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News articles related to Central Alberta railway history, heritage and preservation

2017
 
Benalto Train Station
County chips in $75,000 for project                                            
Benalto station (abandoned ACR/CPR)
June 7, 2017, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley)
Benalto's historic train station project keeps chugging along. The community-led initiative, to convert a 1928 CPR station into a recreation centre, museum and archives, got a big boost on Tuesday when Red Deer County approved a $75,000 donation. Benalto Booster Club's Dave More said the project means a lot to the small community, just a few kilometres west of Sylvan Lake, south of Hwy 11. "I think it's going to give us a
(more)

Benalto
Artist donating work to train station fundraiser                        
Benalto station (abandoned ACR/CPR)
April 14, 2017, Red Deer Advocate, April 20, 2017, Central Alberta Life (Lana Michelin)
Benalto's well-travelled train station is back in its original location, across from the local fairgrounds, in a fundraising painting by David More. In honour of the historic station's return to the community, and the 100th anniversary of the Benalto Fair and Stampede, the Benalto artist and history buff is donating his acrylic work Return to Benalto to a local effort to turn the train station into a museum and recreation centre. The
(more)

Fight to save grain elevator                                                          Mintlaw elevator (abandoned ACR/CPR)
Blackfalds grain elevator could be saved
Jan. 19, 2017, Red Deer Advocate (Lana Michelin) & Jan. 26, Central Alberta Life
'The new owners don't know what to do with the grain elevator . . . we don't want to lose such a poignant piece of local history' - Bob Gugin, Old Prairie Sentinel Distillery.
The 94-year-old Mintlaw grain elevator near Blackfalds just might escape the wrecker's ball for a second time. The smallish Searle Grain Co. elevator built in 1923 initially had a date with a demolition crew some 60 years ago. That's when a heritage-minded Central (more)

2016

All Aboard                                                                                                                       Stettler heritage train (APR/CNR)
Stettler's Polar Express offering round trips to the North Pole
Dec. 13, 2016, Red Deer Advocate (Susan Zielinski) & Dec. 22, 2016, Central Alberta Life
Families wearing fleece pyjamas beneath their winter coats are climbing aboard The Polar Express in Stettler for round trips to the North Pole throughout December. Travellers on one-hour holiday train ride with Alberta Prairie Railway experience the classic children's book, The Polar Express, by Chris Van Allsburg, about a boy who takes a magical Christmas Eve train ride to the North Pole to receive a special gift from Santa. Last week, Arctic
(more)
 
Alberta Prairie Railway to whisk riders away on The Polar Express           Stettler heritage train
Nov. 15, 2016, Red Deer Advocate
A holiday train ride aboard Alberta Prairie Railway is bringing The Polar Express motion picture to life starting Dec. 1. The one-hour The Polar Express Train Ride departs from Stettler for a round trip to the "North Pole". Set to the sounds of the motion picture soundtrack, passengers will relive the magic of the story as they are whisked away on The Polar Express. Hot chocolate and a cookie treat will be served as passengers read along with
(more)
 
Historic bridge in need of more work                                            Red Deer old CPR bridge (C&ER/CPR)
Oct. 21, 2016, Red Deer Advocate (Susan Zielinski)

Red Deer's CPR Bridge needs more than a new coat of paint and minor repairs, but exactly what it needs has yet to be determined. The historic bridge, built in 1907, was originally slated for a $3.7 million repair and paint job as part of the 2016 capital budget. Wayne Gustafson, engineering services manager for the City of Red Deer, said work was postponed when an evaluation in late spring suggested more work was required to parts like
(more)
 

Over 1K visitors at Alberta Prairie Railway's pumpkin patch           Stettler heritage train (APR/CNR)
Oct. 19, 2016, Stettler Independent (Moush Sara John)
Patrons and visitors from all over the province came to attend Alberta Prairie Railway's Harvest Pumpkin Fest, riding the special trains that took them to the pumpkin patch on Saturday, Oct. 15. According to Bob Willis, general manager of Alberta Prairie Railway, there was a very slight decrease in the total numbers this year from those of 2014 and 2015, with 1,082 attendees this year. But, he attributes this to the "challenging"
(more)
  

Alberta Prairie Steam Tours
Volunteers laying track for new route                                                        Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
Aug. 31, 2016, Red Deer Advocate (Lana Michelin)
If it isn't the turkey vulture, it's the relentlessly wet summer weather. After surmounting many obstacles -- environmental, financial and circumstantial -- a small group of volunteers that's laying train track north of Stettler is within eye-shot of their first target. The Stettler-area non-profit group is within a kilometre of reaching Red Willow. The hamlet of 40 residents is expected to be connected to the town of Stettler by
(more)


