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Forth Junction Project
A Vision for a World-Class Regional Heritage Rail Park by Thinking Big & Bold

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

Heritage Rail Park Concept

Railway Station Architecture

Future Historical Miniature Rail Exhibits

Ultimate Vision

A Bold Vision for an Educational Experiential Regional Transportation Heritage Destination  

. . . a bold adaptable Concept Plan
that includes a family multi-use world class
Ultimate Rail Park Vision Innisfail Optionheritage rail park
celebrating the evolution of railways, transit and historic trails in Central Alberta

As a tourism strategy and to tell the story of how ground transportation impacted the evolution of life in Red Deer and Central Alberta for well over 100 years, the Forth Junction Heritage Society believes that there is an opportunity to create a unique and bold facility or series of facilities to highlight the region. 
'Go big or go home'
From the inception of the Forth Junction Heritage Society, members wanted a concept that was fun, big and bold that have unique features and is aesthetically attractive to all age groups.

Complementary paired heritage development
The Forth Junction visionary strategy includes an educational component, operated by the Forth Junction Heritage Society, that would be developed along side a commercial or semi-commercial development with a transportation heritage theme, operated by another entity, such as a municipality, a not-for-profit corporation, entrepreneur or land developer.

Overall visionary concept for a destination heritage park

* Calgary & Edmonton Railway Museum, Archive and Research Centre;
* Replication of up to 22 Central Alberta railway station designs as multi-use facilities and/or
* Display, interpretation and operation of historic railway and ground transportation equipment;
New and old CPR stations and park Red Deer 1912* Children's activity park, themed playgrounds and miniature
* Miniature-world historic model railway interpretive exhibits
    representing several eras and scales;
* Mainline Calgary-Edmonton CPR train viewing platform with
    snack bar, library and games room;
* Ground and specialized transportation interactive interpretive


* Roundhouse shaped conference centre;


* Iconic elevated restaurant;

* Heritage bus tours of historical sites and facilities throughout
    Central Alberta using a common marketing strategy;


* Family activity zones, picnic areas, trails, natural areas and decorative gardens;

* Opportunity space to acquire closed or retired collections.

By tying together existing railway, trail and transit features throughout the region, creating a focal point for exploring and interpreting the historical context of our current quality of life and marketing existing facilities that complement the theme, the Society has developed a bold adaptable concept plan that could integrate commercial, industrial, cultural and non-profit groups into a landmark multi-purpose facility in or near the heart of Central Alberta's railway network that celebrates the significance of the railway and other transportation modes in the economic development and settlement of Western Canada and creates a major tourist attraction. 

Our approach to creating the overall vision of the park would be for the society to operate the educational aspects of the park and encourage tourism developers and entrepreneurs to create complementary stand-alone features such as:
- railway station resort,
- roundhouse-shaped conference centre,
- elevated restaurant,
- tour depot,
- commercial hospitality facilities such as cafes, boutiques, markets
- campground.
More info at Ultimate Vision.


In order to complement and enhance existing facilities and attractions of the region, the
Forth Junction Heritage Society has developed a concept using the following characteristics that requires boldness and bigness:

    * diversified
    * unique
    * world-class
    * family-friendly
    * aesthetically attractive
    * self-supporting once built
    * educational
    * fun for all ages
    * multi purpose
    * interactive
    * collaborative


The Forth Junction Heritage Society invites developers, entrepreneurs, philanthropists and like-minded non-profit organizations to partner with us to realize this vision as the Society does not and will likely not have in the future the resources to do so on its own.

Two zone tourism model
Two separate zones, one controlled by the
Society as an educational heritage park and the other controlled by a commercial tourism entity. The commercial zone could be in the central portion of the parcel while the non-profit park surrounds it.


Municipal or corporate park model

A municipality or corporation owns the land and encourages non-profit entities including the Forth Junction Heritage Society and entrepreneurs to provide heritage and tourism facilities.

Blend of park, heritage, commercial and tourism facilities model
A developer creates the framework and markets the land to include a blend of commercial and tourism facilities with rail and transportation themes interspersed with park and heritage facilities.
Blend of heritage rail park and industrial rail park model

An industrial park with rail facilities for businesses that need small or limited access to the rail network with rail extension into a heritage rail park operated by the Forth Junction Heritage Society along with other tourism entities.

Multi-stakeholder village model

A historical village operated by several non-profit and commercial entities that includes a variety of historical interpretive facilities including an area dedicated to rail and transportation history operated by the Forth Junction Heritage Society.


