There’s A Train A Comin’… ~This Week in 1914

Grande Prairie villagers greet the Edmonton, Dunvegan & British Columbia train as it reaches the end of steel on March 29, 1916.

Grande Prairie villagers greet the Edmonton, Dunvegan & British Columbia train as it reaches the end of steel on March 29, 1916.

A short item on the back page of June 23, 1914 was an early indication that a rail line would be built to Grande Prairie instead of heading west to the B.C. border. Settlers had taken up land on the Grande Prairie anticipating that the C.N.R would fulfill its intention to build north from Sangudo into the area. A debate at the House of Commons in March of 1915 concluded that  if the C.N.R could not complete construction of its line to Grande Prairie, then the E.D. & B.C. Railway should construct a branch south from its main line. So the strategy of E.D. & B.C. builder J.D. McArthur to reach the B.C. border and link the Pacific Great Eastern Railway near Pouce Coupe was altered by the political and economic realities of a need to provide railway service to the widely settled open and fertile lands on the Grande prairie south of the E.D. & B.C. mail line. (some information gathered from Atlas of Alberta Railways – North Alberta Railways).

Grande Prairie Herald ~ June 23, 1914

Grande Prairie Herald ~ June 23, 1914