Train track wanted
Heritage Society wants to purchase
used railway track
reprinted from Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) May 6, 2010
Wanted: 50 km of used
East Central Alberta Heritage Society's fundraising efforts to
restore a line from Stettler to Donalda are chugging right along,
but finding track is another matter.
"I guess our biggest problem right now is finding rail that we can
salvage," said society administrator Bruce Gartside. "We need to run
rail for 20 miles, which means acquiring probably about 30 miles of
rail . . ." said the Donalda resident, adding extra rail is needed
because not all recovered track can be reused.
Inquiries have already been made to Canadian National Railway Co.
and Canadian Pacific Railway to see what opportunities exist to bid
on contracts to salvage the many sections of abandoned rail in
Western Canada. So far, the society hasn't heard back.
Drumheller-Stettler MLA Jack Hayden and Crowfoot MP Kevin Sorenson
have been asked to help get the wheels turning.
"We're not asking for free rail, we're just asking to be allowed to
bid along with other salvage companies.
"That's probably the biggest holdup for us right now. We haven't had
any word on any rail coming up that we can bid on."
On the fundraising front, the news is a little better with about $3
million lined up.
The project was given a major boost last year with the announcement
of $2.6 million in funding from the federal government. The money
came from Western Economic Diversification Canada through Canadian
Badlands Ltd., a group committed to boosting tourism in the region.
Corporate, municipal and individual donors have also stepped up and
a number of applications are still outstanding.
"We are still waiting to hear from the province of Alberta," he
said, adding they have a couple of funding applications in. "I
gather they are so overwhelmed with applications -- something like
over 800 -- that it's taking them a while to figure out how to
spread the money around."
As part of its successful federal funding application, the society
must provide $400,000 in donations or gifts of materials or
services. Gartside is optimistic that target will be reached with
some provincial help.
"I think the money can be put together," he said, adding he expects
more donations will come in when they can line up rail and show that
the project is on track.
The complete project would cost about $3.9 million. But they can
reduce that by $600,000 if work on building sidings at Donalda and
Red Willow is postponed until later.
News article: Heritage projects share grant
(Red Deer Advocate July 2013)
News article: Relic caboose gets new home
(Red Deer Advocate May 2013)
News article: Rail link effort chugging along
(Red Deer Advocate May 2013)
News article: Big Valley station banks on
(Stettler Independent Apr.2013)
Blog: Big Valley Canadian Northern Station
Celebrates 100 Years
News article: Track for historic railway tours
likely to be done by late summer
(Red Deer Advocate June 2011)
News article: Rail being laid for heritage
(Red Deer Advocate Sept.2010)
Feature article: 6060 turns 66
(Red Deer Express Sept.2010)
News article: Stettler group wants to convert
grain elevator into museum
(Red Deer Advocate May 2010)
News article: Major funding will restore rail
line to Donalda
(Stettler Independent Oct.2009)
Canadian Northern Railway in Central Alberta
- Camrose to Drumheller
Canadian National Railway Stations in Central Alberta