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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 railway track.

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 funding (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 restored roof (Stettler Independent Apr.2013)
       Blog: Big Valley Canadian Northern Station Celebrates 100 Years
(RETROactive Sept.2012)
       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 line
(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 (CNR) - Camrose to Drumheller
Canadian National Railway Stations in Central Alberta


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