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  CPR Red Deer station and park

Forth Junction Project
Railway Stations of
Central Alberta

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


Railway stations were once the
focal point of Western Canadian communities
(updated May 2013)
 
Red Deer CPR station streetside 1987The railway station was the gateway and heart of most Western Canadian communities for at least 60 years. For immigrants, settlers, visitors, merchants, manufacturers and farmers, the railway station was the focal point of the community. Mail, news, communication and goods were exchanged there. Although Canadian Pacific experienced a virtual monopoly on rail service for 25 years, two other major railways provided competition until the two were amalgamated after ten years of intense railway expansion.
 
CPR Alix stationSome communities in Central Alberta had railway stations for more than one railway. Those communities included Red Deer, Sylvan Lake, Eckville, Stettler, Camrose and Alix. The station at Rocky Mountain House was shared by two railroads. Although each community has unique characteristics as does the region as a whole, in many ways Central Alberta represents the settlement, development and character of Western Canada.

There were at least five stations in Central Alberta that are/were unique.

preserved historic CPR Red Deer stationThe CPR Red Deer station is one of five chateau-style brick stations built as landmarks downtown at major divisional points in Western Canada. Each station is architecturally unique but of similar style with distinctive octagonal tower. All have survived as historic resources in each of the five communities. The Red Deer station was close to demolition but was saved due to achieving historic designation at all three government levels. It is now privately-owned and used for offices. It remains at its original dominant position at the head of Ross Street.

CNR Red Deer station demolished 1960The CNR Red Deer station was originally planned by Canadian Northern but built by CN soon after Canadian National was created and before CN had developed standard designs. As a result, it was a unique blend of Canadian Northern and Canadian National 3rd class station characteristics. It was demolished in 1960 to make way for a shopping centre development after CN relocated its facilities to the north side of the river.

former original ACR Red Deer station as residenceThe Alberta Central Railway (later absorbed by Canadian Pacific) built a station at Red Deer but it was never used because the railway went bankrupt before it became operational. The station was relocated at least twice and is currently used as a private residence.

The second CPR Lacombe station was a unique variation of two similar stations in Alberta at Coronation and Hardisty. Located on the main Edmonton-Calgary line, the station also served the line east to Coronation. It was demolished in 1978 but replicated as an office building on the opposite side of the tracks in 2007.

Wetaskiwin CPR stationThe second CPR Wetaskiwin station was built with a unique second storey treatment of a curved swept dormer. The ground floor is somewhat similar to the second Lacombe station. Located on the main Edmonton-Calgary line, the station also served the line east to Camrose, Saskatoon and Winnipeg. Currently used for commercial use.

In addition to these five stations, several other station designs were built in Central Alberta, including at least 12 distinct styles of Canadian Pacific stations plus variations and 8 styles of Canadian National stations most of which were originally either Canadian Northern or Grand Trunk Pacific styles.

Stations in Central Alberta by design style: Canadian Pacific; Canadian National


Stations in Central Alberta by railroad included:

Canadian Pacific Stations along the Calgary & Edmonton Railway
(mainline between Calgary and Edmonton built 1890-91; still active)
Red Deer CPR new and old stations 1911Red Deer Subdivision south of Red Deer
 
Red Deer
(division point 1908 to present) original wood combination station built in 1891 (similar to Innisfail, Olds, Ponoka, first Lacombe and first Wetaskiwin stations); moved south for construction of new station and converted to freight house; demolished 1965;
Red Deer CPR station trackside 1985new brick station (126'x36') completed in 1910; expanded 1912; major renovation 1969; passenger service ended 1985; closed 1991 with rail yard relocation to west side of city; station restored 1996, designated historic site and used for offices; railyard land redeveloped for commercial and residential

 
Penhold
built 1904 (CPR Standard #2 similar to Bowden and Blackfalds stations); renovated 1941; demolished; replicated as office building a few blocks from original site
 
Innisfail CPR station 1890sInnisfail built 1890 (similar to Olds and Ponoka stations) closed 1961; demolished; replaced by cinder block station further north
Bowden station at Innisfail




