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The 100 th Year of the ACR and the Mintlaw Trestle Its Impact on the Development of West Central Alberta Forth Junction Heritage Society Annual General.

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Presentation on theme: "The 100 th Year of the ACR and the Mintlaw Trestle Its Impact on the Development of West Central Alberta Forth Junction Heritage Society Annual General."— Presentation transcript:

1 The 100 th Year of the ACR and the Mintlaw Trestle Its Impact on the Development of West Central Alberta Forth Junction Heritage Society Annual General Meeting October 25, 2012

2 The Calgary & Edmonton Railway C&E builds timber bridge across Red Deer River ; continues line north to Strathcona 1891; CPR assumes control of C&E Railway 1892 Calgary & Edmonton Railway (partially owned by Mackenzie & Mann) constructs line north from Calgary and establishes townsite at Red Deer 1890

3 The Calgary & Edmonton Railway New Red Deer C&E/CPR combination station and freight house built 1892; similar stations built at Innisfail, Lacombe, Ponoka, Olds, Carstairs, Wetaskiwin, Leduc, Strathcona, Airdrie and south of Calgary

4 The Alberta Central Railway Schematic plan for Alberta Central Railway - Yellowhead Pass to Moose Jaw & Hudson Bay ACR chartered 1901 with headquarters in Red Deer - led by John T. Moore – construction delayed until 1910

5 The Calgary & Edmonton Railway timber bridge replaced by steel 1908 Red Deer becomes CPR divisional point 1908 establishing town as distribution centre of Central Alberta

6 The Calgary & Edmonton Railway New Red Deer CPR station (centre) built 1910 to replace first station (right) built 1892 (relocated & used for freight); station addition 1912

7 The Alberta Central Railway Letter of approval from Wilfrid Laurier to construct ACR from Red Deer to Rocky Mountain House 1910

8 The Alberta Central Railway 102 Years Ago 102 Years Ago Sir Wilfrid Laurier arrives at Red Deer CPR station August 10, 1910

9 The Alberta Central Railway 102 Years Ago 102 Years Ago Sir Wilfrid Laurier (with John T. Moore) drives first spike for Alberta Central Railway in south Red Deer east of C&E Railway August 10, 1910; construction begins from C&E Railway at Forth to Mountview, yard and station built, line graded to Pine Lake

10 Canadian Northern Western Railway 1911 Construction of Canadian Northern Western Railway begins from Warden (near Stettler) via Alix and Burbank to Sylvan Lake, branch built south to North Red Deer 1912 CNWR reaches Rocky Mountain House 1914 CNWR reaches Brazeau coal fields at Nordegg Subsidiary of Canadian Northern Railway owned by Mackenzie & Mann

11 Prosperity and Optimism From 1901 to 1912, the population of Red Deer rose from 323 (smaller than Lacombe or Innisfail) to almost 3, and due to the economic boom as result of railway building around Red Deer and west Red Deer becomes city anticipating a population of at least 20,000 by Sylvan Lake becomes town with 2 railway stations in close proximity

12 Prosperity and Optimism Plans for 3 railways in 6 directions through Red Deer C & E (CPR) CNWR (CNR) ACR (CPR) plus 3 more nearby representing the settlement and development of Western Canada

13 The Alberta Central Railway Forth Junction Forth Junction The ACR crosses the Calgary & Edmonton Railway (CPR) and Waskasoo Creek 1911 at Forth (south Red Deer) connecting Mountview and Westpark East of bridge, including trestle over Piper Creek and yard in Mountview, abandoned after ACR absorbed into CPR

14 The Mintlaw Bridge Construction of 2,112’ long, 110’ high steel trestle begins 1911

15 The Mintlaw Bridge ACR goes bankrupt due to inflationary pressure of booming economy around Red Deer. CPR leases line for 999 years and completes bridge in fall 1912

16 The Alberta Central Railway Cygnet (Burnt) Lake drained to allow ACR roadbed construction; ACR built to high standard while CNWR built to basic standard

17 The Alberta Central Railway Rival railways Alberta Central Railway and Canadian Northern Western Railway with conflicts and sabotage ACR builds bridge across North Saskatchewan 1912 CNWR reaches Rocky Mountain House in 1912 ACR reaches Rocky Mountain House in 1914 after bankruptcy CNWR obliged to share ACR river bridge

18 The Alberta Central Railway 1280’ Horseguard Trestle near Eckville under construction later earth-filled

19 The Alberta Central Railway 725’ North Saskatchewan River bridge at Rocky Mountain House built in 1911 – shared with CNWR

20 The Alberta Central Railway Mixed passenger service 3x per week Rocky Mountain House CPR Std A3 built 1920 Sylvan Lake & Benalto CPR Std 14A built 1924, 1928 Portable – Mintlaw, Cygnet, Sylvan Lake, Benalto, Crawshaw, Kootuk (Eckville), Hespero, Condor, Alhambra, Lochearn, Rocky Mountain House West built