A look at the history of Riverlands                                              Red Deer former CPR yards (C&ER/CPR)
Aug. 3, 2016, Red Deer Express (Michael Dawe)
The 'other side of the tracks' is a well-worn phrase in the English language. Unfortunately, it is often used in a negative context. Riverlands is the current name used for the area west of the old CPR main line, on the south side of the river. It is a district which the City has targeted for rejuvenation and redevelopment. Riverlands first became a distinct area after the construction of the Calgary-Edmonton (CPR) railway in 1890-1891. The
(more)

 
A look at the history of the CPR bridge                                         Red Deer old CPR bridge (C&ER/CPR)
June 22, 2016, Red Deer Express (Michael Dawe)
This year marks an important milestone in the preservation of historic landmarks in our community. Twenty-five years ago, in 1991, Red Deer City council passed a bylaw designating the old Canadian Pacific Railway bridge across the Red Deer River as a municipal historic resource. The history of this important structure stretches back more than 100 years. When the Calgary-Edmonton Railway was constructed in 1890-1891, a timber bridge
(more)


2015

 

Heritage
Benalto train station receives funding                                          Benalto station (abandoned ACR/CPR)
Nov. 26, 2015, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) 
A historic train station project in Benalto got a big boost from Red Deer County this week. Benalto Booster Club Society received $86,175 on Tuesday through the county's Rural Community Facility Capital Assistance Grants. In all, 16 different community halls and groups shared $250,000 in funding. Benalto Booster Club's share will be put towards the cost of adding a sewage system for its restored historic train station. The total cost of
(more)
 
Capital budget
Get the lead out                                                                                               Red Deer old CPR bridge (C&ER/CPR)
Council to spend $3.7M to repair, repaint CPR bridge

Nov. 25, 2015, Red Deer Advocate (Crystal Rhyno)
The CPR bridge will be getting a paint job. Calling the bridge an environmental hazard, council approved $3.7 million in spending to remove the lead paint, give it a recoat and make repairs to the municipal historic resource in 2016 on Tuesday's capital budget debate. Council heard that lead from the paint on the supporting structure and steel trusses are flaking and falling into the river, potentially affecting the overall health of the river.
(more)

Fire destroys part of historic Bassano train station                                  abandoned CPR branch lines
Sept. 28, 2015, Rockyview Weekly (Dustin Ruth)

The historic Bassano train station in Beiseker caught fire in the early morning hours of Sept. 18 and Beiseker RCMP are investigating it as suspicious. Sergeant Glen Demmon, detachment commander with Beiseker RCMP, said there was no power to the building at the time, but crews have yet to determine how the station caught fire. "We can't conclusively say whether (the fire) was set by a person or not at this time," he said. "It's
(more)
 

CARTS Eyeing Mintlaw Bridge for Trans Canada Trail Leg Between
Red Deer & Springbrook
       
                                                                        Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)

July 7, 2015, Radio News Broadcast - Sunny 94 FM website
Central Alberta Regional Trails Society is hoping both the County and City of Red Deer will partner with them to make a leg of the Trans Canada Trail System a reality between Red Deer and Springbrook. The Society has studied routes for the trail, with 4 options identified. CARTS President Paul Pettypiece says they are attracted to the Mintlaw Bridge option, which brings with it great potential for tourism "the Mintlaw Bridge is a 21
(more)
 

Mintlaw Bridge is worth preserving                                               Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)
July 7, 2015, Letter to the Editor - Innisfail Province (Daniel B. Craig)
I read Paul Pettypiece's commentary in the June 23 Innisfail Province. I wanted to write a letter to support Forth Junction's efforts to preserve and give new life to the Mintlaw Bridge. I think restoring the Mintlaw trestle and converting it to a trail would be really worthwhile. The Mintlaw viaduct is a historical structure that has been abandoned for the last 32 years. It is a spectacular structure with an interesting story. Ever since I was
(more)

Mintlaw Trestle
Preservation opportunity should not be lost                               
Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)

June 23, 2015, Commentary - Innisfail Province (Paul Pettypiece)
Creating trail link to rail bridge an opportunity not to be lost

June 16, 2015, Letter to the Editor - Red Deer Advocate (Paul Pettypiece)

There are times in our history when the stars line up to create an unusual opportunity to do something special that future generations will cherish. This is one of those times. A few years ago, Red Deer County was gifted for $1 the relatively unknown, historic 644-metre-long Alberta Central Railway steel trestle across the Red Deer River just a few kilometres southwest of Red Deer along with the right of way from Hwy 2A to Benalto.
(more)

