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  CPR bridge downtown Red Deer 1987

Forth Junction Project
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A time of transition from steam to diesel and
the start of passenger service decline

CPR park and station and coal chutes- The steam-to-diesel era and the beginning of the decline in passenger service as a result of the explosive popularity of the automobile and the advent of regular air travel characterizes this year with lots of changes as a result.
- The last year that the CPR Jubilee 4-4-4 F2a semi-streamlined steam locomotive led the 'Chinook' high-speed passenger train between Calgary and Edmonton being replaced by the new Budd RDC 'Dayliner' self-propelled passenger car.
- The last year that CPR ran mixed passenger trains between Red Deer and Rocky Mountain House via the Mintlaw bridge, Sylvan Lake and Benalto.
- The last year that CNR ran mixed passenger trains between Mirror and Nordegg via Red Deer, Sylvan Lake and Rocky Mountain House.
- Both CPR and CNR had several D10 (4-6-0) and Pacific (4-6-2) steam locomotives in the Red Deer area for mostly local and yard work. CPR was using large Selkirk (2-10-4) and Hudson (4-6-4) for fast freights.
- Diesel locomotives were quickly overtaking steam. CPR closed its 10-stall roundhouse in 1955 and it was demolished in 1963. The coal chutes and water tower were closed and demolished in 1960. The CPR yard stock pens were also closed in the late 1950s.
- The most common diesel locomotives in the Red Deer area for both CPR and CNR were 4-axle GMD GP7s and GP9s. 4-axle Alco S2s and S4s were sometimes used for yard work. CPR ran a few FM 6-axle Trainmasters and C-Liners. CNR ran a few GMD F3 cab units.
- The Canadian National station east of downtown Red Deer closed for passenger service in 1955 but continued to serve express and freight customers until the yard was relocated in 1960. A National grain elevator was closed.
- The CPR Red Deer freight house that had been a conversion and expansion of the original 1891 C&E combination station continued until it closed in 1961. Two tracks served the freight house for LCL (less than carload) customers. It was demolished in the mid 1960s. A similar but smaller freight house in Lacombe was closed in 1956.
- In Red Deer, Carling Brewery and Macdonalds Consolidated warehouse were built in 1954 becoming major railway customers. Alpha Dairies, built in 1936 was also a major customer for several years. Five grain elevators (including UGG, Federal, National) were regular customers served off the downtown yard.
- The beautiful CPR railway garden park was still an attraction before being converted to a parking lot in 1960.
- CNR reopened the Ardley bridge across the Red Deer River after being closed for a couple of years due to reconstruction after being washed out in 1952. Trains had been detoured via Stettler and Big Valley.
- Canadian National had introduced the new 'Transcontinental' passenger train via Saskatoon and Edmonton in 1954. Locomotives and passenger cars were converted to the black, green and gold colour scheme with the red maple leaf herald.
- Although 40' boxcars were the dominant rolling stock, the oil boom of the late 1940s saw a dramatic increase in tank cars. As a result the CPR yard was expanded in 1948.

- Regular scheduled passenger service was still alive but declining and many trains were cancelled starting in 1955. Most railway stations were still operational including:
       - Red Deer CPR 1910 chateau-style,
       - Red Deer CNR 1923 modified 3rd class,
       - Blackfalds CPR 1904 early #2,
       - Lacombe CPR 1911 special,
       - Ponoka C&ER 1891 combination,
       - Hobbema CPR 1928 #14A,
       - Wetaskiwin CPR 1907 special,
       - Penhold CPR 1904 early #2,
       - Innisfail C&ER 1891 combination,
       - Bowden CPR 1904 early #2,
       - Olds C&ER 1891 combination,
       - Didsbury CPR 1904 Pratt,
       - Sylvan Lake CNor 1913 3rd class,
       - Sylvan Lake CPR 1924 #14A,
       - Benalto CPR 1928 #14A,
       - Eckville CNor 1912 3rd class,
       - Rocky Mountain House/Lochearn CPR 1920 A3,
       - Nordegg/Brazeau CNor 1914 3rd class,
       - Prentiss CNor 1912 3rd class,
       - Clive CPR 1912 A2 Western,
       - Alix relocated CNor 1912 3rd class,
       - Alix CPR 1910 #5,
       - Nevis CNor 1912 3rd class,
       - Nevis CPR 1912 A2 Western,
       - Erskine CPR 1910 A2 Western,
       - Stettler CPR 1925 #14A,
       - Stettler CNor 1911 2nd class,
       - Big Valley CNor 1912 2nd class,
       - Mirror GTP 1911 Design E,
       - Ardley GTP 1911 Type E,
       - Delburne GTP 1912 Type E,
       - Elnora GTP 1911 Type E,
       - Trochu GTP 1912 Type E,
       - Gull Lake/Aspen Beach L&BV 1917 small


1892 - The beginning of a regional centre     1913 - The headiness of rapid expansion     1939 - The glory days of passenger service
1955 - Transition and change     1967 - Canada's centennial     1985 - Last passenger train in region      2005 - Alberta's centennial
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