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  Jubilee 4-4-4 locomotive

Forth Junction Project
Central Alberta Railway Heritage Preservation

 
Forth Junction Project Vision Sharing Historical Perspective Ground Transportation
Heritage Preservation
Forth Junction
Heritage Society

Current Rail Heritage Preservation

Why Forth Junction?

Mintlaw Linear Park Proposal

Collection

Current railway heritage artifacts and collections, large and small, in Central Alberta

Central Alberta has a rich railway heritage and much of it is being lost. However, much is also being preserved. There are a handful of railway stations, grain elevators, bridges or bridge piers, locomotives and rolling stock, and even a working heritage steam train operation.

Forth Junction Heritage Society's first artifact --
Original C & E Railway track from 1890

Thanks to the Enderby BC Museum and Canadian Pacific Railway, Forth Junction has obtained a 3-foot section of rail that was originally laid on the Calgary and Edmonton Railway between Calgary and Red Deer in 1890.

It was found on the abandoned CPR line as a guard rail between Sicamous and Vernon BC as the line was being torn up. The stamp on the side of the rail states " B V & Co. 1890 C & E R ".

Bolckow, Vaughan & Co., associated with Barrow Ironworks/Steel, was an iron rolling mill in Middlesbrough, Great Britain. This mill, along with several others, supplied rail to new railways throughout the British Commonwealth at the time. At one point B.V. was the largest producer of pig iron in the world. At one time, the company employed 20,000 people. It also owned up to 26 mines and collieries. The mill closed in 1929 due to its inability to adapt to changing needs.

Alberta Prairie Steam Tours - Stettler to Big Valley
Stettler train excursion with 6060Five to six hour trip on the former Canadian Northern Railway line between Stettler and Big Valley using authentic restored steam locomotives. Variety of trip options and packages mostly during the summer months and also during other seasons. Options include dinner trains, dinner theatres, family specials, train robberies, murder mysteries and meals at Big Valley, the home of a restored Canadian Northern railway station, grain elevator, and a 14-stall roundhouse 'ruins' interpretive centre. Steam locomotives include No. 41, a 1920 Baldwin Consolidation 2-8-0, and No. 6060, a 1944 Canadian National Mountain 4-8-2 'Bullet-nosed Betty' owned by the Rocky Mountain Rail Society. Vintage passenger equipment includes a 1919 Canadian Northern combine and Canadian Pacific 1923 day coaches.

Railway Museums:
6060 at Big ValleyBig Valley Railway Station & Museum
- restored 1912 second class
   Canadian Northern Railway station, restored grain elevator, an interpretive
   centre at the site of the original 14-stall roundhouse 'ruins', the new home
   of the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame and home to the Canadian Heartland
   Training Railway. Station restored 1990 on original site by Canadian
   Northern Society to 1940s appearance.
Alberta Central Railway Museum - located in Wetaskiwin County southeast
   of the city, the site includes several pieces of Canadian Pacific railway
   rolling stock, equipment, structures, a scaled down replica of the
   Wetaskiwin 1907 Calgary-Edmonton railway station, a mile of operational
   track, CPR 8015 RS23 diesel locomotive, CPR RDC Budd Dayliner, speeders,
   1926 1st class observation-buffet-sleeper Mount Avalanche, and a 1906 Alberta Grain Elevator from
   Hobbema (renamed Maskwacis).
Anthony Henday Museum at DelburneAnthony Henday Museum Delburne - located in a relocated Grand
   Trunk Pacific Type E railway station, the site includes an enclosed
   water tank and caboose.
Camrose Railway Park, Morgan Railway Garden and Tea Room -
   the restored and relocated 1911 Canadian Northern Railway station
   includes the Canadian Northern Society archives and library and
   garden railway.
Three Hills Kneehill Historical Museum includes the relocated and
   restored Three Hills Grand Trunk Pacific Type F station, caboose, tank
   car and box car.


Museums that include Railway Heritage:
Town & Country Museum Stettler includes the restored Stettler second class Canadian Northern railway
    station
Innisfail Historical Village includes the relocated Bowden C & E Railway (CPR) Standard #2 station, N scale
    historical model displays
Mirror & District Museum includes a CN caboose and boxcar as well as history of the town as the divisional
    point on the former Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and later the Canadian National Railway
Beiseker Station Museum housed in a restored 1910 Canadian Pacific Standard 2A Western station which was
    sold in 1970 to the town, turned around to become town office and museum, includes caboose and reefer.
    Not to be confused with the now defunct Alberta 2005 Centennial Railway Museum that was to be located
    close by and had relocated the Bassano CPR Standard #10 station that suspiciously burned down in 2015.