2014

A look back at the Alberta Central Railway                                         History of abandoned ACR/CPR)
Sept. 24, 2014, Red Deer Express (Michael Dawe) 
This year marks the 100th anniversary of one of the final chapters in the history of one of the grandest dreams, and greatest disappointments in Red Deer's history. The dream was the construction of a 'transcontinental' railway, centered in Red Deer, and extending from the Hudson Bay to the B.C. coast. When the last of the Alberta Central Railway was constructed in the summer of 1914, the line only consisted of a branch from (more)

Reflections of Ponoka 
A road and a train station is where it all began                    History of C&ER (CPR Calgary-Edmonton)
Feb. 5, 2014, Ponoka News (Mike Rainone)
The early history of the development of this vibrant district is an exciting and colorful story, which all began in earnest in 1875 when construction on the rough and winding Edmonton-Calgary trail was completed, and then in 1891 when the first noisy work trains arrived at Siding 14 near the tiny Village of Ponoka. At the same time, settlers were already moving into the area to start a new life among the barren expanse of forest, rich (more)

2013

Hanna society buys historic roundhouse                                    Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
Dec. 12, 2013, Drumheller Mail (Pat Kolafa)
The Hanna Roundhouse is getting a new lease on life as it enters the next phase of its history. The Hanna Roundhouse Society has been working on finding a way to keep the landmark intact for future generations to enjoy. The biggest stumbling block it had however was the ownership of the icon. This September all of that changed. "We purchased the property on September 20," said Sandra Beaudoin who has been working on
(more)

Penhold man remembers day of the trains                          History of C&ER (CPR Calgary-Edmonton)
Elmo Johnson's love for the rails never ends after an illustrious four decade career
Dec. 3, 2013, Innisfail Province (Sylvia Cole) 
With more than 42 years of experience working at 30 different train stations, Elmo Johnson knows a thing or two about industry and has a passion to preserve the history. Johnson, 86, lives in Penhold but still holds the memories of his childhood and early career near and dear to his heart. Next year marks the centennial year for Benalto, a hamlet located west of Sylvan Lake and Johnson plans to be in attendance. What interests
(more)

Arches mark influence of railroad on city                                         History of C&ER (CPR Calgary-Edmonton)
Oct. 19, 2013, Red Deer Advocate (Crystal Rhyno) 
 
The Historic Arches project was unveiled at Centennial Plaza Park in Red Deer on Friday after nearly 20 years in the making. The nine-pillar arches near Alexander Way and 52nd Avenue celebrate the influence of transportation and the railways in the development of the city. Bill MacKay, president of the Central Alberta Historical Society, said the arches record the history of the railroad and its impact on the residents. (more)

Big Plans for the Hanna Roundhouse                                                Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
Oct. 17, 2013, Drumheller Online (Codi Bangay)
The Hanna Roundhouse Society has big plans for their recently acquired 1913 Canadian Northern Roundhouse. While entering the UFA Get'n'Give $50,000, the volunteers of the society are hoping to restore the century old building in order to create a Community Cultural Centre. President of the Hanna Roundhouse Society, Sandra Beaudoin, says "We are trying to restore this building for future generations to be able to appreciate and
(more)

Hanna Roundhouse celebrates new beginnings                              Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
Oct. 2, 2013, East Central Alberta Review (Katie Davis)
Everyone was doing the proverbial locomotion at the Hanna Roundhouse on Saturday, September 28 as the historical venue played host to an Open House to showcase it's new look. The 100 year old structure was recently acquired by the Hanna Roundhouse Society and has since been given a sprucing up in effort to promote and preserve this piece of history as one of the last roundhouses left in Canada. "The roundhouse is a (more)

Railway Days still chugging along to success                             C&ER Heritage (CPR Calgary-Edmonton)
Aug. 21, 2013, Wetaskiwin Times (Michael Chan)
All aboard! The annual Railway Day event was held at Alberta Central Railway Museum Aug. 18. The event is an opportunity for children and families to learn about history on the railways. It's also a chance for visitors to take a train ride around the site. The museum site features railway stations, railcars and a restored train. All of the restoration work on the vehicles at the museum was done by the Railway Day organizer Bill Wilson and his (more)

Relic caboose gets new home                                                                          Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
Railroad artifact has been filmed with Clint Eastwood and Brad Pitt
May 21, 2013, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) 
A century-old relic of Canadian rail history was hoisted up and gently swung into place at its new resting place on a farm near Eckville on Saturday. Once known simply as #78366, the caboose is now the prized possession of Ernie Beskowiney, who plans to turn it into the control booth for a scale rideable railroad he has envisioned for his land a few kilometres southeast of Eckville. The caboose was donated to him by the Canadian Northern (more)
 
