Wednesday, January 16, 2019
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Passenger Service Demanded

Jamieson's first store - 1912 Jamieson's first store - 1912


In June 1913 an editorial in the Hanna Herald demanded to know when passenger service would begin. There was a constant flow of letters from the Board of Trade, the town council, interested parties and private citizens to the railway officials reminding them of their commitment to provide complete rail service for the town.

Rail service to move the bumper crop of 1913 was of great assistance to the pioneers. Earlier crops had been used for feed and seed, but by 1913 another outlet was needed for the surplus and to bring cash into the community.

The first carload of wheat was shipped by AlbertMaynes of Wildunn, and was loaded at the tracks during the last week of 1912. The first shipment of coal went from the Brown Mine north of Hanna, The car contained 30 tons of high grade lignite coal and went to Alsask.

As yet there were no CNR buildings and cars were loaded at the tracks. By the end of 1912 promises were received that the CN station and freight sheds would be started as soon as the crews were finished at Youngstown.

Almost as soon as the village was organized there were rumors of railway development. The Hanna Herald of January 2, 1913 reported that railway crews were working toward Hanna from the south. It was speculated that the Canadian Pacific and Grand Trunk Pacific railways would use Hanna as a hub for transportation activities. In February 1913 the Herald published a map indicating seven railway lines leading to and from Hanna. In March 1913 it was confirmed that Hanna would become a divisional point and a major repair depot with shops and roundhouse to be built. It was also announced that CN would build a line from Medicine Hat to Hanna. In 1915 the line was started but the war, drought and depression soon came into play and the line was built as far south as Wardlow on the Red Deer River and stopped. For decades the abandoned piers of the proposed bridge could be seen near Steveville. The Hanna-Steveville line became known as the Peavine and was eventually abandoned in the 1970's.

In March 1913 crews finished the track from Hanna to Munson the final link in the Calgary-Saskatoon line. When the rail was completed a large number of mules were advertised for sale in the Hanna Herald. The animals had been used to pull the slips, drags and gypos during railway construction and were no longer needed in this area by their owner Alex Falconer.

On April 14 the steel was completed to Munson though still lacking the required amount of ballast. The first freight car west went through Hanna on April 16 and was consigned to Crown Lumber at Highland which is now Delia. On May 15 A. Lindstrom put his team to work digging the basement for the CN station. May 26 brought a new rumor that a rail line would join Hanna and Castor.

Text courtesy of The Hanna Herald