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  railway heritage village

Forth Junction Project 
Concept for

Springbrook Community
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
 

Transportation Themed Rail, Trail and Transit Interpretive
Innisfail Community Heritage Rail Park

 
subject to ongoing stakeholder consultation

  Melcor property including the proposed rail park

A 37-acre parcel north of the Discovery Wildlife Park at Innisfail (pop. 8000) currently owned by Melcor Developments about 33 km south of the City of Red Deer is one of a handful of sites being negotiated for the development of the proposed rail park.

The society proposes that the rail park itself occupy 21 acres of the parcel with the central 16 acres to be used for future tourism, semi-commercial, commercial or park expansion.
 
It is immediately adjacent to the CPR Calgary-Edmonton main line and Highway 2A. There is the potential for extending a rail spur into the site from the south elevator at Niobe.

      full build out of rail park at Innisfail
                          Conceptual site plan at full build-out of the proposed rail park at Innisfail

Features of the rail park at full build-out (Phase 3 - conceptual only)
creating a unique experience that values family recreational activity, the natural environment and the transportation heritage of Central Alberta;
and to interpret, demonstrate and display the relationship between built and natural environment as it relates to the evolution of ground transportation in Western Canada

former C&E Railway Museum- Calgary & Edmonton Railway Museum
  Replication of the original 1891 C&E railway station to house
  current collection of artifacts. This station was built in
  several locations prior to being replaced or demolished,
  including at Red Deer, Innisfail, Olds, Carstairs, Airdrie,
  Lacombe, Ponoka, Wetaskiwin, Leduc and Strathcona. The
  majority of these artifacts were gifted to the Forth Junction
  Heritage Society by the Junior League of Edmonton,
  operators of the closed C&E Railway Station Museum in south
  Edmonton.

- Replication of historic railway stations
  as a study in architecture

  Replicated and/or restored railway stations of Central Alberta
  as interpretive centres of the railways of Red Deer County
  including the Alberta Central Railway (CPR), Canadian Northern Western Railway (CNR), Grand Trunk Pacific
  Railway (CNR). These stations would be used for a variety of purposes including model rail and themed exhibits,
  children's pavilion, games room, mini-theatre, gift shop, a transportation library and administration.

Proposed interactive historical model rail museum- Miniature world historical model rail pavilion
  One or more of the replicated railway stations could house accurate representations
  of the evolution of the railway in the development of Innisfail, Red Deer and other
  communities in Central Alberta featuring a variety of scales and time periods. This
  could evolve to become Canada's largest series of historically-accurate miniature
  railway exhibits.

- Transportation history pavilion
  Highlighting the evolution of transit and regional bus service in Central Alberta as well
  as other modes of ground transportation. Regional historic and cultural tours could be offered from this facility.


- Children's pavilion & miniature railway
   activity, educational and entertainment centre for children to learn the basics of
   transportation science and logistics including miniature train rides and other fun activities

-
Heritage railway collections interpretive exhibits
   indoor 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 a future rail
   loop and hidden un-restored railway equipment storage.

- Train viewing observation platform and activity area
 
 Elevated viewing point for rail enthusiasts and photographers to watch the CPR rail line with games, video and
  reading area and refreshment bar with adjoining themed playground, gardens and picnic area.

- Themed interpretive centres and kiosks
  focusing on aspects of historic railways such as the C&E Railway and the Alberta Central Railway, railway
  activity such as fossil fuel and agricultural transport, personal vehicles and other ground transportation which
  could include military and first responder vehicles.

CPR Red Deer garden 1912
- Ornamental rail station gardens
   similar to the many railway station gardens including the 1906 CPR Red Deer park that
   greeted visitors and settlers in the first half of the 20th century. Other gardens could
   be scattered throughout park with fountains and other features.


- Natural areas, green space, trails, picnic areas
 
  natural areas including trees, green spaces and wetlands accessible through a
   network of internal trails and external trail connections with picnic areas and benches
   to relax and enjoy the environment.
rail park landscaping
- Family activity zones, themed playgrounds
 
  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 and event zone.


Phase 1 of the park plan sets the stage for the ultimate build-out of the overall vision. It accommodates current opportunities and allows for additional uses of the site by the community and other similar organizations. It also provides some time to modify the plan as community needs, studies, consultations and trends evolve.

The first phase includes:
- Calgary & Edmonton Railway Museum housing the
  collection gifted by the Junior League of Edmonton from the
  now-closed station museum in south Edmonton;
- children's playground and outdoor activity area;
- covered viewing platform and snack bar for rail fans who
  want to watch the busy CPR Calgary-Edmonton main line that
  hosts up to 15 trains per day. This element alone could
  ultimately attract a good number of visitors from many parts of
  North America;
- stand-alone interpretive kiosks;
- an ornamental railway garden similar to those that were
  once connected to railway stations;
- additional gardens, a gazebo, water features, fountains;
- natural areas, trails and tree planting. Eventually the park
  would connect with regional trails;
- temporary heritage transit storage building and bus tour
   depot
;
- the beginnings of a historical miniature world model
   railway exhibit
;
- at least one other replicated railway station as
   representative of railway architecture.

These features would initially attract mostly local and regional residents and guests, visitors, and tourists travelling along the Calgary and Edmonton corridor.


The above features would be developed by the society. The long term vision for the site is for the central area of the parcel to be complementary stand-alone semi-commercial developments. See
Ultimate Vision
 
                            Site plan graphic renderings and photos by Paul Pettypiece except for historic photo courtesy of Red Deer Archives
 

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

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