Rail link effort chugging along                                                            Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
May 7, 2013, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley)
Efforts to build a rail link from Stettler to Donalda for historic rail tours keeps chugging along -- albeit a little slower than anticipated. "It's taking longer and costing more," summed up Norma Leslie, president of the East Central Alberta Heritage Society. It was once hoped that the last spikes would be driven in late 2011 for a 12-km stretch from Stettler to Red Willow. But unco-operative weather and the challenges of the job pushed (more)

Benalto Train Station returned to hamlet after lengthy journey    Benalto station (aban. ACR/CPR) 
May 2, 2013, Sylvan Lake News (Stuart Fullarton)
More than 40 years after leaving, the Benalto Train Station finally returned home last Wednesday. "It's been a while coming, but now it's a reality," said Benalto resident Betty Nielsen, who remembers watching the station leave the hamlet in 1971. Nielsen was one of dozens of people who lined the streets of Benalto to witness the station's homecoming, which took place following its slow drive along Hwy. 11 from Red Deer. A number of (more)
 

Riders welcome train station home to Benalto                                Benalto station (abandoned ACR/CPR)
April 25, 2013, Red Deer Advocate (Randy Fiedler) 
The return of the new beginning is how Dave More described the train station reappearing in Benalto Wednesday. "I'm elated. It's an amazing moment, a warm crowd and a beautiful day," the Red Deer County village's centennial committee co-chair said as the station rolled down Benalto's main street led by Shadow Riders 4-H Club mounted members. "Benalto began as a railway town and the station was the reason the town is here." Garett and
(more)
 

Stettler elevator restoration project underway                              Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
April 23, 2013, Red Deer Advocate
The campaign to re-side and paint Stettler's grain elevator is underway. The Stettler P&H Elevator Preservation Society kicked off the fundraising drive with a live Louisiana Hayride music impersonators show on Saturday netting the non-profit organization about $2,000. "Every penny helps," said president Stan Eichhorn of the society's efforts to match the province's $60,000 Community Facility Enhancement Program grant for the
(more)
 
Big Valley station banks on restored roof                                        Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
April 3, 2013, Stettler Independent (Les Stulberg)
The Big Valley railroad station is sporting a new cedar shingle roof -- an effort to preserve the century-old building for the generations to come. Rich Graydon, a volunteer with the Canadian Northern Society, which co-ordinated the project, said the group continually strives to preserve the historical buildings and "keep them original." Work is now being done on the building's interior to repair damage that a leaking roof caused. (more)

Benalto station move delayed                                                       Benalto station (abandoned ACR/CPR)
County approvals needed
March 22, 2013, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) 
Benalto's former train station will have to wait a little longer before making the journey home. Originally, the historic train station was to be loaded on a flatbed early next week and hauled from the Burnt Lake area just west of Red Deer. But it has taken more time than expected to line up the necessary Red Deer County approvals, said Dave More, co-chairman of the Benalto Booster Club and Centennial Committee. The
(more)
 
Benalto train station to return home after 42-year absence           Benalto station (aban. ACR/CPR)
Feb. 21, 2013, Sylvan Lake News (Stuart Fullarton)   
After more than four decades of absence, the historic Benalto Train Station is set to make a return to the hamlet this spring. The train station was transformed into a private residence after being removed from Benalto in 1971, and is currently situated in Red Deer County. Its owners, Garett and Brenda Cupples, are now donating it back to Benalto, just in time for the hamlet's centennial celebrations next year. "We couldn't destroy or
(more)

Former Benalto train station donated back to community                 Benalto station (aban. ACR/CPR)
in time for centennial
Feb. 13, 2013, Red Deer Advocate (Murray Crawford) 
After being hauled away from Benalto more than 40 years ago, the hamlet's former train station is about to move back home. Garett and Brenda Cupples and family have donated the station, which now sits on their property in Red Deer County, back to its hometown -- just in time for Benalto's centennial celebration in 2014. Dave More, Benalto Booster Club and Centennial Committee chair, said the plan is to move it back to the hamlet and
(more)

2012

 
Blog
All Aboard! Big Valley Canadian Northern Railway Station Celebrates 100 Years
Sept. 13, 2012, Alberta RETROactive, Blogging Alberta Historic Places (Dorothy Field)
At one time, more than 800 communities in Alberta had a train station. This is no longer the case. Fewer than 10% of Alberta's train stations remain today, and even fewer continue to serve their original purpose. The Canadian Northern Railway Station at Big Valley - designated a Provincial Historical Resource in 2005 - is one of those few. Train excursions run regularly from Stettler to Big Valley, often with the mighty 6060 Steam (more)

