The former Canadian Northern Railway station at Hanna was constructed in 1913 and served to provide both passenger and freight service until August 1990. The station has always symbolized the community's origins and is today regarded as a major heritage resource. The Federal Government has designated the building as a Heritage Railway Station.
The recent acquisition of the CN Roundhouse by private enterprise has sparked a renewed interest in Hanna's history as a Rail Town. As a result, citizens are exploring the potential uses for the CN Roundhouse and recognize its significance to our history. This is a physical reminder of the development of rural Alberta and pairing the CN Station House with the CN Roundhouse becomes a natural addition to an already rare attraction.
The location and physical status of the Station was not conducive to enhancements. Local contractors had expressed concerns about the foundation and beam structure of the building. Water damage had caused decay. Town staff had reported having to pump the basement of water while the facility was still operational. The building either had to be moved to a different location on a new foundation, or lifted and the foundation rebuilt.
Due to the original purpose of the Station, the 'attractive' side of the building (platform side) faced the tracks. In Hanna, this is not an advantage as access to view the more attractive profile is not permitted (private land) and the roadway is underdeveloped. Hanna citizens and visitors to the area are unable to enjoy to the platform side of the Station unless they physically walk onto the train tracks.
Relocation of the CN Station addressed the concerns above and also made the building visible and accessible, to be enjoyed by anyone who stops or passes by.