NAR station crosses tracks to new home

The Falher NAR Station being was transported to McLennan from Falher on Oct. 29.

Tom Henihan
South Peace News

On Nov. 1, 2018, the Town of Falher presented the keys to the Falher NAR Railway Station building to the Northern Alberta Railway and Historical Museum Society [NARHM] with the understanding that NARHM would move the building to its site in McLennan.

On Oct. 29, 2019, almost a year to the day since taking the keys, NARHM finally took on the formidable task of moving the building, from the north side of Highway 49 at the entrance to Falher, to the McLennan site across from the hospital on Highway 2.

As the NARHM society is committed to preserving the history of the Northern Alberta Railway, the Falher NAR building is a valuable addition to the museum both in the practical terms of providing more space for its artifacts and exhibits, and as an authentic and attractive example of a period railway station.

The plan is to move all the NARHM exhibits to the NAR, which will also free additional space for the Kimiwan Lake Birdwalk Interpretative Centre. The railway museum currently uses a portion of the interpretative centre to house and display its exhibits.

Smoky River Tourism Society will again operate from the building at its new location and with a large parking area, will make the site accessible for visitors to the Railway Museum, Tourism Office and Birdwalk.

Since NARHM took possession of the railway stations keys, the intervening 12 months has been a demanding round planning and organizing, such as preparing the McLennan site and laying the foundation where the building now rests.

The past year was also a relentless campaign of raising money through sales of the NARHM historic DVD, soliciting donations and submitting grant applications.

The commitment of the NARHM society members has brought the project to full realization, with the Falher NAR station now situated at McLennan.

The hauling of the NAR building, carried out by R.E.K. Contracting in Girouxville, was well coordinated with the power crews ensuring that lines were raised along route from Falher to McLennan.

A team of approximately 15 people worked to transport the NAR building the 20 km to McLennan, a formidable task that took just under two hours and went off without incident.

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