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Irene's Adventures

Alberta - Heinsberg

CANADA | Thursday, 25 September 2014 | Views [427]


There is a CN water tank on the site where the great turn around rail tracks once laid. When the railway came to Heinsburg, the town flourished. It boasted railway station, two grain elevators, a post office and numerous businesses. The train was the end-of-rail service centre for vast areas of settlement to the north, west, and south.

Built in the late 1920's, it is 45 feet high, 33 feet wide and has a 2 x 8” fir frame exterior. The tank inside is 16 feet hight and 28 feet in diameter and held 60,000 gallons of water. The tank was is supported on 12 cedar 14” x 14” supports. It was used to supply the thirsty steam locomotives. The 1960's saw diesel locomotives replacing the steam engines, and the tank was no longer used. The tracks were totally removed in 1983.

 CN Water Tank

There was another CN train station and caboose. We got to have a good look inside this one. There was also a rail workers cart. I used to see these little electric hand carts nearly everyday, either while coming or going to school. These little carts transported the railroad workers up and down the tracks so they could repair them. Today they have modern pick up trucks with hydraulic rail wheels suspended beneath the truck that lower so they can travel down the tracks in comfort. Those old little rail cars must have been brutal. Usually 4 big men squashed into a tiny metal box with windows all around and hard benches. Oh, how they must have froze in the winter and cooked in the summer! No wonder everyone I knew that worked the rail drank a lot!  And I don't mean water....


 Rail Cart


There was a railway crossing sign, a tall post with a red and white X. It was a common site alerting road traffic that they were about to cross a set of rail road tracks. They were so common that one did not even see them anymore, often not even slowing down before crossing. Trains came by once, maybe twice a day. What were the chances of meeting the train? Many people found out the hard way that the train could not stop and many met their death by not paying attention to the simple warning sign.


 Railway Crossing sign

The CN building had original flower boxes advertising tasty (gag) canned foods: burns old fashioned Chuckwagon dinner, Dinty Moore beef stew, SPORK and SPAM. If you have every eaten SPAM you may understand why they now use that word for stuff you don't want. It was popular in many school lunch boxes, in my day.



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