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  Jubilee 4-4-4 locomotive

Forth Junction Project
Preservation of Regional Transportation Heritage

 
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

The Forth Junction Heritage Society applauds all preservation and restorative efforts by various organizations to educate, explore and experience regional transportation heritage
 
The Society values and supports existing volunteer and commercial heritage and cultural groups as well as other initiatives that celebrate and nurture an appreciation of the continuing evolution of ground transportation and supporting infrastructure in Central Alberta.

Currently, our focus is on research, collection of artifacts and education. Eventually, as the objective of creating a multi-use rail park is realized, one of our goals is to collaborate with these organizations to create a regional tourism and heritage marketing group.

Following are some of these groups and initiatives:


Innisfail Historical Village

 
Bowden station at Innisfail Historical VillageInnisfail Historical Village is the current home of the Forth Junction Heritage Society's collection of artifacts from the former Calgary & Edmonton Railway Station Museum that had been located in the Strathcona district of Edmonton. The village is also home of the relocated 1904 Bowden Calgary & Edmonton Railway (CPR) Standard #2 station that had been deactivated in 1968 and moved to Innisfail in 1973.
Within the station is an N scale historical model railway display representing the Innisfail station yard in two historical time frames.
The original Innisfail station was an 1891 C&ER combination station that had been expanded, relocated to opposite side of tracks in the 1900s, closed in 1961 and, unfortunately, demolished soon after.
The Innisfail Historical Village is also home to "The Spruces", the only original stopping house along the Calgary Edmonton Trail as well as an original building from the original townsite of Poplar Grove.
Innisfail is the current preferred location for the Forth Junction Heritage Society's future multi-use heritage rail park.
Normally open daily from mid-May to Labour Day. Admission $3 per person. Closed 2020 season due to Covid19.
http://www.innisfailhistory.ca/index.htm
 
Alberta Central Railway Museum near Wetaskiwin
 
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, speeders, HO scale Wetaskiwin yard, and a 1906 Alberta Grain Elevator from Hobbema.
Locomotives:
CP 8015 MLW 1959 RS23
CP 9108 Budd 1956 Rail Diesel Car (Dayliner)
Passenger Equipment:
1926 coach-observation-buffet Mount Avalanche,
1921 sleeper Glen Norman renamed Val David,
express-baggage car used for displays
Normally open daily from mid-May to Labour Day. Admission $5 per person. Special events and prices.
Closed 2020 season due to Covid19.
https://abcentralrailway.com/
 
Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions - 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.
Locomotives:
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.
Passenger Equipment:
1919 Canadian Northern combine, 1923 CP day coaches
https://absteamtrain.com 
Train excursions on hold in 2020 until further notice.
 
Canadian Northern Society
 
6060 at Big ValleyBig Valley:
Railway Station Museum
- restored 1912 second class Canadian Northern Railway station is a museum and terminus for the Alberta Prairie Steam Tours train excursions. Station restored 1990 on original site by Canadian Northern Society to 1940s appearance.
Roundhouse 'ruins' Interpretive Centre - original 14-stall Canadian Northern (later Canadian National).
Restored Grain Elevator - Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator.
Rolling Stock - Canadian National 1942 wood caboose, ex-GT-1910 box car
Canadian Railway Hall of Fame and home to the Canadian Heartland Training Railway.
Camrose:
Railway Station & Museum - restored 1911 third class Canadian Northern Railway station, deactivated in 1988, relocated 500 metres and restored in 1993, includes the Canadian Northern Society archives and library.
Railway Park, Morgan Railway Garden and Tea Room
Meeting Creek:
Restored Station - 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 Station - 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".
Donalda:
Relocated Station - 1909 fourth class Canadian Northern Railway station relocated from Vardura, Saskatchewan on abandoned Canadian National/Central Western Stettler subdivision.
http://canadiannorthern.ca/
 
Rocky Mountain Rail Society - 6060
 
No. 6060, a 1944 Canadian National Mountain 4-8-2 'Bullet-nosed Betty' owned by the Rocky Mountain Rail Society and has operated on the Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions. Currently under repair.
https://6060.org/
 
East Central Alberta Heritage Society - CNR ROW
 
A series of linear parks is actively being pursued in communities along the 99-mile former Canadian National Railways Stettler subdivision, now owned by the East Central Alberta Heritage Society between Edberg and Morrin through Meeting Creek, Donalda, Red Willow, Stettler, Big Valley and Rowley. The section between Stettler and Big Valley is currently operating as the Alberta Prairie Railway with an extension being added north to Red Willow and eventually to Donalda.
http://www.albertarailheritage.com/
 
Anthony Henday Museum at Delburne
Anthony Henday Museum Delburne
 
Railway Station Museum - relocated and restored Grand Trunk Pacific Type E railway station.
Water Tank - Grand Trunk Pacific (Canadian National) enclosed water tank.
Caboose - Canadian National 1967 steel caboose.
https://www.delburne.ca/explore/anthony-henday-museum
 
