Forth Junction Heritage Society applauds all preservation
and restorative efforts by various organizations to educate, explore
and experience regional transportation heritage
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
Following are some of these groups and initiatives:
Innisfail Historical Village
Innisfail 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
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
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.
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
CP 8015 MLW 1959 RS23
CP 9108 Budd 1956 Rail Diesel Car (Dayliner)
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.
Railway Excursions - Stettler to Big Valley
Five 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,
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.
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.
1919 Canadian Northern combine, 1923 CP day coaches
Train excursions on hold in 2020 until further notice.
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
Restored Grain Elevator - Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator.
Rolling Stock - Canadian National 1942 wood caboose, ex-GT-1910 box
Canadian Railway Hall of Fame and home to the Canadian
Heartland Training Railway.
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
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.
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".
Relocated Station - 1909 fourth class Canadian Northern Railway station
relocated from Vardura, Saskatchewan on abandoned Canadian
National/Central Western Stettler subdivision.
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.
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.
Henday Museum Delburne
Railway Station Museum - relocated and restored Grand Trunk
Pacific Type E railway station.
Water Tank - Grand Trunk Pacific (Canadian National) enclosed
Caboose - Canadian National 1967 steel caboose.
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
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.
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.
Proposed Forth/Tuttle-Mintlaw-Sylvan Lake ACR
Powerpoint Slide Show:
History of the ACR & Mintlaw Trestle and
(presented at FJHS AGM Oct. 2012)
City of Red
(CPR bridge &
station, ACR pier, 'Arches' & fountain)
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.
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
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
Objectives of FJHS re preservation:
nurturing a passion
for the continuous evolution of trails,
trains and transit;
with various organizations and museums to
preserve the existing built ground transportation heritage
assets of Central Alberta;
- promoting tourism
attractions of Central
Alberta, as a marketing
package, with organized or self-guided tours;
- expanding the railway theme
to create a representation of the
and economic development of Western Canada;
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
- creating a unique interpretive
transit heritage, family activity and nature park
close to Red Deer near the CPR rail corridor or
heritage railway site with replicated railway stations as well
as a rail, trail and transit-themed family entertainment park
The preservation and marketing integration of existing built ground
transportation heritage capital and rail-themed attractions and
features as a collective attraction includes:
- 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
- station replications at Penhold and Lacombe,
- Delburne GTP station museum, water tank,
- CPR Bowden station and display at Innisfail,
- Alberta Prairie Stettler steam train
- CNR 6060 Mountain locomotive Stettler,
- CNor stations Stettler and Big Valley,
- Restored grain elevators Stettler, Big Valley,
- 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
- 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
Replicate the unique CPR F1a
3001 'The Chinook' in 1:8 scale;
- Acquire a
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
(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,
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
"History is who we are and why we are the way we are." - David
"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
Icons of Central Alberta