Railway Stations Restored on Original Site:
historic Canadian Pacific station in Red DeerRed Deer: grand Calgary and Edmonton Railway (Canadian Pacific)
   station was built in 1910 at the head of Ross Street and has been
   designated as a historic site. It was restored in 1996 and is now used
   as an office building. The rail yards were removed in 1991.
Big Valley: 1912 second class Canadian Northern station is a museum
   and terminus for the Alberta Prairie Steam Tours train excursions.
Meeting Creek: restored 1913 third class (plan 29) Canadian Northern
   Railway station deactivated in 1981 along the now abandoned
   Canadian National/Central Western Stettler subdivision, restored in
   1987 by Canadian Northern Society.
Rowley: restored 1922 third class (plan 72) Canadian Northern Railway
   station along abandoned Canadian National/Central Western line in
   "ghost town" with old West buildings seen in 1989 film "Bye Bye Blues".
   Other movies shot in the area include "Legends of the Fall" and "In Cold Blood".
Didsbury: restored 1904 Calgary and Edmonton Railway (Canadian Pacific) station in 1991, turned around to
   become the Chamber of Commerce and visitor information building.
Beiseker: restored 1910 Canadian Pacific Standard 2A Western station which was sold 1970 to town, turned
   around to become town office and museum

Canadian Pacific Railway Stations of Central Alberta
Canadian National Railway Stations of Central Alberta

Railway Stations Relocated and Restored:
Bowden station at Innisfail Historical VillageInnisfail: Historical Village is the home of the relocated 1904 Bowden
 
 Calgary and Edmonton Railway station that was deactivated in 1968
   and moved to Innisfail in 1973.
Delburne: Grand Trunk Pacific Railway station moved to Anthony
   Henday Museum.
Three Hills: Kneehill Historical Museum Grand Trunk Pacific Railway
   station.
Benalto: 1928 CPR #14 station (Alberta Central sub) sold in 1970 and
   relocated twice for private residence, relocated back to Benalto in
   2013 for community centre.
Stettler: 1911 second class Canadian Northern Railway station
   relocated to Town & Country Museum.
Donalda: 1909 fourth class Canadian Northern Railway station relocated
  from Vardura, Saskatchewan on abandoned Canadian National/Central Western Stettler subdivision.
Rimbey: Canadian Pacific station relocated from Tees, probably built around 1905
Camrose: restored 1911 third class Canadian Northern Railway station, deactivated in 1988, relocated 500
   metres and restored in 1993, has a garden railway park, tea room, museum and archives of the Canadian
   Northern Society
Castor: restored and relocated 1918 Standard A2 Western Canadian Pacific station that had been relocated
   from Loyalist in 1937 after fire destroyed the original CPR Standard #5 station built in 1910; currently used
   as museum

Railway Stations Replicated:
replica of Penhold stationPenhold: replica of CPR Standard #2 station (similar to original 1904 CPR
   early #2 station that was demolished in 1969) built for use as a
   commercial/office centre a few blocks from the original site.
Lacombe: built in 2006-07 for use as a commercial centre, Siding 12 is
   a replica of the Lacombe 1911 CPR (Calgary and Edmonton Railway)
   station on the opposite side of the tracks as the original station that
   was torn down in 1978.
Stettler:
built in 1990 by Alberta Prairie Steam Tours, the depot is
   similar to an early Canadian Northern railway station (the original
   station was relocated in Stettler).
Wetaskiwin County:
Alberta Central Railway Museum scaled down
   replica of Wetaskiwin 1907 CPR (Calgary and Edmonton Railway)
   station.
Strathcona (Edmonton): replica of Innisfail Calgary & Edmonton Railway 1891 combination station and freight
   house once common between Calgary and Edmonton including at Strathcona, Leduc, Wetaskiwin, Ponoka, Red
   Deer, Lacombe, Innisfail, Olds, Carstairs, Airdrie, High River, Okotoks, Nanton, and others, many of which were
   replaced by larger stations and none of which have survived. It had housed the C&ER station museum but the
   museum was closed and artifacts were gifted to the Forth Junction Heritage Society and are displayed at the
   Innisfail Heritage Village.