Railway Day promises fun for the whole family                         C&ER Heritage (CPR Calgary-Edmonton)
Aug. 15, 2012, Ponoka News (Jeffrey Heyden-Kaye)
Old trains seem to strike the imagination of just about every child; pulling the cable and announcing a train in departure is probably on their bucket list of things to do in life. They just might be able to fulfill that dream at Alberta Central Railway Museum Aug. 19. The museum will host its annual Railway Day with a range of activities and rides for the entire family, explained operations manager Bill Wilson. "We try to keep it family-oriented.
(more)

Historic train station relocated to Beiseker                                             abandoned CPR branch lines
July 23, 2012, Rockyview Weekly (Dawn Smith)
After more than two years of effort, Beiseker is the new home of an historic train station. The circa 1911 station, which is 162 feet long by 31 feet wide, was moved about 156 kilometres on July 19 from its previous home in Bassano, where it had fallen into disrepair. The 100-year-old building now rests on the west side of Beiseker at the Rail Museum site awaiting restoration and a future life as a museum. "This is one of the (more)

Slag piles give Nordegg mine an historic edge                       Can. Northern Western heritage (CNR Brazeau)
May 8, 2012, Red Deer Advocate (Jessica Jones)
Nordegg today is in major contrast to the days when railroads used coal-burning steam locomotives, and the bustling town held 3,500 residents and 1,100 miners. On Hwy 11, a little over 170 km west of Red Deer, the once energetic town of Nordegg is now a small hamlet with intriguing weathered buildings and an idle 79-acre coal mining site. It has a population of between 150 and 200. In 1955, with locomotives fast shifting over to oil (more)
 

Red Deer County seeks partners to afford bridge access         Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)
April 17, 2012, Mountain View Gazette (Sylvia Cole)
Future work on the Mintlaw Bridge will require funding from other associations, council heard last Tuesday. The bridge, purchased by Red Deer County for $1, has since had $205,000 invested in it for rehabilitation work while new estimates peg opening it up to pedestrian traffic as much as $3.2 million. Currently no one is allowed on or across the bridge which would link to part of a regional trail system connecting from Highway 2A to (more)
 
Mintlaw
County council looks at bridge as tourist attraction                    Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)

April 11, 2012, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) 
A former rail bridge across the Red Deer River is well suited as a scenic walkway, but the millions of dollars to make it happen must come from elsewhere, Red Deer County council agreed on Tuesday. Council voted in favour of accepting the recommendation of consultants to convert the former Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. span into a tourist attraction and link to walking trails, complete with viewing platforms and parking areas. The cost of
(more)

Plans for Mintlaw Bridge waiting on public feedback                      Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)
Feb. 7, 2012, Mountain View Gazette (Sylvia Cole) 
Red Deer County is still collecting feedback from the public to determine what to do with a 100-year-old bridge purchased by council in 2010. Purchased for $1, the county has since invested $205,000 for rehabilitation work on the Mintlaw Bridge, built originally for the Alberta Central Railway that later became part of the Canadian Pacific Railway. A public open house was held Jan. 25 to garner feedback on the county's draft bridge
(more)

2011

CP's heritage train rolls through region                                      C&ER Heritage (CPR Calgary-Edmonton)
ticket sales go to Children's Wish Foundation
Aug. 2, 2011, Mountain View Gazette (Johnnie Bachusky) 
Railway enthusiasts should be feeling a boost this week as Canadian Pacific's Heritage Train was scheduled to roll through the region as part of the second annual drive to support the Children's Wish Foundation (CWF). The original plan for CP Train Ride 2011 was to have the historic 2816 Empress steam engine stop in Didsbury on July 29 but due to "unforeseen circumstances" that plan was abandoned. However, CP was slated to send its
(more)

Track for historic railway tours likely to be done by late summer         Canadian Northern heritage
June 17, 2011, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) 
The final spikes will be driven late this summer on a 12-km stretch of new track for historic rail tours between Stettler and Red Willow. East Central Alberta Heritage Society is leading the $3.3 million project to restore an abandoned rail line on the east side of Hwy 56 north of Stettler that was ripped out for scrap in 1997. When complete, the society hopes to lay about 25 km of new rails all the way to Donalda. Society member
(more)

An early community landmark - the Michener Fountain             Red Deer old CPR station (C&ER/CPR)
June 15, 2011, Red Deer Express (Michael Dawe) 
Over the past century, Red Deer has sported several beautiful historic buildings and notable landmarks. Unfortunately, many of these structures and objects have been demolished and/or sent to the local landfill. One beautiful community landmark, which was literally saved from the scrap heap, was the Michener Fountain. It used to be located in the centre of the old C.P.R. Station Park on the west end of Ross St. along 51 Ave. (more)
 