Red Deer County - Mintlaw ACR/CPR Steel Trestle & ROW
 
The abandoned Alberta Central Railway (CPR) Mintlaw steel trestle bridge across the Red Deer River and the right of way from Gasoline Alley south of Red Deer to Sylvan Lake was purchased by Red Deer County. 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. It is the longest abandoned steel trestle still standing in Western Canada.
The Forth Junction Heritage Society supports historic designation, restoration and repurposing of the bridge with controlled public access to the bridge and a complimentary interpretive centre. The society also supports use of the former rail right of way between Red Deer and Sylvan Lake as part of a regional or national trail and linear park system with connections to Springbrook, Penhold and Benalto in collaboration with the Central Alberta Regional Trails Society, Red Deer County and neighbouring municipalities.
Owned by Red Deer County except the portion within the Town of Sylvan Lake. There are some serious challenges to be addressed, including the rehabilitation of the historic Mintlaw trestle and the crossing of the 4-lane Highway 11 expressway.
See Proposed Forth/Tuttle-Mintlaw-Sylvan Lake ACR Linear Park

Powerpoint Slide Show: History of the ACR & Mintlaw Trestle and Future Trails
(presented at FJHS AGM Oct. 2012)
 
City of Red Deer (CPR bridge & station, ACR pier, 'Arches' & fountain)
 
historic Canadian Pacific station in Red DeerCPR 1910 Station - 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.
Red Deer River Bridge -
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.
ACR Pier - 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.
Park Fountain and 'The Arches' - original railway park fountain now relocated to a downtown park close to its original location at the former CPR station park that was replaced by a parking lot in 1950. The Arches is a stylized interpretive feature that outlines the history of Red Deer's railways.


Objectives of FJHS re preservation:
 
- nurturing a passion
for the continuous evolution of trails,
   trains and transit;

 
- collaborating
with various organizations and museums to
   preserve the existing built ground transportation heritage
   assets of Central Alberta;

 
CNR 6060 at Big Valley
- promoting tourism
by
   integrating existing
   rail-themed heritage
   attractions of Central
   Alberta, as a marketing
   package, with organized or self-guided tours;

 

- expanding the railway theme
to create a representation of the
   settlement and economic development of Western Canada;
 
proposed Western Canada Transpo Centre
- creating a unique world-class focal point in the
    Red Deer area
that celebrates the impact of the railway
   and transit on the economic and social fabric of Western
   Canada;

- creating a unique interpretive railway and
    transit heritage, family activity and nature park

   
close to Red Deer near the CPR rail corridor or significant
    heritage railway site with replicated railway stations as well
    as a rail, trail and transit-themed family entertainment park


Preservation and Marketing Integration
The preservation and marketing integration of existing built ground transportation heritage capital and rail-themed attractions and features as a collective attraction includes:
historic CPR station downtown Red Deer
          - ACR Mintlaw trestle southwest of Red Deer,
          - ACR pier along Taylor Drive Red Deer,
          - CPR Red Deer river bridge historic site,
          - CPR Red Deer station historic site, 
          - the 'Arches' and fountain Red Deer,
          - ACR/CPR Benalto station park,
          - station replications at Penhold and Lacombe,
          - Delburne GTP station museum, water tank,
          - CPR Bowden station and display at Innisfail,
          - Alberta Prairie Stettler steam train tours,
          - CNR 6060 Mountain locomotive Stettler,
          - CNor stations Stettler and Big Valley,
          - Restored grain elevators Stettler, Big Valley,
old CPR bridge in Red Deer          - Big Valley roundhouse interpretive centre,
          - Canadian Railway Hall of Fame Big Valley,
          - Meeting Creek CNor station and elevator
          - Mirror museum, CN caboose and boxcar
          - CPR Didsbury railway station historic site
          - Three Hills museum, CN caboose, station
ACR steel trestle          - the Nordegg Colleries National Historic Site,
          - Alberta Central Museum near Wetaskiwin,
          - CPR Tees station at Paskapoo Park Rimbey
          - Camrose railway station musuem and park,
          - Centennial railway museum Beiseker

Expansion of Railway Theme
ACR CPR Mintlaw trestle across Red Deer River 

-

Jubilee 3001

- Replicate the unique CPR F1a Jubilee 4-4-4 streamlined steam
   locomotive
3001 'The Chinook' in 1:8 scale;
 
CPR 2816 near Red Deer May 2008
- Acquire a
historically-
    significant locomotive
as
   a display at the
   Forth Junction Transpo Park;

- Relocate, restore or replicate several
historic rail stations for the
   Forth Junction Rail and Transit Heritage, Family Activity and
    Nature Park;

   (eg. restore ACR Red Deer, GTP Ardley, replicate CNR Red Deer, ACR/CPR Mintlaw,
    ACR/CPR Sylvan Lake, original 1891 C&E/CPR Innisfail, Red Deer, Lacombe,
    CPR Penhold, CNR Sylvan Lake)
 
 

- Create Canada's largest historical model railway interpretive centre showing the evolution of the
   railways of Red Deer and Central Alberta representing the settlement and development of Western Canada

- Publication of a comprehensive history of ancient trails, railways and transit including the infrastructure that
   supported them and efforts to preserve ground transportation heritage

          "History is who we are and why we are the way we are." - David McCullough

          "If you would understand anything, observe its beginning and its development." - Aristotle
 

Current Railway Heritage Preservation in Central Alberta

             Transportation Icons of City of Red Deer         Transportation Icons of Red Deer County  
                                             Transportation Icons of Central Alberta

 

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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