A delegation from the Northern Alberta Railway and Historical Museum, (NARHM) attended the McLennan Town Council regular meeting on February 11.
The delegation, consisting of NAHRM’s president Julian Gervais and board member Pinto Rondeau, brought council up-to-date on the moving of the Falher Northern Albert Railway (NAR) Station building.
The NAR station, currently located on the north side of Highway 49 at the entrance to the Town of Falher, is to be relocated to the NARHM site on Highway 2 in McLennan.
The Town of Falher formally presented the keys to the NAR Railway Station building to NARHM in November 2018 with the understanding that NARHM incur the cost of moving the building.
The delegation had a positive progress report on the building project with most of the logistics, costs and layout of the Museum site tentatively in place.
The NARHM delegation presented council with a diagram of the proposed layout of the Railway Museum site and requested a letter from Council to okay access to the proposed new parking lot.
McLennan Council approved the placement of the railway station and the proposed parking lot.
While prep work on the museum site could commence in early spring, the moving of the building is slated for sometime in mid-July.
The plan is to move all the Museum exhibits to the Station House and free up additional space for the Birwalk, giving it an opportunity to expand its displays and programs.
In the process of hooking up water to the NAR station building, the NARHM plans to connect the Kimiwan Birdwalk Interpretive Centre to the new water line providing year-round water to the Birdwalk.
Presently, the Birdwalk must shut off its water lines in wintertime but this new development provides the option of using the Interpretive Centre building at anytime throughout the year.
Smoky River Tourism Society will also operate from the NAR building when it opens at the McLennan site.
An earlier estimate put the cost of moving the station building in the region of $100,000 when completed.
At the time the Town of Falher presented the keys to the NARHM, representatives from both the Falher and McLennan communities felt strongly that this is a positive development not only for the Railway Museum but also for the entire region.