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  Former C&E Railway Museum Edmonton 2013 - Pettypiece

Forth Junction Project 
Concept for

Forth Junction Regional
Heritage Rail Park

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

Forth Junction Park Concept

Railway Station Architecture

Future Historical Miniature Rail Exhibits

Ultimate Vision

Concept Proposal for                        

Staging of Regional Family Heritage Rail Park

Features would be developed in stages by the society over a period of time. As the park develops, it would initially attract mostly local and regional residents and guests, visitors, and tourists travelling along the Calgary and Edmonton corridor but as the concept becomes fully developed, it would attract visitors from a much-wider area, ultimately becoming a world-class attractor, especially as the complementary semi-commercial tourism component evolves.

Phase 1

Phase 1 of the proposed Forth Junction Heritage Rail Park- access, servicing and drainage,

- replication of an 1891 C&E
   Railway combination station
 (likely Innisfail) as new C & E
   Railway Museum
   Miniature World workshop,


- train-viewing platform and
   activity area,


- storage & maintenance garage,


- replication of small railway
for reception,


- decorative garden and parking.

Calgary & Edmonton Railway Museum and Heritage Centre
former C&E Railway Museum in Edmonton 2013 - PettypieceThe first stage of the proposed heritage rail park will include a replication of the original 1891 C&E combination railway station to house the artifact collection gifted by the Junior League of Edmonton from the now-closed station museum that was located in south Edmonton. These artifacts are currently stored and displayed at the Innisfail Historical Village.
former C&ER museum 3
The building may also become the home of a research centre for the Calgary & Edmonton Railway with archives and library.

The 1891 station design had been built in several locations prior to being replaced or demolished, including at Red Deer, Innisfail, Olds, Carstairs, Airdrie, Lacombe, Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Leduc and Strathcona as well as a handful of others south of Calgary. None of the original combination stations have survived in Alberta.

See: Plan for the Re-Creation of the C&ER Museum

Train viewing observation platform and activity area
Park Forest Rail Fan Park in Illinois 
Also in the initial stage of the heritage rail park is an elevated viewing platform for rail enthusiasts and photographers who want to watch the busy CPR Calgary-Edmonton main rail line that hosts up to 15 trains per day. It would eventually become a covered all-season facility with games, video and reading areas as well as a refreshment bar.

It would include an adjoining themed playground, gardens and picnic area.
This element alone could ultimately attract a good number of visitors from many parts of North America.

Red Deer CPR ornamental garden park and station ca1912 - RD Archives P8737Ornamental railway station gardens

Many early railway stations had adjoining decorative gardens and parks to present an attractive first impression of the town to visitors and settlers getting off the train. These gardens often included fountains, water features, pathways, flower enhancements, a gazebo and/or benches.

Red Deer was one of the towns or cities that had a memorable ornamental garden located between the CPR station and the hotels from 1906 to 1960. Unfortunately, it was replaced by a parking lot.

The Forth Junction Heritage Rail Park would include a similar feature as an early attraction.

Phase 2

Phase 2 of the proposed Forth Junction Heritage Rail Park- landscaping, including tree
  planting, trails, gardens


- replication of a CPR early #2
(either Penhold or
  Blackfalds) for multi use such as
  gift shop and meeting room,


- replication of a C&E Railway
   combination station
that had
  been converted to a freight
  house for the first of several
  historical miniature-world
  model railway exhibits,


first of several themed

Miniature world historical model railway exhibits
Child fascinated with model railway exhibit at Freemo Big Valley 2009 - Pettypiece
An additional replicated station, such as an 1891 C&E Railway station converted to freight house, would house historically accurate miniature-world-style model railway exhibits showing the evolution of communities in the region displaying the result of railway decisions, technological advances, infrastructure and colonization.

These exhibits would be represented in various scales over several time periods that could include the early 1890s of the Calgary & Edmonton Railway, the boom period around 1913 featuring the CPR and the Canadian Northern Western Railway, the late 1930s featuring 'The Chinook' high speed train, the transition era from steam to diesel around 1955, Canada's centennial year of 1967 and infrastructure and commodity transportation changes around 1985 prior to the relocation of the Red Deer rail yards and the end of passenger rail service in Central Alberta. The exhibit could include a model of the historic 2,100' Mintlaw steel trestle across the Red Deer River.

