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Benalto station move delayed
County approvals needed
reprinted from Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) March 22, 2013

Benalto station park conceptBenalto's former train station will have to wait a little longer before making the journey home.

Originally, the historic train station was to be loaded on a flatbed early next week and hauled from the Burnt Lake area just west of Red Deer.

But it has taken more time than expected to line up the necessary Red Deer County approvals, said Dave More, co-chairman of the Benalto Booster Club and Centennial Committee.

The moving company out of Taber was able to reschedule the move for April 23.

Built in 1928 for the Canadian Pacific Railway, the station was moved to the Cupples family's property more than 40 years ago and was used as a home until recently.

Conscious of its historical connection to Benalto, the Cupples decided to donate it to the hamlet in time for its centennial celebrations next year.

Fundraising efforts have already raised $30,000 to pay for the move and get started on the creation of a park with gazebo, fire pit, toboggan slope and boards for a winter pond hockey rink.

The station will be turned into a small museum and archives.

"Our first step is to get it here," said More.

The train station will be moved to a site about 100 metres from its final resting place for the time being.

"To have the actual site prepared and all that was just impossible. We didn't get word until late November that this gift was even offered.

"At this point, it's just one step at a time."

There has been lots of support of the project from community members. and Red Deer County staff have helped the committee with the necessary paperwork.

More plans to see if environmental landscaping students from Olds College will be willing to help design the park.

Once a detailed budget is established, the committee plans to apply for government grants and seek corporate support, including a pitch to CP. Meanwhile, local fundraising efforts continue.

Donors will be recognized with rail-themed silhouettes inside the station. For instance donations of $5,000 or more are recognized with a locomotive plaque, with those donating $3,000 to $5,000 a caboose and so on.

"The people in the surrounding community, the farmers, the ranchers, the people in the town have been really very supportive."

However, he said, "At this point, we're definitely going to need a lot more funding."

Fundraising chair Lynne Lawrence can be reached at 403-746-5746.

News articles related to Alberta Central Railway heritage:
       News article: Benalto Train Station returned to hamlet after lengthy journey
(Sylvan Lake News May 2013)
       News article: Riders welcome train station home to Benalto
(Red Deer Advocate Apr.2013)
       News article: Benalto train station to return home after 42-year absence
(Sylvan Lake News Feb.2013)
       News article: Former Benalto train station donated back to community (Red Deer Advocate Feb.2013)
       News article: Historic significance of concrete obelisk preserved in mural
(Red Deer Advocate Oct.2008)

News articles related to ACR/CPR Mintlaw bridge:
Commentary: Preservation Opportunity Not to be Lost
(Innisfail Province & Red Deer Advocate June 2015)
       News article: Red Deer County seeks partners to afford bridge access (Mountain View Gazette Apr.2012)
       News article: County council looks at bridge as tourist attraction
(Red Deer Advocate April 2012)
       News article: Plans for Mintlaw Bridge waiting on public feedback
(Mountain View Gazette Feb.2012)
       News article: Opposition comes forward to Mintlaw Bridge preservation
(Mountain View Gazette May 2011)
       News article: Reinforcing our history
(Red Deer Advocate Mar.2011)
       News article: Repairs planned for crumbling CPR bridge
(Red Deer Advocate Feb.2011)
       News article: RD County antes up for Mintlaw Bridge repairs
(Mountain View Gazette Nov.2010)
       News article: Bridging gap between history and disrepair
(Red Deer Advocate Nov.2010)
       News article: County buys bridge for a buck
(Red Deer Advocate Dec.2009)
       News article: County buys historic railway bridge
(Red Deer Express Dec.2009)

News articles related to regional historic railway stations:
       News article: Alberta railway stations get a new lease on life
(AgCanada Nov.2013)
       News article: Big Valley station banks on restored roof (Stettler Independent Apr.2013)
       Blog: Big Valley Canadian Northern Station Celebrates 100 Years
(RETROactive Sept.2012)
       News article: Historic train station relocated to Beiseker
(Rockyview Weekly July 2012)
       News article: A new face for the old station (Red Deer Life July 1996)

Alberta Central Railway (CPR) - Red Deer to Rocky Mountain House
Canadian Pacific Railway Stations in Central Alberta
Red Deer once had four railway stations

ACR/CPR Mintlaw Steel Trestle

Michael Dawe articles related to Alberta Central Railway / CPR ACR branch heritage
A look back at the Alberta Central Railway (Red Deer Express Sept.2014)
       Laurier's 1910 visit huge event for city (Red Deer Express August 2010)
       Mintlaw Bridge essential to region's railroad heritage (Red Deer Express March 2010)
       Sir Wilfrid Laurier visited Red Deer (Red Deer Advocate May 2010)
       The origins of Alberta Central Rail pillar (Red Deer Express April 2008)
       Alberta Central Railway helped open region (Red Deer Advocate Special March 2007)
       John T. Moore (Red Deer Express Feb.2003)


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