all built 1910, all retired 1968 and believed to have been demolished
Similar stations were built in Alberta at Irricana, Ervick, Acme, Daysland and several others.

This station was typically 50'x22' and had a general waiting room, ladies waiting room, office and freight house (which in itself varied in size). It also usually had four small bedrooms on the second floor for the station agent's family. None of this station type is believed to have survived in Central Alberta. There is a surviving station of this type at Arborg, Manitoba.

The #10 and #5 standard stations were among the most common station types built between 1905 and 1910. A total of 51 were built in Alberta, 81 in Saskatchewan and 10 in Manitoba.
Wetaskiwin Special WF (woodframe) Station (1907)
Wetaskiwin CPR station(C&E/CPR Leduc/Wetaskiwin subdivisions) New station built 1907-08 to replace combination station; addition 1913; still onsite; scaled down replication built at Alberta Central Railway Museum southeast of city
Other Special WF (Woodframe) stations with various designs were built in Alberta


Red Deer CPR station 1910Red Deer
Special L Station (1910 - Plan X-20B)

Federal, provincial and municipal historic designations

(C&E/CPR Red Deer/Leduc subdivisions)

Red Deer CPR new station 1910

New brick station (foundation 112'x32', roofline 126'x36', large waiting room ceiling 14', baggage room, express office, ticket office, washrooms on main floor and train crew apartments on upper floor) completed in late 1910 at the head of Ross Street to replace combination station to the north (see above); components include sandstone and local brick; expanded by 20' 1912;

Red Deer CPR station 1985
major renovation 1969; passenger service ended 1985; closed 1991 with rail yard relocation to west side of city;


Red Deer CPR station trackside 1985

The Red Deer station was federally designated a protected historic site in 1990 (days before it was scheduled for demolition), a municipal historic site in 1991 and provincial historic resource in 1993: purchased and restored in 1996; renovated for use as commercial and office space; former CPR railyard redeveloped for commercial, residential and major roadway use.


Similar stations (each architecturally unique but with octagonal towers) were built at Lethbridge in 1905, Medicine Hat in 1906, Strathcona in 1907 and Saskatoon in 1907.

See Red Deer CPR 1910 Station page for more detailed information including renderings of all 4 views of the station.

CPR Branchline Subdivision Depot (1910-1911) Plan E-22-2
(Hardisty/Wetaskiwin subdivisions) built 1910 replacing a portable station erected earlier the same year; purchased by town; sold 2008; relocated, restored and used as private residence
Coronation CPR station 1912 
(Coronation/Lacombe subdivisions) built 1911, shared with Canadian Northern Railway which had running rights from Alliance to Youngstown, demolished 1988
These were the only two of this type built in Alberta (although the Lacombe station (see below) was very similar in appearance). Six were built in Saskatchewan between 1908 and 1913 including the stations at Kerrobert, Wilkie and Outlook. The stations were typically 114'x26' with no agent accommodation or room for LCL (less than carload) in the station itself but did have an express room and baggage room. A separate freight house was usually attached.

Lacombe CPR stationLacombe Special WF Station (1911)

(C&E/CPR Leduc/Lacombe subdivisions) New special woodframe station built 1911 similar to Branchline Subdivision Depot (see above) to replace combination station damaged by an explosion; closed 1968; demolished 1978; replicated as office building on opposite side of tracks 2007

CPR Standard A2 Western
(1911-1918) Plan WLS-4
Leduc CPR A2 station with Insul-Brick 1972Leduc
(C & E Railway arrived 1891) built 1914 to replace wood combination station and freight house, demolished 1985
Clive (Lacombe subdivision arrived 1905) built 1912 to replace small temporary station; sold 1968
(Lacombe subdivision arrived 1905) built 1912, sold 1964

rendering of CPR std A2 Western station tracksideErskine
(Lacombe subdivision arrived 1905) built 1910, demolished 1968
(Lacombe subdivision arrived 1910) 1918 station relocated from Loyalist in 1937 to replace CPR Standard #10 station destroyed by fire; sold 1969; currently used as museum

(Coronation subdivision arrived 1912) built 1912, destroyed by fire 1957
Bittern Lake
(Wetaskiwin subdivision arrived 1905) built 1911 to replace small temporary station; sold 1961; demolished
Beiseker CPR station today
Beiseker (Langdon subdivision) built 1910, sold 1970, preserved as museum and town office
Similar stations were built in Alberta at Veteran, Fleet, Carseland, Canmore,
(now part of Calgary) (built 1910, closed 1918, relocated to Calgary Heritage Park 1964, restored as active station),
(southeast corner of Alberta) (built 1917, closed 1981, abandoned 1991, sold 1995, privately owned, restored as bed and breakfast 1999)
Typically 55'x24', a total of 57 of this type were built in Alberta, 121 in Saskatchewan and 19 in Manitoba, and were among the most common of stations.
former ACR station used as residence
Red Deer
Alberta Central Railway Station (1911)

(ACR launched 1910) station built 1911 in new yard east of Piper Creek, never used as station; relocated twice as private residence; now west of Red Deer; effectively one-of-a-kind.

