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  CPR bridge downtown Red Deer 1987

Forth Junction Project
Alberta Central
Historical Miniature Rail
and Landmark Display

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

 
1939

The glory of passenger service;
the region prepares for war

By the time the Second World War had begun several changes had occurred since 1911 including the incorporation of the city of Red Deer in 1913 and the completion of the Alberta Central Railway to Rocky Mountain House, the Canadian Northern Western Railway to Nordegg and the Grand Trunk Pacific from Camrose to Calgary.
 
CNR Red Deer River bridge washoutIn 1919, the Canadian Northern Western had been absorbed into the newly-formed Canadian National Railways and in the following year, CNR had built a bridge across the Red Deer River near the mouth of Waskasoo Creek. A station was built near the southwest corner of Ross Street and 47 Avenue (where the Co-op Shopping Centre currently stands) as well as a freight shed and turntable. The bridge had washed out a couple of times over the years during the spring ice break-up and replaced.
 
Canadian National station in Sylvan LakeIn 1923, the former Grand Trunk Pacific line through Mirror, Alix, Delburne and Three Hills had become the main CNR main north-south corridor between Edmonton and Calgary effectively downgrading the busy former Canadian Northern north-south line through Stettler, Big Valley and Drumheller to branch line status.
 
CNR had been running passenger trains from the Red Deer station to North Junction and then either west to Sylvan Lake, Eckville, Rocky Mountain House and Nordegg or east to Mirror where it connected with the CNR north-south line between Calgary and Edmonton.
 
Jubilee 4-4-4 'the Chinook' 3001Meanwhile Canadian Pacific had been running three passenger trains a day in each direction between Calgary and Edmonton including an overnight train.

 

In 1936, the semi-streamlined Jubilee 3001 'the Chinook' was introduced in addition to the Stampeder/Eskimo service, cutting the former time from 6.5 hours to 5 hours between the two cities with stops in each town along the line.
 
Canadian Pacific station in Sylvan LakeCPR also ran trains from Red Deer to Lacombe and east to Alix, Stettler and Coronation, northwest to Rimbey and Bentley, and a mixed train west to Sylvan Lake, Benalto and Rocky Mountain House from Forth Junction.
 
The main CPR infrastructure changes since 1911 included the demolition of the coal chutes in 1923 and the removal of the ACR yards and Piper Creek trestle by 1917.
 
With the war starting, the railway plays an important role in the movement of troops from Red Deer and Central Alberta to training centres across the country and to ocean ports. The Jubilee 3001 is replaced with heavier locomotives to head longer troop trains than the 3001 was designed to haul.
 
The creation of an army training base in Red Deer and an air training base near Penhold are assured due to proximity to major rail service.

 

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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