21 The Alberta Central Railway Stations of the Alberta Central Railway (CPR design) small stations originally built at Red Deer, Mintlaw, Cygnet, Sylvan Lake, Benalto new stations later built by CPR at Sylvan Lake and Benalto (now moved or destroyed) Red Deer built 1912 Benalto built 1928 Rocky Mountain House built 1920 Sylvan Lake built 1924

22 The Alberta Central Railway Rocky Mountain House (Lochearn) built 1915 Built 1920; destroyed by fire 1967

23 The Alberta Central Railway

24 1955

25 The Alberta Central Railway Privately-owned former Alberta Central Railway original right of way southwest of Red Deer abandoned 1962 when junction moved to Tuttle siding (near Gasoline Alley) due to construction of Highway 2 expressway right of way sold to landowners

26 ACR/CPR & CNWR Sylvan Lake Sylvan Lake flourished early as tourist town as result of arrival of railways (former ACR line is curved area on left; Canadian National (CNWR) on right)

27 Mintlaw Tiny community had small Searle elevator (relocated) and small portable station with passenger service Bachusky photo

28 Last Train 1981 Benalto McLoughlin photo

29 The Mintlaw Bridge 1985 Mintlaw Trestle prior to rail removal; last train 1981; abandoned 1983

30 The Mintlaw Bridge east today

31 The Mintlaw Bridge west today

32 The Mintlaw Bridge today CPR donates Mintlaw bridge to Red Deer County for $1 in Bridge identified as significant historical resource in Heritage Inventory 2009 Bridge Preservation and Public Access Strategy completed Spring 2012 Major Central Alberta landmark for 100 years in Sept “CPR is planning to donate Mintlaw bridge to Red Deer County for use as part of a recreational trail.” – IBI Mintlaw Bridge Valuation Sept. 2009

33 The Mintlaw Bridge today Mintlaw trestle purchased by Red Deer County 2010 repairs 2011 major landmark for 100 years close to historic Calgary & Edmonton Trail looking west toward Red Deer River

34 The Mintlaw Bridge today - longest existing rail structure in Central Alberta; - longest abandoned rail structure in Alberta; - 3rd longest steel trestle in Western Canada, - 5th longest railway bridge in Alberta - 3rd longest steel trestle in Western Canada, - 5th longest railway bridge in Alberta looking east toward Tuttle siding (Gasoline Alley 2A opp. Lantern St.)

35 The Mintlaw Bridge today ACR Mintlaw bridge looking south from west side of Red Deer River Historical significance: historic landmark, symbol of optimism and entrepreneurship of Central Albertans, largest remaining relic of ACR, opened up for settlement the area west of Red Deer to the Rockies, provided passenger and freight service, catalyst for major boom resulting in Red Deer becoming a city in 1913

36 Red Deer County proposed ACR Trail – Red Deer to Benalto Award-winning Red Deer County Open Spaces Master Plan adopted 2009 showing former Alberta Central Railway right of way as future trail

37 Red Deer County proposed ACR Trail – Red Deer to Benalto Red Deer River Valley & Tributaries Concept Park Plan adopted 2010 showing potential future trails using ACR ROW, river valley and Sylvan Creek

38 Mintlaw Bridge Public Access & Preservation Strategy RDCo 2012 Adopted for information only on April 10, 2012

39 Potential Trails via Mintlaw Bridge Proposed Red Deer – Sylvan Lake Trail using former Alberta Central Railway (CPR) right of way with potential Sylvan Creek direct link

40 Potential Trans Canada Trail – Red Deer to Springbrook Former ACR Corridors including Mintlaw Bridge as alternate alignments of Trans Canada Trail (Green) Red Deer to Springbrook using linkage from Bower Ponds through Maskepetoon Park under Highway 2 and CPR along river to Sylvan Creek with other possible future trail alignments possible funding opportunity for creation of trail and rehabilitiation of Mintlaw Trestle

41 TransCanada Rail Bridge Trail Red Deer CPR bridge built 1908; abandoned 1991; now part of Trans Canada Trail

42 TransCanada Rail Bridge Trails Kettle Valley Railway (CPR) Trail southern BC includes Merritt, Princeton, Penticton, Myra Canyon, Midway Trans Canada Trail Iron Horse (multi-use) Trail Beaver River CNR Bridge Waskatenau to Cold Lake, Heinsburg includes Bonnyville, St. Paul, Smoky Lake Trans Canada Trail

43 TransCanada Rail Bridge Trails Kinsol Trestle Trail Vancouver Island BC timber trestle 144 ft. tall, 617 ft. long Trans Canada Trail Sky Trail, Outlook, Sask N. Saskatchewan River CPR Bridge Canada’s longest pedestrian bridge at 3000 ft. Trans Canada Trail

44 The 100 th Year of the ACR and the Mintlaw Trestle Its Impact on the Development of West Central Alberta Forth Junction Heritage Society Annual General Meeting October 25, 2012


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