The project could eventually evolve to include the evolution of model railway manufacturing.

West Coast Railway Museum 2016 - PettypieceNatural areas, green space, trails,
picnic areas

including trees, green spaces and possibly wetlands or other water features accessible through a network of internal trails and external trail connections with picnic areas and benches to relax and enjoy the environment.

Themed playgrounds &
family activity zones


Transportation-themed playgrounds scattered throughout the park and family activity zones where families can enjoy the unique built and natural environment. May include gazebos, outdoor stage, covered picnic areas, event zone and an activity, educational and entertainment centre for children to learn the basics of transportation and mobility science and logistics.

Phase 3

Phase 3 of proposed Forth Junction Heritage Rail Park- replication of two or more
  railway stations for temporary
  multi use and creation of the
  temporary Alberta Central
   Railway Pavilion,


- "opportunity" display and
   hidden un-restored rail car
space for
   donations of rail equipment,


- enclosure of the viewing


- stage one of the Transit and
   Surface Transportation

Replicated railway stations as a study in architecture
and representing regional railway evolution

Replicating several representative styles of railway stations that once were the hubs of many communities, large and small throughout Central Alberta for over 125 years, these interpretive centres would be an attraction unique in North America.

The first of these replicated stations is anticipated to be the 1891 Calgary & Edmonton Railway combination station and freight house, likely based on the one in Innisfail, to house the C&E Railway Museum.

The freight house portion would house the beginning of the miniature world historical model railway display.

The second station to be replicated would likely be a CPR portable similar to the one at Mintlaw, representing the Alberta Central Railway, as the reception centre for the park. The third would likely be an original CPR #2 station based on either the Penhold or Blackfalds station, depending on the final location of the park, to be used primarily as a gift shop, refreshment bar, meeting room and storage.

The CPR (and temporary Alberta Central Railway) Pavilion would be built in Phase 2 along with a replicated freight house that would ultimately house the multi-era historical miniature world exhibits. A third station in the same area could replicate the original 1910 brick CPR station that would house the Passenger Rail Pavilion in Phase 4.
Red Deer CNR station 1955 - Red Deer Archives
The CNR interpretive zone, built in Phases 3 and 4, would include replicated stations that serve to examine the role of the Canadian Northern Western Railway, Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and the CNR in Central Alberta. A replicated 1923 CNR Red Deer station could become the Children's Pavilion in Phase 4.

A replication of the 1920 Rocky Mountain House station could house the Rail Infrastructure Pavilion in Phase 4. The replicated CPR/ACR Sylvan Lake station built in Phase 2 would become the permanent Alberta Central Railway Pavilion in Stage 4.

In addition to housing exhibits, these replicated stations would have a variety of other temporary or permanent functions including the children's pavilion, transportation library and research centre, revolving exhibits, cultural and event pavilions, meeting rooms, theatre room, activity centres and administration.

Union Bus Depot Red Deer Cardinal Coaches 1949 - Glenbow Archives
Transit & Surface Transportation Heritage Pavilion
Highlighting the evolution of transit and regional bus service in Central Alberta as well as other modes of surface transportation that could include various auto, emergency or military vehicles. Regional historic and cultural tours could be offered from this facility.

Children's discovery pavilion
A fun and interactive facility that focuses on the technological and scientific advancements that have evolved over the past century.

Heritage railway collections interpretive exhibits
Covered and outdoor displays showcasing private and leased railway collections and the evolution of rail infrastructure, locomotives and rolling stock in Central Alberta. Sufficient space will be included for hidden un-restored railway equipment storage that is not visible to the public.

Phase 4 - Full Build-out

Final phase of proposed Forth Junction Heritage Rail Park- creation of CNR (CNor, GTP,
   CN) interpretive zone,

- replication of railway stations to
  house the Passenger Rail, Rail
  Architecture and Children's


- completion of Transit and
   Surface Transportation,
   Miniature World, and
permanent ACR Pavilions,


