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Red Deer River Railway Bridge

Red Deer River Railway Bridge

Primary Photographer(s): C. Hanchey, CC BY-NC 2.0, flickr.com/photos/21953562@N07/

Bridge Documented: May 18, 2015

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Key Facts

Facility Carried / Feature Intersected
Railroad (Rail-Trail) (Former Canadian Pacific) Over Red Deer River
Red Deer: Red Deer County, Alberta: Canada
Construction Date and Builder / Engineer
1908 By Builder/Contractor: Unknown

Technical Facts

Rehabilitation Date
Not Available or Not Applicable
Main Span Length
178 Feet (54 Meters)
Structure Length
530 Feet (162 Meters)
Roadway Width
Not Available
2 Main Span(s)
NBI Number
Not Applicable

Historic Significance Rating (HSR)
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Bridge Documentation

This bridge was built in 1908 and is a two-span Pratt through truss. It carried rail traffic until 1990 and is now part of the pedestrian network of the Waskasoo Park system within the City of Red Deer. It was designated as a Municipal Historic Resource by the City of Red Deer in 1991 and added to the Canadian Register of Historic Places in 2004. Lengths given are rough estimates.

Information and Findings From Alberta Register of Historic Places

Discussion of Bridge


The Alberta Central Railway (ACR) Company was incorporated in May 1901 by the Dominion Government. The president of the company, John T. Moore, was a Toronto chartered accountant, businessman and alderman. Among his various business interests was the Saskatchewan Land and Homestead Company that had extensive holdings in the Red Deer area. Originally the ACR was to run from 'Coal Banks', through Red Deer to a location near Rocky Mountain House. Its charter was later revised to permit extension west to the Fraser valley via the Yellowhead Pass and east to Moose Jaw. The purpose of the railway was to develop central Alberta in general and the land owned by the Saskatchewan Land and Homestead Company in particular.

Shortage of capital delayed construction until the spring of 1910 when surveys were done for the line between Red Deer and Rocky Mountain House. In 1911, a continued lack of capital and competition from the Canadian Northern Railway (CNoR) forced Moore and his associated to lease the railway to the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR). In 1914 the CPR completed the line to Rocky Mountain House. No further construction west of Rocky Mountain House or east of Red Deer was undertaken.

The Alberta Central Railway played a role in the economic development of the region west of Red Deer. Particularly in the agricultural settlement of this area, as was intended by its original promoters. It also played a limited role in the development of the coal reserves in the Nordegg area. A portion of the coal mined at Nordegg was transported to market via the Alberta Central Railway under an agreement with the Canadian Northern Railway.

Bridge Considered Historic By Survey: Yes


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