Bowden
built 1904 (CPR Standard #2 similar to Penhold and Blackfalds stations); closed 1968; relocated to Historical Village Innisfail 1974
Olds built 1891 (wood combination station similar to Innisfail, Carstairs, Ponoka and first Red Deer, Lacombe, Wetaskiwin stations), addition 1913; closed 1962; demolished; replaced by cinder block station
Didsbury built 1904 (Pratt style); addition 1907; retired 1977; turned 180 degrees & restored 1991; provincial historic site; community use
Carstairs built 1891 (wood combination station similar to Olds); demolished 1978
Crossfield built 1904 (CPR Standard #2 similar to Bowden station) destroyed by fire; replaced 1933 with CPR Standard #4 station; retired; removed 1974 private residence
Airdrie built 1890 (wood combination station similar to Olds); removed

Lacombe CPR stationLeduc Subdivision north of Red Deer
Blackfalds built 1904 (CPR Standard #2 similar to Bowden and Penhold stations); sold 1968; demolished
Lacombe original wooden combination station built 1892 (similar to Ponoka, Innisfail and Olds and first Red Deer and Wetaskiwin stations); addition 1910; damaged by explosion 1911 (1 person killed); special woodframe station built 1911; opened late 1911 before completion in early 1912; closed 1968; demolished 1978; replicated as office building 2007 on opposite side of tracks
Ponoka combination stationPonoka combination station built 1891 (similar to Innisfail and Olds stations and first Red Deer, Lacombe and Wetaskiwin stations); demolished
Hobbema first station portable; new station built 1928 (CPR Standard #14A similar to Sylvan Lake, Benalto, Bentley and Stettler stations); sold 1968
Wetaskiwin original wooden combination station built 1891 (similar to Ponoka, Innisfail and Olds station and first Lacombe and Red Deer stations); new station built 1907-08; addition 1913; still onsite; scaled down replication built at Alberta Central Railway Museum southeast of city
Millet first station portable 1902; new station built 1907 (CPR Standard #5 similar to Alix and first Stettler station); sold 1968
Leduc original combination station (similar to Ponoka, Innisfail and Olds stations); replaced by Standard A2 Western station 1914; demolished 1985
Nisku portable placed 1929
Ellerslie portable placed 1918; relocated to Sedgewick 1929
Strathcona (South Edmonton) original wooden combination station built 1891 (similar to Leduc, Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Lacombe, Red Deer, Innisfail, Olds); replaced by special brick station built 1908

Canadian Pacific Stations along the former Alberta Central Railway west of Red Deer (Alberta Central Subdivision) (line built 1910-14; closed 1981)
former ACR station used as residenceRed Deer built 1911 never used as station; relocated twice as private residence; now west of Red Deer
Mintlaw small station demolished or removed
Sylvan Lake original portable replaced by CPR Standard #14A in 1924 (similar to Benalto, Hobbema, Bentley and Stettler stations); sold 1969
ACR station used as residence
Benalto
original portable replaced by CPR Standard #14A in 1928 (similar to Sylvan Lake station); sold 1970; relocated twice as private residence to locations near Red Deer; donated and relocated back to Benalto 2013
Eckville portable demolished or removed
Condor portable demolished or removed
Alhambra portable demolished or removed
Rocky Mountain House (Lochearn) original station replaced by CPR Standard A3 station in 1920 in downtown Rocky Mountain House; shared with Canadian National, at times with services by both railways; closed and sold; destroyed by fire 1967

Canadian Pacific Stations along the Lacombe Subdivision east of Lacombe
(line built 1905-06; used frequently Red Deer to Joffre area and occasionally to Stettler)

Stettler stationClive built 1912 (CPR Standard A2 Western); sold 1968
Tees
built around 1905; relocated to Paskapoo Park in Rimbey 1979
Alix built 1910 (CPR Standard #5); demolished 1958
Nevis built 1912 (CPR Standard A2 Western); sold 1964
Erskine built 1910 (CPR Standard A2 Western); demolished 1968
Stettler original built 1905 (CPR Standard #5)destroyed by fire 1925; new station built 1925 (CPR Standard #14A similar to Sylvan Lake, Benalto, Bentley and Hobbema stations); retired 1968; demolished
Botha, Gadsby built 1910 (CPR Standard #5); retired 1968
Castor built 1910 (CPR Standard #5); destroyed by fire 1937; replaced by CPR Standard A2 Western; sold 1969; preserved as museum

