Benalto historical train park still on track

Benalto’s plan to create a park around a historic train station keeps chugging right along.

Benalto’s plan to create a park around a historic train station keeps chugging right along.

The project kept rolling with Red Deer County’s unanimous approval on Tuesday to allow a 1.9-acre park to be subdivided out from about 13 acres of former railway lands in the community.

The land was donated to allow the train station to be set up as a museum and community centre.

Several county councillors voiced their support for the community’s effort.

“I think it’s a great proposal to commemorate a historical site,” said Coun. Christine Moore.

Garett and Brenda Cupples, of Red Deer, donated the building, which had most recently been used as a residence, to the community.

It had been sold by Canadian Pacific Railway in 1971 for $200 to FasGas founders Jack and Joan Donald, who moved it and used it as a summer home southwest of Red Deer before selling it in 1985. It was moved once more before coming to rest at the Cupples’ property.

It was moved to Benalto from the Belich Business Park on the Burnt Lake Trail last April.

Detailed plans are already in the works for the attraction, which will feature a gazebo, benches and landscaping to make it a village hub.

Last November, the county gave just under $28,000 to the Benalto group that moved the train station back home in April.

Built in 1928 for the Canadian Pacific Railway, it will be the prime attraction in Centennial Station Park.

The county’s cash will go towards moving the train station onto foundations.

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