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  Jubilee 4-4-4 locomotive

Forth Junction Project
Central Alberta Railway Heritage Preservation

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

Current Rail Heritage Preservation

Red Deer Ground Transportation Themes

Mintlaw Linear Park Proposal

Rails to Trails

Current Railway Heritage Preservation
in Central Alberta

Central Alberta has a rich railway heritage and much of it is being lost. However, much is also being preserved. There are a handful of railway stations, grain elevators, bridges or bridge piers, locomotives and rolling stock, and even a working heritage steam train operation.

Forth Junction Heritage Society's first artifact --
Original C & E Railway track from 1890

Thanks to the Enderby BC Museum and Canadian Pacific Railway, Forth Junction has obtained a 3-foot section of rail that was originally laid on the Calgary and Edmonton Railway between Calgary and Red Deer in 1890.

It was found on the abandoned CPR line as a guard rail between Sicamous and Vernon BC as the line was being torn up. The stamp on the side of the rail states " B V & Co. 1890 C & E R ".

Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., associated with Barrow Ironworks/Steel, was an iron rolling mill in Middlesbrough, Great Britain. This mill, along with several others, supplied rail to new railways throughout the British Commonwealth at the time. At one point B.V. was the largest producer of pig iron in the world. At one time, the company employed 20,000 people. It also owned up to 26 mines and collieries. The mill closed in 1929 due to its inability to adapt to changing needs.

Alberta Prairie Steam Tours - Stettler to Big Valley
Stettler train excursion with 6060Five to six hour trip on the former Canadian Northern Railway line between Stettler and Big Valley using authentic restored steam locomotives. Variety of trip options and packages mostly during the summer months and also during other seasons. Options include dinner trains, dinner theatres, family specials, train robberies, murder mysteries and meals at Big Valley, the home of a restored Canadian Northern railway station, grain elevator, and a 14-stall roundhouse 'ruins' interpretive centre. Steam locomotives include No. 41, a 1920 Baldwin Consolidation 2-8-0, and No. 6060, a 1944 Canadian National Mountain 4-8-2 'Bullet-nosed Betty' owned by the Rocky Mountain Rail Society. Vintage passenger equipment includes a 1919 Canadian Northern combine and Canadian Pacific 1923 day coaches.

Railway Museums:
6060 at Big ValleyBig Valley Railway Station & Museum
- restored 1912 second class Canadian Northern Railway station, restored grain elevator, an interpretive centre at the site of the original 14-stall roundhouse 'ruins', the new home of the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame and home to the Canadian Heartland Training Railway. Station restored 1990 on original site by Canadian Northern Society to 1940s appearance.
Alberta Central Railway Museum - located in Wetaskiwin County southeast of the city, the site includes several pieces of Canadian Pacific railway rolling stock, equipment, structures, a scaled down replica of the Wetaskiwin 1907 Calgary-Edmonton railway station, a mile of operational track, CPR 8015 RS23 diesel locomotive, CPR RDC Budd Dayliner, speeders, 1926 1st class observation-buffet-sleeper Mount Avalanche, and a 1906 Alberta Grain Elevator from Hobbema.
Anthony Henday Museum at DelburneAnthony Henday Museum Delburne - located in a relocated Grand Trunk Pacific Type E railway station, the site includes an enclosed water tank and caboose.
Camrose Railway Park, Morgan Railway Garden and Tea Room - the restored and relocated 1911 Canadian Northern Railway station includes the Canadian Northern Society archives and library and garden railway.
Alberta 2005 Centennial Railway Museum Beiseker - land owned by TransCanada Trails and located on the abandoned Canadian Pacific Langdon subdivision that ran through Torrington and Wimborne, the museum is still under development but has already acquired several pieces of railway equipment mostly of Canadian Pacific vintage and is the new home of the relocated Bassano CPR Standard #10 station.

Museums that include Railway Heritage:
Town & Country Museum Stettler includes the restored Stettler second class
    Canadian Northern railway station
Innisfail Historical Village includes the relocated Bowden C & E Railway (CPR)
    Standard #2 station, N scale historical model displays
Mirror & District Museum includes a CN caboose and boxcar as well as history of the
    town as the divisional point on the former Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and later the
    Canadian National Railway,
Three Hills Kneehill Historical Museum includes the relocated and restored Three
    Hills Grand Trunk Pacific Type F station, caboose, tank car and box car.