- enclosed rail restoration


- interpretive nodes & kiosks,

- possible miniature railway

Themed Pavilions and Interpretive Zones  

Featuring the following Central Alberta railways and aspects of regional rail travel:
- the Calgary & Edmonton Railway and its branchlines
(later absorbed by the Canadian Pacific Railway),
- the Alberta Central Railway (also absorbed by the CPR),
- the Canadian Northern Western Railway
(absorbed into the Canadian National Railways) and
- the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (also absorbed into the CNR).
sampling of Central Alberta railway stations - cPettypiece 
Rail Station Architecture Pavilion
As a study in railway station architecture, special emphasis has been placed on the many railway lines that developed the region. May also include bridge and other railway infrastructure. Likely located in a replication of the CPR Rocky Mountain House station.
Passenger Rail Pavilion
The rise and fall of rail passenger service in Central Alberta from 1891 to its demise in 1985 likely located in a replication of the 1910 CPR brick station. This station may also include an interpretive centre focusing on the impact of railway building on colonization, indigenous culture, environment and Canadian nationhood.

ACR Pavilion
The Alberta Central Railway was envisioned to be a major rail line linking Vancouver and Hudson's Bay with the rest of Western Canada. Only the section from Red Deer to Rocky Mountain House was built but it included the Mintlaw steel trestle over the Red Deer River. Having gone bankrupt, Canadian Pacific operated the line until 1982. This pavilion examines the significance and impact of the line to the growth of communities west of Red Deer.

CPR Pavilion
The Canadian Pacific Railway's main Calgary-Edmonton line (formerly the Calgary & Edmonton Railway and the backbone of its Alberta operations), its branchlines to the east and the former Lacombe and Blindman Valley Electric Railway will all be explored and highlighted.

CNR Interpretive Zone
In 1911 and 1912, the Canadian Northern Railway, the Canadian Northern Western Railway and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway were busy building rail lines and connecting communities throughout Central Alberta. A decade later, they were bankrupt and were absorbed into the new Canadian National Railways system. Canadian National continued to operate these lines for many decades, some to the present day. CN also built a branch line into downtown Red Deer. Two stations will examine the evolution and impact of these rail lines within the region.

Themed interpretive nodes and stand-alone kiosks

focusing on aspects of railway activity, infrastructure and other modes of transportation that could feature fossil fuel, petrochemical, industrial, livestock and agricultural product distribution. The impact of the railway on the economy, the environment, colonization, First Nations and community affairs could also be highlighted as well as the future of ground transportation.
Proposed interpretive nodes with corresponding preserved rolling stock may include:
- Impact of Railway Building on Colonization, Indigenous Culture, Environment and Canadian
      Nationhood Interpretive Centre,

- Fossil Fuels (Oil, Gas, Coal) and Petrochemical Transport Interpretive Node
- Agriculture/Grain/Livestock/Processed Food Transport Interpretive Node

Jubilee 3001 the Chinook trainset - CP Archives
1/8 scale miniature railway interpretive journey

that may eventually be built as an add-on to stage three possibly headed by a 1/8 scale replication of the CPR 'Chinook' Jubilee 4-4-4 No. 3001 high speed streamlined passenger steam locomotive that ran between Calgary and Edmonton in the late 1930s, 1940s and early 1950s (it was one of only 5 of this class built, none survived).

See Ultimate Vision       


Railway Station Replications within the proposed
Forth Junction Heritage Rail Park
as a study in railway heritage architecture
(subject to change)