Railway Stations Relocated for non-public use:
There is evidence of a few original stations used for farm, storage or residential use including those from Red Deer (ACR Red Deer County), Ardley (GTP/CNR Red Deer County), Hobbema (C&E/CPR Ponoka County), Crossfield (C&E/CPR), Wimborne (CPR), Sunnyslope (CPR), Hardisty (CPR)

Railway Infrastructure Preserved:
CP bridge across Red Deer RiverRed Deer: Calgary and Edmonton Railway (Canadian Pacific) truss
   bridge
built across Red Deer River on north side of downtown in 1908,
  designated a historical resource and transformed into a
  pedestrian/bicycle trail and part of the TransCanada Trail system.
Red Deer: park fountain now located in a downtown park close to its
  original location at the former CPR station park that was replaced by a
  parking lot in 1950.
Alberta Central Railway pier in Red DeerRed Deer: one of two Alberta Central Railway
  piers originally used to support a rail bridge
  built in 1910 and removed in 1913 over the
  Calgary and Edmonton Railway (Canadian
  Pacific) and Waskasoo Creek, still standing along Taylor Drive south of downtown. In
  August 1910, Prime Minister Wilfred Laurier drove the first spike for the Alberta Central
  at a point east of the pier.
Delburne: Grand Trunk Pacific (Canadian National) enclosed water tank at the
  Anthony Henday Museum.
Big Valley: Canadian Northern (Canadian National) 14-stall Roundhouse 'ruins'
 
Interpretive Centre.
ACR Mintlaw steel trestle near Red DeerRed Deer County: abandoned Alberta Central
  Railway Mintlaw steel trestle bridge across
  the Red Deer River. The bridge, 2,112 ft. long
  and 110 ft. high, was completed in the fall of
  1912 and abandoned in 1983. At the time it was built, it was the
  second longest CPR steel trestle in Alberta.
Nordegg (Clearwater County): Nordegg Heritage Centre and Brazeau Colleries Minesite Museum (National
  Historic Site) tours of coal mine operations that ran from 1911 to 1955 on the Canadian Northern Western
  Railway (CNR) Brazeau subdivision.

Grain Elevators Preserved:
Most of the grain elevators that marked the prairie landscape have been destroyed. A few are still being used and a few have been abandoned or moved to farms. A small number have been restored and/or preserved.
Big Valley Alberta Pacific Grain Elevator, Meeting Creek, Castor 1910 elevator,
Wetaskiwin County
1906 Hobbema Alberta Grain Elevator Alberta Central Railway Museum.

Restored Historic Locomotives:
Consolidation 41 StettlerStettler: Alberta Prairie Steam Tours
CN 6060 4-8-2 MLW 1944 Mountain steam locomotive, retired 1959, owned by Rocky Mountain Rail Society;
No. 41 2-8-0 1920 Baldwin Consolidation steam locomotive;
CN 1259 GM 1958 SW1200 diesel locomotive.
Wetaskiwin County: Alberta Central Railway Museum
CP 8015 MLW 1959 RS23
CP 9108 Budd 1956 Rail Diesel Car (Dayliner)
Beiseker: Alberta 2005 Centennial Railway Museum
CN 8704 MLW 1959 S13

Display Cabooses
CP caboose at PenholdPenhold Canadian Pacific 1947 wood,
Delburne Canadian National 1967 steel,
Mirror Canadian National 1952 wood, ex-1918 box,
Three Hills Canadian National 1972 steel,
Stettler Canadian National 1951 wood, ex-1918 box,
Rimbey Canadian Pacific 1947 wood
Big Valley Canadian National 1942 wood, ex-GT-1910 box

Other Freight Rolling Stock:
Big Valley, Three Hills, Wetaskiwin County, Beiseker, Mirror, Nordegg

Stettler steam train passenger cars

Passenger Equipment:

Stettler (Alberta Prairie Steam Tours)
1919 Canadian Northern combine, 1923 CP day coaches
Wetaskiwin County (Alberta Central Railway Museum) 1926 coach-observation-buffet Mount Avalanche, 1921 sleeper Glen Norman renamed Val David, express-baggage car used for displays, HO scale yard


 


Significant Railway Museums and Historic Sites Outside Central Alberta:

