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  railway heritage village

Forth Junction Project 
Concept for

Forth Junction Community
Heritage Rail Park

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

Forth Junction Park Concept

Railway Station Architecture

Future Historical Miniature Rail Exhibits

Ultimate Vision

Concept Proposal for
 

Transportation Themed Rail, Trail and Transit Interpretive
Community Heritage Rail Park

 
creating a unique experience that values family recreational activity, the natural environment and the transportation heritage of the prairies, to be located at or near Red Deer close to historic and current transportation corridors;
 
and to interpret, demonstrate and display the relationship between built and natural environment as it relates to the evolution of ground transportation in Western Canada

      proposed rail park based on Springbrook option
                            Conceptual site plan at full build-out based on the Springbrook option


Features of the proposed rail park at completion (Phase 3 - conceptual only)
creating a unique experience that values family recreational activity, the natural environment and the transportation heritage of Central Alberta
and to interpret, demonstrate and display the relationship between built and natural environment as it relates to the evolution of ground transportation in Western Canada

former C&E Railway Museum- Calgary & Edmonton Railway Museum
  Replication of the original 1891 C&E railway station to house
  current collection of artifacts. This station was built in several
  locations prior to being replaced or demolished, including at
  Red Deer, Innisfail, Olds, Carstairs, Airdrie, Lacombe, Ponoka,
  Wetaskiwin, Leduc and Strathcona. The majority of these
  artifacts were gifted to the Forth Junction Heritage Society by
  the Junior League of Edmonton, operators of the closed C&E
  Railway Station Museum in south Edmonton.

- Replication of historic railway stations
  as a study in architecture

  Replicated and/or restored railway stations of Central Alberta
  as interpretive centres of the railways of Red Deer County
  including the Alberta Central Railway (CPR), Canadian Northern Western Railway (CNR), Grand Trunk Pacific
  Railway (CNR). These stations would be used for a variety of purposes including model rail and themed exhibits,
  children's pavilion, games room, mini-theatre, gift shop, a transportation library and administration.

- Series of miniature historical
  model rail exhibits
  One or more of the replicated railway stations
  will house accurate representations of the
  evolution of the railway in the development of
  Red Deer and other communities in Central
  Alberta featuring a variety of scales and time
  periods. This could evolve to become Canada's
  largest series of historically-accurate miniature
  railway exhibits.

- Children's pavilion &
  miniature railway
   activity, educational and entertainment centre
  for children to learn the basics of transportation science and logistics including miniature train rides and other
  fun activities

- Transportation history pavilion
  Highlighting the evolution of transit and regional bus service in Central
  Alberta as well as other modes of ground transportation. Regional
  historic and cultural tours could be offered from this facility.

-
Heritage railway collections interpretive
  exhibits

   indoor and outdoor displays showcasing private and leased railway
   collections and the evolution of rail infrastructure, locomotives and
   rolling stock in Central Alberta. Sufficient space will be included for a
   future rail loop and hidden un-restored railway equipment storage.

- Train viewing observation platform and activity area
 
 Elevated viewing point for rail enthusiasts and photographers to watch the CPR rail line with games, video and
  reading area and refreshment bar with adjoining themed playground, gardens and picnic area.

- Themed interpretive centres and kiosks
  focusing on aspects of historic railways such as the C&E Railway and the Alberta
  Central Railway, railway activity such as fossil fuel and agricultural transport, personal
  vehicles and other ground transportation which could include military and first
  responder vehicles.
1912 CPR station, freight house, garden
- Ornamental rail station
  gardens

   similar to the many railway station gardens (including the 1906 CPR Red
   Deer ornamental garden) that greeted visitors and settlers in the first
   half of the 20th century. Other gardens could be scattered throughout
   the rail park with fountains, benches and other features.


- Natural areas, green space, trails, picnic areas
 
  natural areas including trees, green spaces and wetlands accessible
   through a network of internal trails and external trail connections with
   picnic areas and benches to relax and enjoy the environment.

rail park landscaping- Family activity zones,
  themed playgrounds

 
  transportation-themed playgrounds scattered
   throughout the park and family activity
   zones where families can enjoy the unique built and natural environment. May include
   gazebos, outdoor stage, covered picnic areas and event zone.


Phase 1 of the park plan sets the stage for the ultimate build-out of the overall vision. It accommodates current opportunities and allows for additional uses of the site by the community and other similar organizations. It also provides some time to modify the plan as community needs, studies, consultations and trends evolve.

Phase 1 of proposed rail parkThe first phase includes:
- Calgary & Edmonton Railway Museum housing the collection gifted by the Junior
  League of Edmonton from the now-closed station museum in south Edmonton;
- children's playground and outdoor activity area;
- covered viewing platform and snack bar for rail fans who want to watch the busy CPR
  Calgary-Edmonton main line that hosts up to 15 trains per day. This element alone could
  ultimately attract a good number of visitors from many parts of North America;
- stand-alone interpretive kiosks;
- an ornamental railway garden similar to those that were once connected to railway
  stations;
- additional gardens, a gazebo, water features, fountains;
- natural areas, trails and tree planting. Eventually the park would connect with regional
  trails including the Trans Canada Trail;
- temporary heritage transit storage building and bus tour depot;
- the beginnings of a historical miniature world model railway exhibit;
- at least one other replicated railway station as representative of railway architecture.

These features would initially attract mostly local and regional residents and guests, visitors, and tourists travelling along the Calgary and Edmonton corridor.

The above features would be developed by the society. The long term vision for the site is for the central area of the parcel to be complementary stand-alone semi-commercial developments. See Ultimate Vision
 

 
The Forth Junction Heritage Society has reviewed many rail parks and rail museums and has taken inspiration from several of them, some within Alberta and others well outside.
Our desire is to not duplicate these facilities but to learn from them to facilitate the creation of a unique attraction with a unique combination of facilities.
 
Some excellent attractions within Alberta that we have taken inspiration from include the Alberta Central Railway Museum near Wetaskiwin, Heritage Park in Calgary, Fort Edmonton Park, the Alberta Railway Museum north of Edmonton, Aspen Crossing at Mossleigh and Galt Historic Railway Park south of Lethbridge.
We see these attractions complementary to our own vision and we encourage you to visit these other great parks.

Outside of Alberta, inspiration has come from the West Coast Railway Heritage Park at Squamish, 3 Valley Gap near Revelstoke, the Revelstoke Railway Museum, Canadian Museum of Rail Travel at Cranbrook and Fort Steele in B.C. as well as Exporail in Montreal, Winnipeg Railway Museum, Toronto Railway Museum, B&O Railway Museum in Baltimore, MD, EnterTrainment Junction in Cincinnati, OH, Railraod Park Resort in Dunsmuir, CA, and San Diego CA Model Railroad Museum.
 

Photos and graphics:
 Header photo: Musquodoboit Harbour Railway Museum, Nova Scotia
 1. Site plan graphic rending by Paul Pettypiece;
 2.& 3. Photos of former C&E Railway Museum Edmonton & child at FreeMo by Paul Pettypiece;
 4. Photo of Sorensen bus courtesy of Steve Parkin; 5. Photo of Musquodoboit Harbour Railway Museum, Nova Scotia from website;
 6. Colourized 1912 photo of Red Deer stations and garden courtesy of Red Deer Archives P8737;
 7. Photo of gardens & railway at West Coast Railway Heritage Park, BC and graphic of Phase 1 rail park by Paul Pettypiece
 

Forth Junction Park Concept       Railway Station Architecture       Future Historical Miniature Rail Exhibits       Ultimate Vision

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