Railway Stations Restored on Original Site:
historic Canadian Pacific station in Red DeerRed Deer: grand Calgary and Edmonton Railway (Canadian Pacific) station was built in 1910 at the head of Ross Street and has been designated as a historic site. It was restored in 1996 and is now used as an office building. The rail yards were removed in 1991.
Big Valley: 1912 second class Canadian Northern station is a museum and terminus for the Alberta Prairie Steam Tours train excursions.
Meeting Creek: restored 1913 third class (plan 29) Canadian Northern Railway station deactivated in 1981 along the now abandoned Canadian National/Central Western Stettler subdivision, restored in 1987 by Canadian Northern Society.
Rowley: restored 1922 third class (plan 72) Canadian Northern Railway station along abandoned Canadian National/Central Western line in "ghost town" with old West buildings seen in 1989 film "Bye Bye Blues". Other movies shot in the area include "Legends of the Fall" and "In Cold Blood".
Didsbury: restored 1904 Calgary and Edmonton Railway (Canadian Pacific) station in 1991, turned around to become the Chamber of Commerce and visitor information building.
Beiseker: restored 1910 Canadian Pacific Standard 2A Western station which was sold 1970 to town, turned around to become town office and museum

Canadian Pacific Railway Stations of Central Alberta
Canadian National Railway Stations of Central Alberta

Railway Stations Relocated and Restored:
Bowden station at Innisfail Historical VillageInnisfail: Historical Village is the home of the relocated 1904 Bowden Calgary and Edmonton Railway station that was deactivated in 1968 and moved to Innisfail in 1973.
Delburne: Grand Trunk Pacific Railway station moved to Anthony Henday Museum.
Three Hills: Kneehill Historical Museum Grand Trunk Pacific Railway station.
Stettler: 1911 second class Canadian Northern Railway station relocated to Town & Country Museum.
Donalda: 1909 fourth class Canadian Northern Railway station relocated from Vardura, Saskatchewan on abandoned Canadian National/Central Western Stettler subdivision.
Rimbey: Canadian Pacific station relocated from Tees, probably built around 1905
Camrose: restored 1911 third class Canadian Northern Railway station, deactivated in 1988, relocated 500 metres and restored in 1993, has a garden railway park, tea room, museum and archives of the Canadian Northern Society
Castor: restored and relocated 1918 Standard A2 Western Canadian Pacific station that had been relocated from Loyalist in 1937 after fire destroyed the original CPR Standard #5 station built in 1910; currently used as museum

Railway Stations Replicated:
replica of Penhold stationPenhold: replica of original Calgary and Edmonton Railway (Canadian Pacific) CPR Standard #2 station built for use as a commercial/office centre.
Lacombe: built in 2006-07 for use as a commercial centre, Siding 12 is a replica of the Lacombe 1911 Calgary and Edmonton Railway (CP) station on the opposite side of the tracks as the original station that was torn down in 1978.
Stettler:
built in 1990 by Alberta Prairie Steam Tours, the depot is similar to an early Canadian Northern railway station (the original station was relocated in Stettler).
Wetaskiwin County:
Alberta Central Railway Museum scaled down replica of Wetaskiwin 1907 Calgary and Edmonton (Canadian Pacific) station.
Strathcona (Edmonton): replica of Innisfail Calgary & Edmonton Railway 1891 combination station and freight house once common between Calgary and Edmonton including at Strathcona, Leduc, Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, Red Deer, Lacombe, Innisfail, Olds, Carstairs, Airdrie, High River, Okotoks, Nanton, and others, many of which were replaced by larger stations and none of which have survived.

Railway Stations Relocated for non-public use:
There is evidence of a few original stations used for farm, storage or residential use including those from Red Deer (ACR Red Deer County), Benalto (ACR/CPR Red Deer County) used for residential use for 42 years and relocated back to Benalto in 2013, Ardley (GTP/CNR Red Deer County), Hobbema (C&E/CPR Ponoka County), Crossfield (C&E/CPR), Wimborne (CPR), Sunnyslope (CPR), Hardisty (CPR)

