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  ACR pier at Taylor Drive

Forth Junction Project
A Vision for a World-Class Destination by
Thinking Big and Bold

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

Forth Junction Park Concept

Western Canada Transpo Centre

Historical Miniature Rail Museum

Railway Station Heritage Resort

the
Forth Junction Project
is a bold visionary concept proposed by the Forth Junction Heritage Society to establish a world-class visitor and community destination in the immediate Red Deer area to celebrate the past, present and future of trails, trains and transit in an interactive and entertaining way for all members of the family
to enjoy.

Forth Junction Project Railpark Vision
by the Forth Junction Heritage Society

   

                             Conceptual site plan at full build-out based on the Springbrook option

former C&E Railway MuseumAlthough a site has not yet been finalized, the Forth Junction Heritage Society has been developing a concept plan over the past few years to celebrate the impact to Central Alberta of the evolution of ground transportation with a special emphasis on the many railway lines that developed the region, transit and historic trails.

rail park landscapingAn essential element of the plan is a family and community heritage 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 and the park would evolve into a major tourist magnet.

One of the features envisioned for the park is a series of interpretive centres that explore the evolution of the railways that played a critical role in the colonization and development of the region including the Calgary & Edmonton Railway and its branchlines, the Alberta Central Railway, the Canadian Northern Western Railway and the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway.

Red Deer combination station 1891
The Forth Junction Heritage Society has recently been gifted the artifacts and other items of the now-closed Calgary and Edmonton Railway Station Museum by the Junior League of Edmonton to form the base of the first of these interpretive centres once a site is secured.
Proposed interactive historical model rail museum
Other features envisioned for the park include a railway station resort, a historical miniature world model railway pavilion, a transit centre and tour depot, a roundhouse-shaped conference centre, children's pavilion and activity area, a train viewing platform, ornamental gardens and natural areas, rail collection exhibition area, elevated restaurant, cafe, campground, cultural and event zone, and several walking paths.



The following principles and guidelines have been established by the Society for the creation of this unique park:


1. The plan needs to be bold and bigger than most current railway heritage facilities in order to establish an attraction that would have an impact on the economic development of the region;

2. It needs to be in or close to Red Deer to get the maximum draw from the Highway 2 corridor and attract sufficient volunteers and employees;


3. It needs to be visually attractive with a recognizable focal point and plenty of green space;

4. All un-restored equipment needs to be hidden from public view to avoid a "junkyard" appearance and all restored equipment needs to be showcased in a protective indoor environment;

5. It needs to be reasonably close to an active railway line for equipment access and to attract rail fans and rail photographers;

6. It needs to be attractive to all family members including those who are not particularly interested in rail or transit heritage;

7. It needs to be self-supporting once built requiring the establishment of several income generators;

8. The site needs to be large enough to support a full-size railway loop.


A unique opportunity was presented recently to develop an integrated partnership with a collector of a large roster of railway equipment. This has the potential to create a synergy that bolsters the overall concept of the heritage park. The collector is looking at the Red Deer area as a central location to bring his scattered collection together in order to consolidate and display it to a large population base with good access and visibility. Negotiations are ongoing but no further action can be taken until a site is secured.
 

 
The intent of the Forth Junction Heritage Society in creating this concept is to advance the idea and co-ordinate development of the various proposed facilities. It is expected that other entities will build and operate many of the features of the park. This could be done by creating a not-for-profit corporation or partnering with municipalities, corporations and other like-minded organizations. The Society itself plans to develop and operate the various interpretive centres in the early stages of park development.

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.
 

The adaptable site plan featured on this page for the Forth Junction Park was created by Paul Pettypiece

Additional objectives of the Society include:

 

former ACR Mintlaw trestle across Red Deer River







steam 6060 at Big Valley









 

Public access to historic ACR Mintlaw steel railway trestle
and its designation as a historic resource with an interpretive centre

Red Deer to Sylvan Lake Linear Park
using the former Alberta Central Railway (CPR) right of way
between Forth (south Red Deer) and/or Tuttle (near Gasoline
Alley) via the Mintlaw Trestle

Regional Trail, Rail & Transit Heritage Self-Guided Tours
that highlight the region's transportation heritage value in the
settlement and development of Western Canada by
collaborating with current heritage groups and sites

the research, compilation and publishing of the

Trail, Rail and Transit History of Central Alberta

that interprets the evolution of historic trails, the railways and
transit of the region as representative of the settlement and
economic development of Western Canada
 


abandoned ACR-CPR right-of-way







Canadian National Red Deer station

Note: The Forth Junction Heritage Society's primary purposes are education and preservation of the history of railways, transit and pioneer trails as they have evolved in Central Alberta. This includes the creation and promotion of the vision and concept for the Forth Junction Project and its elements but not necessarily its implementation and physical development. Activities and implementation that go beyond the primary objectives of the Society (education and preservation) are envisioned to be administered by a not-for-profit corporation, municipality or multi-organization authority.

The Vision and Objectives of the Forth Junction Project
as determined by the Society Board at a strategic planning retreat in January 2011:
 
- establish Red Deer as a transportation and culture themed world class community and visitor destination
 
 celebrating the role and evolution of trails, trains and transit in the settlement and economic development of
  Western Canada;
 
- co-ordinate the various transportation and cultural heritage icons and attractions of Central Alberta for
  integrated guided tours;
 
- promote the creation of interactive and multi-media representations of the past, present and future of
  trails, trains and transit in Central Alberta;
 
- promote the development of a sustainable transportation-focused heritage and entertainment centre as a
  Red Deer area landmark community gathering and visitor building at or close to a significant railway
  historic site or an active railway;
 
- promote the development of an interactive, fun and educational transportation-themed nature and heritage
   resort and park
that includes the replication of several railway station designs as overnight accommodation
  and other uses located close to active railways, the regional trail system, natural areas and heritage sites;
 
- establish Canada's largest interactive historical miniature railway museum that recreats historic
  milestones and period infrastructure to visually demonstrate the evolution of the role of railways in the
  economic development of the Red Deer region;
 
- advocate for a pedestrian and bicycle trail system using abandoned railway rights of way;

- arrange for a 1/8 scale replication of the unique semi-streamlined Jubilee F2a locomotive 3001 that once
  headed the fast 'Chinook' Calgary-Edmonton passenger train;
 
- investigate possible sites for the project with sufficient land to accommodate future opportunities for
  attracting restored artifacts, an operating railroad and national travelling transportation exhibits.

All aspects of the Forth Junction vision are compatible with and complimentary to the following existing adopted plans:
              - The Red Deer River Valley and Tributaries Park Plan;
              - The Red Deer County Open Spaces Master Plan;
              - The Mintlaw Bridge Public Access Strategy


 

    Forth Junction Park Concept      Western Canada Transpo Centre      Historical Miniature Rail Museum      Railway Station Heritage Resort
Trails, Rails, Transit Heritage Centre      An Opportunity for Boldness       A Time to Think Big and Bold

 

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