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  CPR bridge downtown Red Deer 1987

Forth Junction Project
Alberta Central
Historical Miniature Rail
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1913

The building of the ACR & CNWR;
the headiness of rail and municipal expansion

1910-14 --
 
Red Deer is growing and excited with 'railway fever' and economic prosperity as officials and speculators are optimistic that their vision of the community becoming a major metropolis will soon become a reality as the major railway hub of the province with plans to build railway lines in 9 directions.
 
Canadian Pacific railway park in downtown Red DeerIn 1908, Canadian Pacific had named Red Deer the subdivision headquarters establishing Red Deer as the distribution and transportation centre of Central Alberta.

 
roundhouse and water tower in Red Deer
The wooden bridge had been replaced by steel; a new grand railway station had been built at the head of Ross Street by 1910 and added to in 1912; a 10-stall roundhouse, turntable, water tower, stock yards and coal chutes had been constructed; a beautiful station park greeted visitors; and branch lines had been constructed east of Lacombe to Stettler and east of Wetaskiwin to Camrose.
 
construction of the Alberta Central Mintlaw steel trestle 1911In 1911, the Red Deer-based Alberta Central Railway, with a vision of becoming part of a transcontinental system, had built a wooden trestle across Piper Creek, a station and yards in what is now Mountview, a bridge across the CPR and Waskasoo Creek, and started construction of a large steel trestle across the Red Deer River at Mintlaw. Plans had been established for the Alberta Central Railway to run east to Delburne and on to Moose Jaw, Saskatoon and Hudson Bay.
 

The following year, the ACR went bankrupt. Construction west to Rocky Mountain House was taken over by the Canadian Pacific opening new communities while the eastern section was abandoned as was a planned branch line to Drumheller.
 
construction of the Canadian Northern Western Blindman River bridge 1911Meanwhile, the Canadian Northern Western Railway (now part of Canadian National) is competing with the Alberta Central Railway westward originating in Stettler and running north of Red Deer at the Blindman River. In 1912, the line reached Rocky Mountain House ahead of the ACR although the ACR had already built a bridge across the North Saskatchewan River. It started moving coal from the Brazeau coal fields in 1914. In addition, the railway was considering a north-south corridor through Red Deer with a branch line already constructed to North Red Deer. The Canadian Northern had also built a north-south line in 1911 from Edmonton to Calgary through Camrose, Stettler, Big Valley and Drumheller. Another north-south line was constructed in 1911 and 1912 by the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway through Mirror, Alix, Delburne and Three Hills.
 
Red Deer a major railway townWith so much railway construction and economic activity in the region, Red Deer became a city in 1913 with a population close to 3,000. However, later in the year, a recession developed and a year later, war broke out in Europe. The new city maintained a population of over 2,000 for the next 10 years but it was 30 years before the city again reached a population of 3,000.


 

1892 - The beginning of a regional centre    1913 - The headiness of rapid expansion    1939 - The glory days of passenger service
1955 - A year of transition and change     1986 - Modernization and rail relocation     Future - High speed rail and regional transit
Innisfail Historical Model Rail Exhibit         Historic Model Railway Concept         World-Class Model Rail Museums
 

Forth Junction Transpo Park      Western Canada Transpo Centre      Historical Miniature Rail Museum      Railway Station Heritage Resort
Trails, Rails, Transit Heritage Centre      An Opportunity for Boldness       A Time to Think Big and Bold
 

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