Railway Infrastructure Preserved:
CP bridge across Red Deer RiverRed Deer: Calgary and Edmonton Railway (Canadian Pacific) truss bridge built across Red Deer River on north side of downtown in 1908, designated a historical resource and transformed into a pedestrian/bicycle trail and part of the TransCanada Trail system.
Red Deer: park fountain now located in a downtown park close to its original location at the former CPR station park that was replaced by a parking lot in 1950.
Alberta Central Railway pier in Red DeerRed Deer: one of two Alberta Central Railway piers originally used to support a rail bridge built in 1910 and removed in 1913 over the Calgary and Edmonton Railway (Canadian Pacific) and Waskasoo Creek, still standing along Taylor Drive south of downtown. In August 1910, Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier drove the first spike for the Alberta Central at a point east of the pier.
Delburne: Grand Trunk Pacific (Canadian National) enclosed water tank at the Anthony Henday Museum.
Big Valley: Canadian Northern (Canadian National) 14-stall Roundhouse 'ruins' Interpretive Centre.
ACR Mintlaw steel trestle near Red DeerRed Deer County: abandoned Alberta Central Railway Mintlaw steel trestle bridge across the Red Deer River. The bridge, 2,112 ft. long and 110 ft. high, was completed in the fall of 1912 and abandoned in 1983. At the time it was built, it was the second longest CPR steel trestle in Alberta.
Nordegg (Clearwater County): Nordegg Heritage Centre and Brazeau Colleries Minesite Museum (National Historic Site) tours of coal mine operations that ran from 1911 to 1955 on the Canadian Northern Western Railway (CNR) Brazeau subdivision.

Grain Elevators Preserved:
Most of the grain elevators that marked the prairie landscape have been destroyed. A few are still being used and a few have been abandoned or moved to farms. A small number have been restored and/or preserved.
Big Valley Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator, Meeting Creek, Castor 1910 elevator,
Wetaskiwin County
1906 Hobbema Alberta Grain Elevator Alberta Central Railway Museum.

Restored Historic Locomotives:
Consolidation 41 StettlerStettler: Alberta Prairie Steam Tours
CN 6060 4-8-2 MLW 1944 Mountain steam locomotive, retired 1959, owned by Rocky Mountain Rail Society;
No. 41 2-8-0 1920 Baldwin Consolidation steam locomotive;
CN 1259 GM 1958 SW1200 diesel locomotive.
Wetaskiwin County: Alberta Central Railway Museum
CP 8015 MLW 1959 RS23
CP 9108 Budd 1956 Rail Diesel Car (Dayliner)
Beiseker: Alberta 2005 Centennial Railway Museum
CN 8704 MLW 1959 S13

Display Cabooses
CP caboose at PenholdPenhold Canadian Pacific 1947 wood,
Delburne Canadian National 1967 steel,
Mirror Canadian National 1952 wood, ex-1918 box,
Three Hills Canadian National 1972 steel,
Stettler Canadian National 1951 wood, ex-1918 box,
Rimbey Canadian Pacific 1947 wood
Big Valley Canadian National 1942 wood, ex-GT-1910 box

Other Freight Rolling Stock:
Big Valley, Three Hills, Wetaskiwin County, Beiseker, Mirror, Nordegg

Stettler steam train passenger cars

Passenger Equipment:

Stettler (Alberta Prairie Steam Tours)
1919 Canadian Northern combine, 1923 CP day coaches
Wetaskiwin County (Alberta Central Railway Museum) 1926 coach-observation-buffet Mount Avalanche, 1921 sleeper Glen Norman renamed Val David, express-baggage car used for displays, HO scale yard


 


Significant Railway Museums and Historic Sites Outside Central Alberta:

Battle River Historical Museum Wainwright
Wainwright Railway Preservation Museum
Alberta Railway Museum north of Edmonton
Calgary and Edmonton Railway Station Museum Edmonton
Fort Edmonton Park Edmonton
Heritage Park Historical Village Calgary
Museum of the Highwood High River

The Forth Junction Heritage Society is proposing that transportation heritage, specifically trail, rail and transit heritage, be the theme for a major tourist attractor that combines commerce, entertainment, education, hospitality, nature, cultural heritage and community. The society also aims to integrate, as a marketing package, several of the current regional railway heritage preservation sites in Central Alberta as well as to preserve or replicate additional heritage icons of the region as a representation of the settlement and development of Western Canada.

 

Current Rail Heritage Preservation            Red Deer Ground Transportation Themes 
Forth/Tuttle-Mintlaw-Sylvan Lake Linear Park Proposal            Rails to Trails
Railway Icons of City of Red Deer         Railway Icons of Red Deer County          Railway Icons of Central Alberta
 

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