Phase 1:   C&E 1891 Combination Station & Freight House (Innisfail late 1890s)
                   for Calgary & Edmonton Railway Museum, workshop for miniature railway exhibits and meeting rooms as
                   well as temporary research, archives, gift shop, refreshments        
                 ACR Mintlaw portable station
                   for park reception 
Phase 2:   CPR 1904 Early Standard #2 Station (Penhold or Blackfalds 1940s or 1968)
                   for permanent gift shop, refreshments, meeting room
                 CPR Freight House (repurposed from original station) 1911 (Red Deer)
                    for variety of time frames of historical miniature railway exhibits
Phase 3:    C&E 1891 Combination Station (Red Deer/generic) or substitute
                    for CPR and temporary ACR Pavilion, permanent research centre, administration, library, archives
                  Canadian Northern 1913 3rd Class Station (Sylvan Lake 1950s)
                    for multi-use and temporary family activity centre to be repurposed in Phase 4 as part of CNR Interpretive
                    Zone featuring the Canadian Northern Western Railway
           CPR 1924 Standard #14A (Sylvan Lake) or substitute
                    for multi-use and temporary children's pavilion to be repurposed in Phase 4 as the Alberta Central Railway
Phase 4:     Grand Trunk Pacific 1911 modified E Station (Mirror)
                    as part of CNR Interpretive Zone featuring the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
                   Canadian National 1923 modified Class 3 Station (Red Deer 1954)
                    for permanent Children's Pavilion and Family Activity Centre
                 CPR 1910 original Red Deer 'Chateau-style' Brick Station
                    for Passenger Rail Pavilion,
                         Impact of Railway Building on Colonization, Indigenous Culture, Environment and Canadian Nationhood
                             Interpretive Centre and
                         permanent research centre, library, archives and administration,
                  CPR 1920 Standard A3 Station (Rocky Mountain House)
                    for Study in Railway Station (and other infrastructure) Architecture Pavilion,
                         Fossils Fuels (Oil, Gas, Coal) and Petrochemical Transport Interpretive Node, and
                         Agriculture/Grain/Livestock/Processed Food Transport Interpretive Node,
Other possible station replications as additional stations or substitutes:
               Grand Trunk Pacific 1911 Type E Station (Elnora or Ardley)
               CPR 1910 Standard #5 Station (Alix)            
               CPR 1912 Standard A2 Western Station (Nevis)

The Forth Junction Heritage Society has reviewed many rail parks and rail museums and has taken inspiration from several of them, some within Alberta and others well outside.
Our desire is to not duplicate these facilities but to learn from them to facilitate the creation of a unique attraction with a unique combination of facilities.
Some excellent attractions within Alberta that we have taken inspiration from include the Alberta Central Railway Museum near Wetaskiwin, Heritage Park in Calgary, Fort Edmonton Park, the Alberta Railway Museum north of Edmonton, Aspen Crossing at Mossleigh and Galt Historic Railway Park south of Lethbridge.
We see these attractions complementary to our own vision and we encourage you to visit these other great parks.

Outside of Alberta, inspiration has come from the West Coast Railway Heritage Park at Squamish, 3 Valley Gap near Revelstoke, the Revelstoke Railway Museum, Canadian Museum of Rail Travel at Cranbrook and Fort Steele in B.C. as well as Exporail in Montreal, Winnipeg Railway Museum, Toronto Railway Museum, B&O Railway Museum in Baltimore, MD, EnterTrainment Junction in Cincinnati, OH, Railraod Park Resort in Dunsmuir, CA, and San Diego CA Model Railroad Museum.

Photo descriptions and credits:
Header photo: Former C&E Railway Station Museum replication in south Edmonton (Paul Pettypiece 2013);

Phase 1 of site plan option for proposed Forth Junction Heritage Rail Park (Paul Pettypiece);
Former Calgary & Edmonton Railway Station Museum replication in south Edmonton (Paul Pettypiece 2013);
Display at former C&E Railway Station Museum in Edmonton (Paul Pettypiece 2013);
Railway viewing platform at Park Forest Rail Fan Park Illinois (Enjoy Illinios);

CPR Red Deer station, freighthouse, garden 1912 (Red Deer Archives P8737);
Phase 2 of site plan option for proposed Forth Junction Heritage Rail Park (Paul Pettypiece);
Child admiring model railway exhibit at Big Valley Freemo event (Paul Pettypiece 2009);
Rail park at West Coast Railway Museum (Paul Pettypiece 2016);
Phase 3 of site plan option for proposed Forth Junction Heritage Rail Park (Paul Pettypiece);
Innisfail 1891 Calgary & Edmonton Railway station 1890s (Glenbow Archives NA-1709-71);
Blackfalds 1904 CPR early standard #2 station (Blackfalds Historical Society);
Red Deer 1923 Canadian National Railways modified 3rd class station 1955 (Red Deer Archives P7009);
Union bus depot Red Deer Cardinal Coaches 1949 (Glenbow Archives PA-3127-1);
Phase 4 of site plan option for proposed Forth Junction Heritage Rail Park (Paul Pettypiece);
Graphic of several Central Alberta railway stations (Paul Pettypiece);
'The Chinook' train led by Jubilee 3001 and 4 cars (Canadian Pacific Archives);


Forth Junction Park Concept       Railway Station Architecture       Future Historical Miniature Rail Exhibits       Ultimate Vision

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