Opposition comes forward to Mintlaw Bridge preservation      Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)
May 17, 2011, Mountain View Gazette (Johnnie Bachusky) 
Red Deer County has hired a consultant to study the possible future uses for the historically significant Mintlaw trestle bridge -- but one of the municipality's most famous citizens is dead set against making the ancient structure a promoted public attraction for a new park area. "I'm still opposed to making it a public park. It's not set up to be a recreation park," said Jack Donald, whose home is literally situated in the shadow of the
(more)
 

Reinforcing our history                                                                                    Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)
March 8, 2011, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley)
For nearly a century the Mintlaw Bridge has loomed over the Red Deer River, the coal black trestle one of our few remaining connections to the age of steam. Besides being an impressive piece of railway engineering, the former Alberta Central Railway, and later, Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. span is a historical treasure and the second longest bridge of its kind in Alberta. But time and the elements had taken their toll, and that's
(more)
 
Repairs planned for crumbling CPR bridge                                   Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)
Feb. 3, 2011, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) 
Work will begin before the spring thaw to repair a near-century-old rail bridge in Red Deer County. A $121,800 contract to repair a rotting support pier on the former Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. span across the Red Deer River has been awarded to Timcon Construction (1988) Ltd., said Evan Bedford, the county's engineering co-ordinator. The construction firm wants to begin work to replace the pier while the ground is still frozen and
(more)

A look at the Canadian Northern Railway                                   Can. Northern Western history (CNR Brazeau)
Jan. 12, 2011, Red Deer Express (Michael Dawe) 
The origins of the Canadian Northern Railway (later Canadian National) in Red Deer go back to 1908 when coalfields were discovered in the foothills, west of Rocky Mountain House. A group of German investors created Brazeau Colleries and teamed up with Mackenzie and Mann of the Canadian Northern Railway to exploit this rich discovery. Mackenzie and Mann were in a great rush to get started. They filed a route map with the (more)

2010

RD County antes up for Mintlaw Bridge repairs                                Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)
Nov. 16, 2010, Mountain View Gazette (Sylvia Cole) 
Red Deer County council approved spending $350,000 to rehabilitate the west end of the Mintlaw Bridge after a report said the wooden structure is slowly rotting and piers are beginning to collapse. The county purchased the bridge from Canadian Pacific Railway for $1 last December. A bridge valuation report shows the girder on the west has sunk two feet. Engineers speculate if the girder falls any further it may put enough pressure on
(more)
 
Rotting bridge will undergo $350,000 repair
Bridging gap between history and disrepair                                       Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)

Nov. 10, 2010, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) 
Red Deer County moves to repair historic train trestle with $350,000; Bridge could eventually be part of trail network. A rotting historic bridge in Red Deer County will get a repair job. County council unanimously approved spending up to $350,000 on the 98-year-old Mintlaw Bridge, a former Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd. span across the Red Deer River, about eight km southwest of the City of Red Deer. Evan Bedford, the county's engineering co-ordinator, said on Tuesday that the east and west approach piers on the bridge are rotting away. (more)

Rail being laid for heritage line                                                                     Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
Sept. 2, 2010, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley)  
Work has begun on a project to lay 12 kilometres of track from Stettler to Red Willow for use by historic rail tours and to boost tourism. Grading is nearly complete along the abandoned rail line north of Stettler that will be used to extend rail tours north to the small hamlet of a few dozen people. Once the gravel has been laid, the tracks will be laid, a project expected to be completed by the end of March. The project is being led by (more)

6060 turns 66                                                                                     Canadian National Railways heritage
Sept. 1, 2010, Red Deer Express (Johnnie Bachusky)
For half a century train engineer Harry Home had dedicated his life to preserving one of the last steam engines ever built in Canada. Today Canadian National 6060 is restored and thundering along majestically on the rails in Central Alberta. There is nothing more rewarding and exciting for Harry Home when he puts his hand on the throttle to take Canadian National 6060 for a ride. The pure elation he feels at the controls has been with him for more than 70 years since the day his father, a CN engineer, let him have the throttle on steam engine CN (more)
 
Rail relocation project a first in Western Canada                                                    Red Deer CNR history
June 7, 2010, Red Deer Advocate Report on Central Alberta (Michael Dawe) 
There is a great deal of discussion these days about the future plans for the Riverlands district on the western side of the downtown area. Much of this land had been opened up for redevelopment because of the Canadian Pacific Railway relocation project in the early 1990s and the more recent move of the City Yards. What is often forgotten, however, is that 50 years ago, Red Deer undertook the first major railroad relocation project in (more)

