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Forth Junction rail project seeking
charitable status

reprinted from Red Deer Advocate (Laura Tester) October 27, 2010
A Central Alberta group eager to make Red Deer's railroad history into a tourist attraction is in the final stages of applying for charitable status.

Forth Junction Heritage Society president Paul Pettypiece said he hopes to have the application filed this week with Revenue Canada.

The society wants to become a registered charity so it can begin fundraising for the project that's expected to take millions of dollars in donations and government grants.

Pettypiece said the society has been increasing its public awareness this fall so that more Central Albertans know about the project. Last weekend, Pettypiece and several others were kept busy chatting with visitors at the Red Deer Model Train and Model Show at Westerner Park.

The society has several projects in mind.

One attraction would include shops, a children's theme park, observation tower restaurant and ground transportation museum in the heart of Riverlands, west of Taylor Drive.

Pettypiece said the society will apply for $40,000 through Alberta Tourism so it can conduct a destination study on whether this Riverlands attraction could work.

The society has also met with top brass at Tourism Red Deer to gauge its interest.

A second main attraction will occur in an unidentified location within Red Deer County. It would include replicas of several regional railway stations for overnight lodging, a railway park and a lookout tower.

Originally, the society was looking to build a real-life size replica of The Chinook, a passenger train that ran from the 1930s to the 1950s between Calgary and Edmonton. It may go on the county parcel or next to the old Canadian Pacific Railway station near 51st Avenue.

Pettypiece said the version has been scaled back to one-eighth the size of the original due to cost. Now estimated at $275,000 versus around $1 million or more. It will be able to function like a real one where people will be able to ride in railway cars hitched behind.

Forth Junction held its annual general meeting on Tuesday, featuring Red Deer historian Michael Dawe as a guest speaker.

Red Deer's rail history is very important to the city, he said.

In the early 20th century, Canadian Pacific Railway made Red Deer a divisional centre, helping to make Red Deer a much larger community than others around it, including Blackfalds and Innisfail. The railway was the biggest employer for years, Dawe said.

News articles about the Forth Junction Heritage Society (more below):
       News article: World-class destination centre still in the works (Innisfail Province Nov.2013)
       Editorial: Praise today's big dream
(Innisfail Province Jan.2012)
       Editorial: Railway concept captures region's uniqueness (Olds Albertan Jan.2012)
       Feature article: Forth Junction targets county
(Mountain View Gazette Dec.2011)
       News article: Forth Junction pulling toward a new station
(Red Deer Advocate Dec.2011)

News articles related to ACR/CPR Mintlaw bridge mentioning the Forth Junction Heritage Society:
       News article: Plans for Mintlaw Bridge waiting on public feedback
(Mountain View Gazette Feb.2012)
       News article: Opposition comes forward to Mintlaw Bridge preservation
(Mountain View Gazette May 2011)
       News article: RD County antes up for Mintlaw Bridge repairs
(Mountain View Gazette Nov.2010)
       News article: Bridging gap between history and disrepair
(Red Deer Advocate Nov.2010)

News article related to regional model and miniature railways mentioning the Forth Junction Project:

       News article: Trains still roll for some
(Red Deer Advocate Nov.2012)

News articles related to historic downtown Red Deer redevelopment mentioning the Forth Junction Project
(the original vision of the Forth Junction Heritage Society included an attraction in the new downtown
Riverlands but this vision was modified to have one destination close to the city and active rail line):

       News article: Railyards: Open house on a 20-year plan for downtown
(Red Deer Advocate June 2011)
       News article: Riverlands: Strong turnout for open house
(Red Deer Advocate March 2011)
       Commentary: Red Deer could use more bold visionary landmark designers
(Red Deer Express Sep.2010)

Michael Dawe articles related to regional railway heritage mentioning the Forth Junction Heritage Society:
       Region celebrating century of railroad heritage (Red Deer Express March 2010)
       Mintlaw Bridge essential to region's railroad heritage (Red Deer Express March 2010)

 News articles about the Forth Junction Heritage Society:
World-class destination centre still in the works 11/13       Praise today's big dream 01/12       Forth Junction targets county 12/11 
Forth Junction pulling toward a new station
12/11        A volunteer on the right track 12/10        Tourism board supports rail project 10/10
Forth Junction rail project seeking charitable status
10/10        Rail tourist attraction idea gets rolling 07/10        Railway heritage 06/10
New idea for Riverlands worth an Olympic cheer 02/10       Happy to hear more talk on large-scale attractions 02/10
One-time opportunity 02/10       Tourism proposal facing obstacles 02/10       World-class attraction proposed for Riverlands 02/10

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