Our Station in Forestburg has recently gotten another face lift, and expansion. This building has quite the history, and we would like to share its journey to what it is today with you here.
The purchase of the Forestburg Youth Centre by Friends of the Battle River Railway (FBRR) saved a former parish hall and gave FBRR an opportunity to have a home and develop a train station. We took over the buidlign on November 18, 2011, just over 10 years ago.
The hall had been brought to Forestburg in 1978 from Heisler for youth groups and a kindergarten downstairs. The development of the Station and the railway tourism business has been steady over the last ten years.
To develop the project such as it is, involved volunteers, government grants, donations from our communities, socials and income from our train excursions as well as Battle River Railway. All together, these partners have made it possible to develop the Station to what you see today.
Because the building was placed on a new cement foundation in 1978, and renovated twice before FBRR took ownership, the building was in relatively good condition.
The development of the main station has cost approximately $250,000. The West Wing of the Station, which has become the business centre (offices) for Battle River Railway is now complete. It has been a joint project between FBRR and the Battle River Railway.
FBRR contributed $102,000 to the project by securing a Community Facilities Enhancement Program Grant alongside of volunteer contributions, and the Battle River Railway contributed approximately $135,000.
As John Oberg researched the designs of train stations across Canada, he found many designs. The Canadian Northern, Canadian Pacific and the Grand Trunk Pacific all wanted and did make design statements in the building of train stations. They wanted them to be functional but also beautiful inside and out, to be a place in a community of civic pride.
People who helped with the design and construction of the Station are Cynthia Sibley, Randy Martz (the builder) and George Chrunik of GC Design. The Station looks new but understand that FBRR wanted some timeless features of old railway stations incorporated in the design. We have been successful in achieving this.