Accommodation model
Short or long term accommodations in up to 22 replicated railway station designs complemented
by rail and transportation themed facilities, museums and interpretive centers operated by the Forth Junction Heritage Society. A campground,
RV park, hotel and conference centre could be operated by commercial or non-profit entities.

Passionate about Central Alberta railway and transit history?

Since the society has very limited resources, the realization of this concept will require one or more of the following three components:
1. Gifting of land adjacent to the CPR Calgary-Edmonton rail line of up to 40 acres between Lacombe and Bowden;
2. Investment or development by a municipality, corporation or entrepreneur as part of an overall development;
3. Major donations or sponsorships by corporations and/or philanthropists for detailed planning, servicing and to get the first elements on the ground such as the viewing platform, C&E station museum and miniature world historic display

Further donations, sponsorships and benefactors will be required for many smaller projects such as artifact repairs, park amenities, gardens, trails

Canada Helps logo

Donate to the future
Forth Junction Regional Rail Park

If interested is discussing a role in this project or becoming a member, contact us at:

Concept plan for a two zone site in the Innisfail area for
 the proposed Forth Junction Regional Rail Park.

replicated C&E railway station at StrathconaThe primary objectives of the Forth Junction Heritage Society are:

-  to preserve, promote and share the rail and transportation heritage of the region;


- to pass that heritage to future generations in a sustainable and interactive way through education, advocacy and nurturing a passion for the continuous evolution of trail, rail and transit;


- and to interpret, demonstrate and display the relationship between built and natural environment as it relates to the evolution of transportation in Western Canada.

The vision of the Society is to promote and/or create a unique educational experiential tourist destination located adjacent to the Calgary-Edmonton Canadian Pacific Railway between Lacombe and Bowden that examines the rail and ground transportation heritage of Central Alberta valuing family recreational and cultural activity as well as the natural environment.

rail park landscapingOver the past few years, the Society has been looking at various sites and developing a concept plan to create this regional park to celebrate and acquaint the public about the impact of the railway and other ground transportation in the settlement, economic development and environmental and cultural changes of Central Alberta in a fun, family-friendly, experiential and interactive way.

One of the features envisioned for the rail park is a series of interpretive centres housed in replicated railway stations that explore the evolution of the railways that played a critical role in the colonization and development of the region.

The Society encourages entrepreneurs and investors to develop stand-alone complimentary commercial tourist facilities that would enhance and create a synergy with the rail park to eventually become a major tourist attraction.


Long-term plans have been developed adapted to two specific possible locations close to communities. Both are on bare parcels that won't likely be serviced or accessible for many years.

One is at Innisfail, the current preferred location. The Society is working with the landowner and the town to determine if the envisioned railpark would work at that location.


The other is at Springbrook.

However, the Society is willing to look at other locations provided that it is adjacent to the CPR Calgary-Edmonton rail line somewhere between Lacombe and Bowden and could be developed sooner.


Proposed interactive historical model rail museumOur focus is to create an attractive regional multi-use heritage rail park with a variety of experiential attractions, exhibits and features so that residents of the region will want to visit the park on multiple occasions.

Over time, the park is envisioned to evolve into a world-class visitor destination that includes not only the rail park but complementary integrated but separate commercial and tourism services.

See: Concept of Forth Junction Heritage Society Heritage Rail Park
See: Ultimate vision of paired complementary heritage development

The intent of the Forth Junction Heritage Society in creating this vision is to advance the concept and
co-ordinate development of the various proposed facilities.

It is expected that other entities will build and operate many of the proposed commercial or semi-commercial features of the overall vision. This could be done by the creation of a not-for-profit corporation, partnering with municipalities or corporations, or development by businesses and entrepreneurs as stand-alone tourism operations. The Society itself plans to develop and operate the educational and community aspects of the regional heritage park including the various interpretive centres, exhibits, gardens and pathways.

The Society's primary mission is to preserve, promote and share the transportation heritage of our community and region; and to pass that heritage to future generations in a sustainable and interactive way through education, advocacy and nurturing a passion for the continuous evolution of trail, rail and transit.

The Society's primary objectives are to educate the public on the evolution of the railway, historic trails and transit in the settlement and development of Central Alberta specifically and Western Canada generally through workshops, displays, and interactive interpretation and to preserve the trail, rail and transit heritage of Central Alberta through the acquisition, preservation and restoration of railway and other ground transportation artifacts, equipment and infrastructure.

Site plan graphic renderings and photos by Paul Pettypiece, except for the 3 historic photos courtesy of Red Deer Archives

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

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