Canada's centennial train visits Red Deer
celebrated 100 years of its existence as an
Centennial Train travelled through the nation that
included a stop
in Red Deer.
- The major railway corridors still had regular passenger
service and many of the region's railway stations were
operational, some for express only, including:
- Red Deer CPR 1910 chateau-style,
- Blackfalds CPR 1904 #2,
- Lacombe CPR 1911 special,
- Ponoka C&ER 1891 combination,
- Hobbema CPR 1928 #14A,
- Wetaskiwin CPR 1907 special,
- Penhold CPR 1904 #2,
- Innisfail CPR 1961 cinder block,
- Bowden CPR 1904 #2,
- Olds CPR 1962 cinder block,
- Didsbury CPR 1904 Pratt,
- Sylvan Lake CNor 1913 3rd class,
- Sylvan Lake CPR 1924 #14A,
- Benalto CPR 1928 #14A,
- Clive CPR 1912 A2 Western,
- Alix relocated CNor 1912 3rd class,
- 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.
- Delburne GTP 1912 Type E,
- Trochu CNR 1959 modern
- The Innisfail and Olds C&E 1891 combination stations
were closed in 1961 and replaced by small cinder block
The Rocky Mountain House station (CPR A3) closed in
1966 and burned to the ground in 1967.
- The CNR had closed its downtown Red Deer special
station in 1960 but
still had a temporary arrangement
with the CPR to share trackage
between its remaining
Red Deer customers between the CPR yard and
Junction. Canada's first rail relocation project was the
creation of a new commercial rail yard north of the river.
- Budd RDCs operating on three
Central Alberta lines
including CPR Dayliner service between Calgary and
Edmonton with stops at Red Deer, Innisfail, Lacombe and
Wetaskiwin as well as CNR Railiner service between
Calgary and Edmonton or Drumheller via Delburne, Mirror,
Stettler and Big Valley starting in 1956.
- Grain elevators still dominated the skylines of most
Central Alberta communities.
- CNR had introduced its new classic
passenger cars adopted the grey and black paint scheme
and road locomotives had diagonal stripes since 1961.
Some boxcars and reefers had colour-coded doors.
- CPR had introduced its script branding in 1960 but block
lettering was still very common. Newsprint cars had
either the red herald or pine tree logo.
- Although both CPR and CNR were still running 4-axle GMD
GP7s and GP9s, they were being replaced by GMD GP35s.
Both railways were also running new 6-axle GMD SD40s.
- The most common freight car was the 40' boxcar but 50'
boxcars, covered hoppers and tank cars were common.
Older cars such as outside braced wood boxcars and
stock cars were still plentiful.
- Roofwalks on boxcars were gradually being removed and
all new freight cars had none.
- The CPR Alberta Central sub between Red Deer and Rocky Mountain
House via the Mintlaw trestle shifted its
connection with the CPR main line from Forth to Tuttle (1961).
- In Red Deer, Alpha Dairies, Carling Brewery, Macdonalds
Consolidated and five grain elevators (including UGG,
National) were customers served off the downtown yard. Although the
freight house had been removed, two
team tracks still served LCL (less than carload) customers.
- White Rose/Shell refinery at Bowden was loading tank cars.
- Alberta Pacific and Searle grain companies had become part of
Federal Grain Company.
Photos (Please do not replicate without credit to
photographer or collection):
Confederation train at Red Deer yard - Sylvia Hayhoe photo, Red Deer
2. 1967 Red Deer CPR rail yard - Waskasoo Camera Club, Red Deer
3. CNR rail yard north Red Deer 1968 - Red Deer Archives
4. CP Dayliner at Red Deer 1967 - Jim Aellen photo, Red Deer Museum
5. Red Deer north CPR yard elevators 1967 - Waskasoo Camera Club,
Red Deer Archives