Canadian Pacific Stations along the Wetaskiwin Subdivision east of Wetaskiwin (line built 1905; Winnipeg to Edmonton line still active)
Bittern Lake built 1911 (CPR Standard A2 Western); sold 1961; demolished
Ervick
built 1906 (CPR Standard #5); removed
Camrose
original station built 1907 (CPR Standard #10); replaced 1956 with masonry special station; removed; demolished

Gull Lake Aspen Beach stationCanadian Pacific Stations along the former Lacombe & Blindman Valley Railway (later renamed Lacombe and Northwestern Railway and later Hoadley subdivision)
west of Lacombe
(built 1917-19; used occasionally)
Aspen Beach/Gull Lake small station with wide roofline built 1917; closed in the 1950s and sold, donated to Gull Lake 1998, currently used as museum
Bentley
portable 1917; new station built 1929 (CPR Standard #14A similar to Sylvan Lake, Benalto, Hobbema and Stettler stations); retired 1968; demolished
Rimbey portable 1920; removed

 
Canadian Pacific Stations along the Acme Subdivision northeast of Calgary
(branchline built 1930 from Acme; abandoned 1995; donated to Trans Canada Trail Foundation)
Wimborne portable 1930; sold 1969
Torrington built 1930 (CPR Standard #14A similar to Sylvan Lake, Benalto, Stettler); sold 1969; demolished
Acme built 1910 (CPR Standard #5 similar to Gull Lake); sold 1969

Canadian Pacific Stations along the Langdon Subdivision northeast of Calgary (line built 1910 from Calgary to Acme; extended to East Coulee 1928; abandoned 1995)
Beiseker built 1910 (CPR Standard A2 Western); sold 1970; now museum & town hall
Irricana built 1910 (CPR Standard #5 similar to Alix and 1st Stettler); removed

Red Deer CNR station 1955
Canadian National Stations along the former Canadian Northern Western Railway (Brazeau subdivision) Mirror-Red Deer-Rocky Mountain House-Nordegg (line still active from Mirror to Rocky Mountain House and Ram River)
Red Deer built 1923 (replacing temporary station) as a modified one-of-a-kind Canadian National Railways third class station similar to but significantly different than the Canadian Northern third class stations; last passenger service 1955; closed and demolished 1960 with yards relocated to north side of river and land redeveloped for Co-op Shopping Centre
Sylvan Lake CNR station
Brazeau subdivision
west of Red Deer:

Briggs
built 1919 Freight and passenger shelter
Sylvan Lake
built 1913 (CNor 3rd class); demolished or removed
Elspeth built 1913 (CNor 3rd class); demolished
Eckville built 1912 (CNor 3rd class); demolished or removed
Lochearn CN/CP station Rocky Mountain HouseLeslieville built 1912 (CNor 3rd class); stucco applied 1945; demolished or removed

Rocky Mountain House
Lochearn station built by and shared with Canadian Pacific as a CPR Standard A3 in 1920; destroyed by fire 1967
 
Brazeau subdivision west of
Rocky Mountain House (abandoned 1955)

Horberg built 1918 Freight and passenger shelter; closed 1955; removed 1959
Saunders built 1918 Freight and passenger shelter; closed 1955; removed 1959
Alexo/Stolberg built 1924 Freight and passenger shelter
Nordegg/Brazeau built 1914 (CNor 3rd class); stuccoed 1945; closed 1955; sold 1962; demolished or removed
 
Brazeau subdivision east of Red Deer to Alix Jct.:
Burbank built 1915 Freight and passenger shelter; relocated 1959
Prentiss
built 1912 (CNor 3rd class) demolished or removed
Joffre built 1916 Freight and passenger shelter; destroyed by fire 1961
Haynes built 1913 (CNor 3rd class); sold 1963; demolished or removed
 
Endiang subdivision (originally part of Brazeau sub) east of Alix to Warden
Alix built 1912 (CNor 3rd class); abandoned 1922 after creation of Canadian National and change of crew from Big Valley to Mirror; relocated to GTP site for Three Hills sub station in 1927; demolished 1975
Nevis built 1912 (CNor 3rd class); sold 1962
Warden Jct. (on Stettler sub) built 1915 (CNor 4th class); destroyed by fire 1919; replaced by CNor 3rd class station 1919; stuccoed 1942; sold and demolished 1984