Lochearn CN/CP station Rocky Mountain House
CPR Standard A3 (1910-1920)
Plan WLS-13

Rocky Mountain House (Lochearn)

(Alberta Central subdivision and CNR Brazeau sub)
built 1920 to replace temporary station built 1915; shared with Canadian National; originally lettered as 'Lochearn' but later lettered 'Rocky Mtn House'; closed 1966; sold; destroyed by fire 1967
Similar stations were built in Alberta at Vegreville, Carbon, Cardston, Clandonald, Myrnam, Lloydminster

A total of 11 were built in Alberta, 36 in Saskatchewan and 25 in Manitoba

Gull Lake CPR station
Gull Lake/Aspen Beach Station (1917)
unique small one-storey station with wide roofline built 1917 by the Lacombe and Blindman Valley Electric Railway (renamed Lacombe & North Western Railway in 1918, acquired by CPR 1928 as the Hoadley subdivision). Mixed trains used the station until it was closed and sold in the 1950s, used as chicken coop for several years, donated to the Summer Village of Gull Lake in 1998 for use as a museum.
CPR Standard #14A (1924-1930) Plan WLS-16
Sylvan Lake CPR #14A station
Sylvan Lake
(Alberta Central subdivision) built 1924 (one of first of this design to be built) to replace smaller temporary station; some decorative modification to the roofline uncharacteristic of the Standard #14A; sold 1969
Hobbema (C&E/CPR Leduc subdivision) built 1928 to replace small station; sold 1968

ACR station used as residenceBenalto (Alberta Central subdivision) built 1928 to replace small temporary station; sold 1970; relocated twice as private residence to locations near Red Deer; donated and relocated to Benalto 2013
(Hoadley subdivision formerly Lacombe & Blindman Valley) built 1929 to replace portable station; retired 1968; demolished
Stettler CPR station
(Lacombe subdivision) built 1925 to replace Standard #10 destroyed by fire; retired 1968; demolished
(Acme subdivision) built 1930; sold 1969; demolished
rendering of CPR std 14A station trackside

Similar stations were built in Alberta at East Coulee and several others. A total of 32 of this type were built in Alberta, 31 in Saskatchewan and 5 in Manitoba.

CPR Standard #4A Station (1903-1951) Plan WLS-23
Crossfield CPR 4A station as residenceCrossfield
(C & E Railway arrived 1890) built 1933 to replace a Standard #2 station that had been destroyed by fire; retired; removed in 1974, used as private residence
Typically, this one-storey 50'x17' #4A station contained a waiting room, office, express room, and freight room. A similar station was built at McLennan the same year and two others were built in 1942 at Breton and Pearce. Earlier versions, referred to as CPR Standard #4, were built in Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Camrose Special MC Station (1956)
(Wetaskiwin subdivision) Masonry special station built 1956 to replace Standard #10 station; removed and demolished
Innisfail cinder block station 1985
Cinder-Block Station (1961-62)

Innisfail (C&E/CPR Red Deer subdivision) built 1961;
(C&E/CPR Red Deer subdivision) built 1962; no longer in use

Credits: Renderings by Paul Pettypiece; photos courtesy of Red Deer Archives, Glenbow Museum, Provincial Archives of Alberta

Railway Stations of the Region
C & ER Combination Stations
Portable Stations
Red Deer CPR 1910 Station
Role of Railway Stations
Red Deer's 4 Stations
CPR Stations in Central Alberta
CNR Stations in Central Alberta
Multiple Station Communities
Station Plans

The Railways of Central Alberta
Calgary & Edmonton Railway
C & E Railway at Red Deer
Alberta Central Railway
Canadian Northern Railway
Canadian Northern Western RR
Canadian National Railway in RD
Grand Trunk Pacific Central Alberta
Lacombe & Blindman Valley RR
Timetable Excerpts
Trails, Transit, Trains
Trails and Trains Overview
Trains and Transit Overview

Milestones 1910-13
Calgary Edmonton Trail
Transit in Central Alberta
Red Deer Transit

Jubilee 3001 Chinook
Locomotives Central Alberta
Rise and Fall of Passenger Rail


Bridges, Structures, Heritage
Rail Structures of Region
Central Alberta Rail Bridges

Mintlaw Trestle
Alberta's Railway Bridges
Western Canada Rail Bridges



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