Apr 072017
Grain Elevators of Magrath

The small community of Magrath Alberta is home to a nice and varied collection grain elevators from various eras. There’s four here, down over there where the tracks used to be. A couple are traditional wood “prairie sentinels”, one’s a fairly modern, albeit modest sized, concrete silo type elevator. And the last, which will garner […]

Jul 262016
Bridge Hunting - Waneta British Columbia

The bridges of Waneta British Columbia. One, the elder of the pair, historically far more interesting and oh so photogenic, dates from the 1890s and once carried trains, It’s now used by highway traffic and is the oldest such span in this service in the province. The second, tight beside it, almost touching it in […]

Jul 062016
Empress Subdivision Bridge

Bridges, we love bridges! In fact, we can’t get enough of them! The fine bit of engineering we’ll be looking at today was a mighty one, approaching three quarters of a kilometre in length from end to end (fractions with metric, shame on me). About a century old, it once carried a railway line over […]

Mar 152016
Medicine Hat Turntable

The large steel structure seen here is a railway turntable. It would be used to turn locomotives around and would be located, often along with a roundhouse, at strategic railway divisional points and most major yards. Typically associated with smoke belching steam locomotives, there used to be hundreds of these scattered across the county. Some […]

Jan 262016
Turntable turned bridge

The CPR’s short Pecten Subdivision runs from the Crowsnest Subdivision mainline, at the town of Brocket Alberta just east of the Crowsnest Pass, south towards a large gas plant, Shell’s Waterton Complex at Pecten. Very near the end of this line, south of Pincher Creek, is train bridge crossing over the highway. Nothing special here? […]

Aug 292015
In Event of Nucular Attack!

Located beneath a nondescript building in a small Central Alberta town are the remains of a forgotten military bunker, constructed during the paranoia charged days of the Cold War. Today, the silent halls are sealed up and known only to a select few, in stark contrast to the floors above, busy with the comings and goings of people, most unaware of what lies deep underfoot.

Jan 152015
Horseshoe Dam

Just over century old, the Horseshoe Dam (also called the Horseshoe Falls Dam) is located along the Bow River in the foothills west of Calgary. This massive concrete structure was the very first sizable hydroelectric facility in Alberta and to this day continues to supply power for the province’s needs. Seldom seen by the general […]

Dec 162014
Maple Creek Saskatchewan grain terminal

We’ve spent so much time focusing on all those old wooden grain elevators that we’ve completely missed something – the huge inland terminals that reflect the current state of the Canadian grain industry and perhaps a new subject matter for this website. Maybe, just maybe, these modern hunks of concrete and steel are worth documenting […]

Sep 092014
Canadian Pacific Railway then and now – Lethbridge Alberta Viaduct

The Canadian Pacific Railway’s massive Lethbridge Viaduct, or High Level Bridge as it’s more often called, is over a century old and is a holder of many North American and World records. Most noteworthy, it’s the highest and longest steel railway trestle on the planet. A sight to behold, it’s on such a scale that […]

Oct 162013
CPR's Big Hill revisted

The CPR’s famous Spiral Tunnels were an important and costly project that allowed the railway to finally abandon its troublesome Big Hill. The latter was a steep and dangerous stretch of track and was a major bottleneck. The new bypass helped alleviate, but not totally solve, the congestion issues the railway faced – even the […]

Aug 202013
Collapsed Bonnybrook train bridge - two months later

Just over two months ago many parts of Southern Alberta were under water. Unusually heavy rains, combined with melting snow pack in the mountains caused widespread flooding and many people were affected. The Bow River in Calgary, normally a pretty pristine and otherwise fairly calm river burst its bank in places, making a mess of […]

Aug 202013
Bridge hunting – Swalwell Alberta

If you’ve driven highway 575 heading eastbound between Acme and Carbon, you have no doubt spotted the large train bridge spanning a deep and wide valley off to your right, at a point roughly halfway between those towns. This is the CNR’s Swalwell Bridge, a large concrete and steel structure that supports the railways north/south […]

Jul 052013
Abandoned CPR Bow River bridge part 2

In part two of this report we look at the CPR’s Cecil Alberta bridge as it appeared way back in 1947. That spring heavy ice build up in the Bow River caused sections of the high structure to shift, buckle and tumble into the waters below. Pictures submitted by our readers document both the resultant […]