Battle River Historical Museum Wainwright
Wainwright Railway Preservation Museum
Alberta Railway Museum north of Edmonton
Calgary and Edmonton Railway Station Museum Edmonton
Fort Edmonton Park Edmonton
Heritage Park Historical Village Calgary
Museum of the Highwood High River


Objectives of FJHS re preservation:
 
- nurturing a passion
for the continuous evolution of trails, trains and transit;
- collaborating
with various organizations and museums to preserve the existing built ground transportation
   heritage assets of Central Alberta;

- promoting tourism
by integrating existing rail-themed heritage attractions of Central Alberta, as a marketing
   package, with organized or self-guided tours;

- expanding the railway theme
to create a representation of the settlement and economic development of
   Western Canada;

- creating a unique world-class focal point in the Red Deer area
that celebrates the impact of the railway
   and transit on the economic and social fabric of Western Canada;
- creating a unique interpretive railway and transit heritage, family activity and nature park
   
close to Red Deer near the CPR rail corridor or significant heritage railway site with replicated railway stations
    as well as a rail, trail and transit-themed family entertainment park.

Preservation and Marketing Integration
The preservation and marketing integration of existing built ground transportation heritage capital and rail-themed attractions and features as a collective attraction includes:
historic CPR station downtown Red Deer
          - ACR Mintlaw trestle southwest of Red Deer,
          - ACR pier along Taylor Drive Red Deer,
          - CPR Red Deer river bridge historic site,
          - CPR Red Deer station historic site, 
          - the 'Arches' and fountain Red Deer,
          - ACR/CPR Benalto station park,
          - station replications at Penhold and Lacombe,
          - Delburne GTP station museum, water tank,
          - CPR Bowden station and display at Innisfail,
          - Alberta Prairie Stettler steam train tours,
          - CNR 6060 Mountain locomotive Stettler,
          - CNor stations Stettler and Big Valley,
 
CPR 2816 near Red Deer May 2008         - Restored grain elevators Stettler, Big Valley,
          - Big Valley roundhouse interpretive centre,
          - Canadian Railway Hall of Fame Big Valley,
          - Meeting Creek CNor station and elevator
          - Mirror museum, CN caboose and boxcar
          - CPR Didsbury railway station historic site
          - Three Hills museum, CN caboose, station
          - the Nordegg Colleries National Historic Site,
          - Alberta Central Museum near Wetaskiwin,
          - CPR Tees station at Paskapoo Park Rimbey
          - Camrose railway station musuem and park,
          - Centennial railway museum Beiseker

Expansion of Railway Theme
 
Jubilee 3001- Replicate the unique CPR F1a Jubilee 4-4-4 streamlined steam
   locomotive
3001 'The Chinook' in 1:8 scale;
 
- Acquire a
historically-significant locomotive as a display at the
   Forth Junction Community Heritage Rail Park;

- Relocate, restore or replicate several
historic rail stations for the
   Forth Junction Rail and Transit Heritage, Family Activity and
    Nature Park;

   (eg. restore ACR Red Deer, GTP Ardley, replicate CNR Red Deer, ACR/CPR Mintlaw,
    ACR/CPR Sylvan Lake, original 1891 C&E/CPR Innisfail, Red Deer, Lacombe,
    CPR Penhold, CNR Sylvan Lake)
 
 
- Create Canada's largest historical model railway interpretive centre showing the evolution of the
   railways of Red Deer and Central Alberta representing the settlement and development of Western Canada

- Publication of a comprehensive history of ancient trails, railways and transit including the infrastructure that
   supported them and efforts to preserve ground transportation heritage


The Forth Junction Heritage Society is proposing that transportation heritage, specifically trail, rail and transit heritage, be the theme for a major tourist attractor that combines commerce, entertainment, education, hospitality, nature, cultural heritage and community. The society also aims to integrate, as a marketing package, several of the current regional railway heritage preservation sites in Central Alberta as well as to preserve or replicate additional heritage icons of the region as a representation of the settlement and development of Western Canada.

The Forth Junction Heritage Society values and supports existing volunteer and commercial heritage and cultural groups as well as other initiatives that celebrate and nurture an appreciation of the continuing evolution of ground transportation and supporting infrastructure in Central Alberta.
 

Current Rail Heritage Preservation            Forth/Tuttle-Mintlaw-Sylvan Lake Linear Park Proposal  

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