Edmonton Yukon and Pacific

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Edmonton Yukon and Pacific
Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 9:03 PM

Now here is one for SD70M-2 Dude...newly released pic! 

In your backyard.

April 1906 Old Time Trains Archives 



First train operates over Edmonton, Yukon and Pacific Railway (EY&P) into Edmonton, NWT. 
Station is located just across the North Saskatchewan river at a station called Rossdale Flats. October 20, 1902 
Engine No 26, a 4-6-0 hauls two flat cars, a box cars and a coach over low-level bridge.

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Posted by MidlandMike on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 9:57 PM

I am familiar with Edmonton, Alberta, but where is Edmonton, NWT.

Edit: I just answered my own question by googling the Northwest Territories, and found it was in the NWT until 1905.

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Posted by Miningman on Tuesday, October 31, 2017 10:09 PM

Edmonton was in the North West Territories until Sept.1, 1905. The province of Alberta was formed on that date with the present day boundary much further North, which is still the NWT. 

So in 1902 Edmonton was in and part of the NWT. 

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Posted by SD70M-2Dude on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 12:08 AM

Cool!  I have a book with several other shots from the same day too.  A very significant day in Edmonton history. 

The Low Level Bridge (then simply known as the Edmonton Bridge, no High Level Bridge yet) has a fascinating history, right from the start.  Edmonton had been lobbying the federal government for years trying to get funding for a bridge, and the feds finally got fed up and said that they would pay half the cost if the town raised the other 50%, thinking that such a large sum would be out of Edmonton's reach.  But the town council and a group of local businessmen pooled their funds together and replied to Ottawa the very same day, with the money. 

The piers were originally built well above the highest floodwater level anyone could remember, but just after they were finished the river flooded again and nearly submerged them.  The construction crews hastily ordered more cement and raised the piers, making them more than 40 feet above ice level.

And it's a good thing they did, because in 1915 this happened:

The railway saved the bridge that day, those boxcars were hastily loaded with sand & gravel and then parked on the bridge to weigh it down, and keep the flood from sweeping it off the piers.  The imposing structure in the background is the Hotel Macdonald, then newly built by the Grand Trunk Pacific.  More photos of the 1915 flood at this link:

https://www.edmonton.ca/city_government/edmonton_archives/the-flood.aspx

Around this time streetcar tracks were added to the bridge, in a gantlet arrangement.  So for a time freight and passenger trains (at the time this was part of CNoR's Edmonton-Calgary line) shared the single lane bridge with streetcars and road traffic.  Needless to say all trains were preceded by a flagman. 

Of course the CNoR and GTP were merged into the CNR, which took several steps to make Edmonton-area operations more efficient.  One of these was the construction of a cutoff to reroute Calgary-bound trains over the GTP's bridge at Clover Bar, avoiding the steep grades in and out of the river valley.  Once this was done the ex-EY&P line was relegated to a minor industrial spur, and it was eventually abandoned in 1954. 

But the Low Level Bridge endures, and remains a key river crossing for traffic in and out of the city centre.  A second span was added on the upstream side in the 1940s, and the original span was widened to two lanes in the 1980s. 

And while the original EY&P only ever made it as far as Stony Plain (13 miles west of Edmonton), today the name is in fresh use on the heritage railway at Fort Edmonton Park:

Greetings from Alberta

-an Articulate Malcontent

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Posted by Trinity River Bottoms Boomer on Wednesday, November 01, 2017 4:46 AM

I love the history lessons found here on Classic Trains blog sites.  So much better than sitting through the ones during high school.  Fun too!

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