Canadian National Stations along the former Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
Three Hills subdivision south of Mirror
(mainline between Calgary and Edmonton still active)
Ardley CNR station on farmMirror (division point) built 1911 (GTP Design 'E' - larger version of Type E); stucco applied 1944; destroyed by fire 1975
Alix built 1911 (GTP Type E); converted to section house 1927; CNor 3rd class station relocated to site 1927 - demolished 1975
Ardley built 1911 (GTP Type E); stucco applied 1936; closed 1965; purchased for $30 and relocated 1967 to farm outside of community
Delburne CN Station at Anthony Henday Museum
Delburne
built 1912 (GTP Type E); stucco applied 1922; relocated a few blocks in 1978 to Anthony Henday Museum
Lousana built 1912 (GTP Type E); retired 1959; demolished or removed
Elnora built 1911 (GTP Type E); stucco applied 1922; demolished 1975
Huxley built 1913 (GTP Type E); stucco applied 1922; demolished 1976
Trochu built 1912 (GTP Type E); replaced 1959
Three Hills built 1912 (GTP Type E); replaced 1919 (GTP Type F stucco); relocated a few blocks to Kneehill Historical Museum
Swalwell (GTP Type E) built 1912
Grainger (GTP Type F) built 1919
Bircham (GTP Type E) built 1912
Beiseker (GTP Type E) built 1913
Irricana (GTP Type E) built 1911
(Over 350 stations in the Class E category were built in Western Canada)

Canadian National Stations along the former
Canadian Northern Alberta Midland Railway
south and north of Stettler

(line abandoned but portion between Stettler and Big Valley used by Alberta Prairie Steam Tours)

Big Valley CN StationBig Valley (division point 1914-1923) built 1912 (CNor Second class); closed 1967; restored as historic site and terminus of Alberta Prairie Steam Tours
Warden built 1919 (CNor 3rd class); stucco applied 1942; demolished 1984
Stettler built 1911 (CNor Second class); relocated a few blocks to Town & Country Museum Stettler  
Red Willow built 1910 (CNor 3rd class); demolished 1984
CNR Camrose stationDonalda built 1911 (CNor 3rd class); stucco applied 1937; demolished; CNor 4th class 1909 station relocated to site from Vandura Saskatchewan and restored
Meeting Creek built 1913 (CNor 3rd class); stucco applied 1937; closed 1981; restored 1987
Edberg built 1910 (CNor 3rd class); sold 1983
Camrose built 1911 (CNor 3rd class); stucco applied 1937; closed 1988; restored 1993; used as museum and headquarters for CNor Historical Society
 
Canadian Northern Stettler subdivision south of Big Valley

Rowley CNor StationScollard built 1911 (CNor 3rd class)
Rumsey built 1912 (CNor 3rd class)
Rowley built 1922 (CNor 3rd class)
Morrin built 1912 (CNor 3rd class)



More information to come . . .



 

 
Railway Stations of the Region
C & ER Combination Stations
Portable Stations
Red Deer CPR 1910 Station
Role of Railway Stations
Red Deer's 4 Stations
CPR Stations in Central Alberta
CNR Stations in Central Alberta
Multiple Station Communities
Station Plans
 

 
The Railways of Central Alberta
Calgary & Edmonton Railway
C & E Railway at Red Deer
Alberta Central Railway
Canadian Northern Railway
Canadian Northern Western RR
Canadian National Railway in RD
Grand Trunk Pacific Central Alberta
Lacombe & Blindman Valley RR
Timetable Excerpts
 
 
Trails, Transit, Trains
Trails and Trains Overview
Trains and Transit Overview

Milestones 1910-13
Calgary Edmonton Trail
Transit in Central Alberta
Red Deer Transit

Jubilee 3001 Chinook
Locomotives Central Alberta
Rise and Fall of Passenger Rail

 

Bridges, Structures, Heritage
Rail Structures of Region
Central Alberta Rail Bridges

Mintlaw Trestle
Alberta's Railway Bridges
Western Canada Rail Bridges



 

 

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