Stettler group wants to convert grain elevator into museum                Can. Northern heritage (CNR)
May 14, 2010, Red Deer Advocate (Brenda Kossowan) 
Efforts are underway to create a railway museum out of a retired grain elevator located in Stettler, right across the tracks from the town's most popular tourist attraction. The former Parrish and Heimbecker grain elevator, feed mill and assorted outbuildings were mothballed in 2003 and then put up for sale. Local farmer Stan Eichhorn couldn't stomach the idea of losing one of the town's last remaining elevators -- so he bought it for the (more)

New exhibits call Historical Village home                                    C&ER Heritage (CPR Calgary-Edmonton)
May 10, 2010, Innisfail Province (Michaela Ludwig) 
Two new exhibits at the Innisfail Historical Village tell more about Innisfail's founding years. As a 40-year anniversary project, the Innisfail and District Historical Society set about restoring the Village's Bowden CP Rail station. And through the doors of that old station, visitors will find several displays depicting Innisfail in its early years and what the railroad meant to central Alberta. Scaled-down model trains chug along the tracks and (more)

'Sleeper' village grand opening set                                             C&ER Heritage (CPR Calgary-Edmonton)
May 10, 2010, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) 
Innisfail Historical Village has been a bit of a sleeper among Central Alberta attractions. Curator Dean Jorden and other members of the Innisfail and District Historical Society plans to use their 40th anniversary celebrations to change that. To draw more people to the society's impressive collection of historic buildings, vehicles, equipment and other artifacts in the middle of Innisfail, a project to restore the 1904 Bowden CPR rail station has (more)

Train track wanted                                                                                                 Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
Heritage Society wants to purchase used railway track
May 6, 2010, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) 
Wanted: 50 km of used railway track. East Central Alberta Heritage Society's fundraising efforts to restore a line from Stettler to Donalda are chugging right along, but finding track is another matter. "I guess our biggest problem right now is finding rail that we can salvage," said society administrator Bruce Gartside. "We need to run rail for 20 miles, which means acquiring probably about 30 miles of rail . . ." said the Donalda resident, (more)

Mintlaw Bridge essential to region's railroad heritage               Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)
March 3, 2010, Red Deer Express (Michael Dawe) 
Central Alberta is very rich in railroad history. Most of the communities in this region began as townsites or sidings on a rail line. One of the most spectacular heritage railroad landmarks is the huge Alberta Central Railway (ACR) bridge across the Red Deer River, southwest of the city, near the old railroad hamlet/siding of Mintlaw. The origins of the Alberta Central go back to May 1901 when a charter was granted by the federal (more)

2009

County buys historic railway bridge                                               Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)
Dec. 30, 2009, Red Deer Express (Erin Fawcett)
Red Deer County has agreed to purchase the Mintlaw Bridge from the Canadian Pacific Railway for $1. The bridge, which spans 2,112 feet across the Red Deer River valley with the trestles rising 110 feet above the main pier, is located about 7 kms southwest of the City of Red Deer. The bridge is the second longest railway bridge in Alberta.* The only other bridge that is larger is located in Lethbridge.* "If we didn't buy this bridge then it (more)

County buys a bridge for a buck                                                                                 Mintlaw bridge (abandoned ACR/CPR)
Old CPR Trestle over Red Deer River a Heritage Site
Dec. 23, 2009, Red Deer Advocate (Brenda Kossowan)
An enormous relic from what used to be the Alberta Central Railway is set to get a new owner. Located just off of the C&E Trail southwest of Red Deer, the Mintlaw Bridge spans the Red Deer River adjacent to acreage subdivisions west of Springbrook and the Red Deer Regional Airport. On Tuesday, Red Deer County council agreed unanimously to buy the 97-year-old bridge for $1 and issue a tax receipt for $8.8 million to its current
(more)

Major funding will restore old rail line to Donalda                                 Canadian Northern heritage (CNR)
Oct. 1, 2009, Stettler Independent (Richard Froese) 
A plan to restore an old railway line linking Stettler and Donalda has received a major funding grant of over $3.2 million. East Central Alberta Heritage Society was authorized funding of almost $3.9 million, said society chair Norma Leslie, from the federal Community Adjustment Fund through Canadian Badlands for two projects with a focus to redevelop and enhance the region's rural communities and their local tourism industry by the
(more)


Help add a little history to the Arches project                          History of C&ER (CPR Calgary-Edmonton)
Sept. 19, 2009, Red Deer Advocate (Paul Cowley) 
The Central Alberta Historical Society is looking for help on a major downtown project to honour the city's past. Eight arches are in place at Centennial Park Plaza and the final phase of the roughly $240,000 project involves the placement of 27 plaques on the nine pillars supporting the arches that surround a historic fountain. Sheila Bannerman, president of the historical society, said constructing the arches in the new park at 48th St
(more)
 
Whistle sounds on railway season                                                        C&ER Heritage (CPR Calgary-Edmonton)
Sept. 7, 2009, Wetaskiwin Times (Vince Burke)
The steady sound of a train rumbling down the track, a lonesome whistle blowing and smoke reaching skyward, all are fading away for another season. At least that is the case as the summer season came to an end this past weekend at the Alberta Central Railway Museum. The Museum which houses antique railway equipment, engine and CPR passenger trains wrapped up a busy summer of events. Although events such as Railway Day,
(more)

Rotary Recreation Park area a jewel in heart of city                                            Red Deer CNR history
Aug. 26, 2009, Red Deer Express (Michael Dawe) 
A week ago on Aug. 19, there was a public open house to discuss a new concept plan for the Rotary Recreation Park and the parkland areas on the southern edge of the Red Deer Valley. The preliminary concepts and designs, presented by Group 2 Architecture Engineering Ltd. and Michael von Hausen Urban Planning and Design Inc., included a number of interesting historical elements. That is not surprising as the park and recreational (more)

Right on track:
Alberta Central Train Museum celebrates 17th anniversary             C&ER Heritage (CPR Calg-Edm)

June 10, 2009, Wetaskiwin Times (Vince Burke)
The sound of a train engine being fired up excited the visitors as they readied themselves for a trip back in time. The Alberta Central Railway Museum attracted a steady stream of people, young and old, to check out its exhibits of Central Alberta's railway history and take a ride on an old passenger train. It was all part of the museum's 17th anniversary celebration June 7. "It has been 17 years since we opened in 1992, and every (more)

2008

 

Historic significance of concrete obelisk preserved in mural            ACR Pier (abandoned ACR/CPR)
Oct. 24, 2008, Red Deer Advocate (Brenda Kossowan) 
Signs marking the sole remnant of the best little railroad that never was were to be unveiled today. A chubby concrete obelisk that looks oddly out of place at its site alongside Taylor Drive, west of the Capri Centre, the bridge abutment is all that remains of a group of Red Deer and Ontario business owners' plans to build a Western Canada railway network. Backed by Red Deer MLA John T. Moore (Liberal), the Alberta Central Railway got (more)
 

The origins of Alberta Central Rail Pillar                                             ACR Pier (abandoned ACR/CPR)
April 23, 2008, Red Deer Express (Michael Dawe)
One of the most unique historic landmarks in Red Deer is the solitary bridge pillar which stands along Taylor Dr., halfway between the intersections with 32 and 43 Sts. It is a reminder of a very ambitious venture from the years before the First World War. That was the Alberta Central Railway, a largely local attempt to build a "transcontinental" rail line across Western Canada. The origins of the Alberta Central go back to May 1901 (more)

Pre-2008
 

A new face for the old station                                                                    Red Deer old CPR station (C&ER/CPR)
July 14, 1996, Red Deer Life (Ryan Cromb) 
If you walked into Red Deer's old CPR train station a year ago, there would have been plaster falling off the ceiling, rotten linoleum and plywood underfoot, and bits of two-by-fours scattered everywhere. "We had to gut it," says architect John Murray, who along with Altvater and Co. law firm bought the building last year to house their offices. "We would have liked to have preserved the whole inside, but it was such a mess. For 60 or (more)

News articles about the vision of the Forth Junction Heritage Society
News articles related to current rail projects & model rail in Central Alberta
News articles related to alternate transportation (transit, high speed rail, trails)


News articles related to regional railway heritage preservation:
       News article: Alberta railway stations get a new lease on life
(AgCanada Nov.2013)
       News article: Wimborne comes alive again with new book
(Innisfail Province Nov.2013)
       News article: Heritage projects share grant funding
(Red Deer Advocate July 2013)
       News article: County heritage project a first for Alberta
(Red Deer Advocate Feb.2010)

News articles related to regional model and miniature railways:

       News article: Trains still roll for some
(Red Deer Advocate Nov.2012)
       News article: Back yard model railway track okayed
(Red Deer Advocate Aug.2012)
       News article: Stay busy, stay young: Fred Freschette (Red Deer Advocate Nov.2010)
       News article: A work in two golden ages: Ernie Beskowiney (Red Deer Advocate July 2010)

News articles related to regional trail development including rail-trails:
       News article: City council adopts river valley plan
(Red Deer Express July 2010)
       News article: Building trails to paradise (Red Deer Advocate March 2009)
       News article: Clearwater County calls on province for advice about trail (Red Deer Advocate April 2008)
       Editorial: On the trail of a worthy plan (Red Deer Advocate Sept.2005)


Historian Michael Dawe articles related to transportation history in Central Alberta
 
 

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