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Key Number: HS 74423
Site Name: Rail Facility Station
Other Names:
Site Type: 0803 - Transportation - Rail Facility: Station


ATS Legal Description:
Twp Rge Mer
55 4 4

Town: Heinsburg
Near Town:


Type Number Date View


Plan Shape: Rectangular Long Facade
Storeys: Storeys: 1
Foundation: Basement/Foundation Wall Material: Concrete
Superstructure: Nailed Frame
Superstructure Cover:
Roof Structure: Medium Gable
Roof Cover:
Exterior Codes: Massing of Units: Single Detached
Wings: Front
Wall Design and Detail: None
Roof Trim - Eaves: Plain Soffit
Roof Trim Material - Eaves: Wood
Roof Trim - Verges: Plain Soffit
Roof Trim Material - Verges: Wood
Towers, Steeples and Domes: None
Dormer Type: None
Chimney Location - Side to Side: Unknown
Roof Trim - Special Features: None
Window - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Flat
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Material: Wood
Window - Sill Type: Plain Slip Sill
Window - Sill Material: Wood
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Window - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Window - Number of Sashes: One
Window - Opening Mechanism: Single or Double Hung
Window - Special Types: None
Window - Pane Arrangements: 2 over 2
Main Entrance - Location: Off-Centre (Facade)
Main Entrance - Structural Opening Shape: Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Head: Plain Flat
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Outside Structural Opening Material: Wood
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Head: Plain
Main Entrance - Trim Within Structural Opening - Sides: Plain
Main Entrance - Number of Leaves: 1
Main Entrance - Number of Panels Per Leaf: 1
Main Entrance - Leaves - Special Feature: Glass
Main Stairs - Location and Design: None
Main Porch - Type: Recess
Main Porch - Material: Concrete
Main Porch - Height: First Storey
Exterior: Pent-Extensions at gable ends; central gable dormer; Hip roofed extension to rear; cargo bumper guards
Interior: N/A
Environment: Located beside railway tracks away from central core of town.
Condition: Structure: Good Repair: Fair
Alterations: N/A


Construction: Construction Date:
Construction Started
Usage: Usage Date:
Railway Station
Owner: Owner Date:

Architect: N/A
Builder: N/A
Craftsman: N/A
History: Canadian National Railways Representative of Post world war II CN Station plans 4th class depot - 4A Station Plan 100-310 Built for an original cost of $18,555.
RESOURCE CNR Station and Water Tower
ADDRESS Heinsburg
BUILT 1928
DESIGNATION STATUS Registered Historic Resource


When the Grand Pacific Railway was extended from Lloydminster through Marwayne and Mundare towards Edmonton in 1908, lands north of the rail line were gradually opened up for homestead. By 1912, settlers were carving out farms north of the North Saskatchewan River near Frog Lake. The following year, a post office and store were established just across the river at a spot to be known as Heinsburg, named after a family of early settlers called Heins. In 1914, a ferry was installed.

Settlement north of the river remained sparse, until the early 1920s when the CN extended a branch line to St. Paul. In 1926, the track was extended to Elk Point, and two years later, to Heinsburg. Here, a station and two grain elevators were quickly erected while the post office was moved in to be adjacent to the station. During the early 1930s, the developing community boasted several stores: a livery barn, a blacksmith shop, a theatre/hall, a poolroom, and other facilities to serve the agricultural hinterland. Being located at the end of the steel, Heinsburg came to serve a relatively wide area including the Puskiakiwenin Indian Reserve and the Elizabeth and Fish Lake Settlements.

At the end of the steel at Heinsburg, about a quarter mile beyond the railway station, stood the CN water tower. During the middle part of the century, both facilities received heavy use, as supplies and equipment were brought in from Edmonton and agricultural produce shipped out. The railway also featured daily passenger service. With the demise of the steam locomotive during the 1960s, however, the water tower fell into disuse. Passenger travel also declined with the paving of Highway 41 and the completion of a bridge across the North Saskatchewan in 1963. During the late 1960s, passenger traffic was curtailed altogether. Improved travel also meant a decline in rail cargo, a phenomenon that was occurring throughout the West. By federal legislation, the Heinsburg line was guaranteed to operate until January 1, 1976. However, prognosis was that it would not survive long afterwards. On September 14, 1980, the last train departed Heinsburg, signaling the eventual desire of the community. However, a post office and several other buildings still remain. In 1983, the track was torn up.

The historical significance of the railway station and water tower in Heinsburg relate to the role of the community as a service center at the end of the Coronado Branch Line of the CN Railway during the middle part of the century. It served a vast area of agricultural, reserve and Metis settlement land to the north, west and south. Such railway stations were standard features of small town Alberta, of which many examples have survived. In its original location, structure and retention of the original tank and piping system, however, the water tower is unique to the province.
Description of Historic Place

The C.N.R. Station and Water Tower site includes 5.89 hectares of land situated in the Hamlet of Heinsburg, on the north bank of the North Saskatchewan River. Significant structures on the site include a late 1920s octagonal water tower and a one-storey, railway station built in 1950 according to an irregular compound plan and featuring asbestos shingle siding and panelled doors.

Heritage Value
The heritage value of the Canadian National Railway (C.N.R.) Station and Water Tower in Heinsburg lies in its connection to the development of settlement and railway infrastructure in east-central Alberta and in its example of typical railway constructions in the province.

The extension of the Grand Trunk Pacific (G.T.P.) Railway lines from Lloydminster west through Mundare and Marwayne in 1909 opened the area north of the tracks to settlement during the 1910s. A small community emerged at present-day Heinsburg, with a post office and store and a ferry for crossing to the south side of the North Saskatchewan River. Settlement grew rapidly in the late 1920s, following the establishment of Canadian National Railway train service at St. Paul and, later, Elk Point. The railway reached Heinsburg in 1928, sparking a sudden boom in the community. A railway station, water tower, and two grain elevators were built the year the railway arrived and Heinsburg became an end-of-rail service centre for vast areas of Euro-Canadian, Native, and Metis settlement to the north, west, and south. Between the 1930s and the 1950s, Heinsburg developed into a robust community, boasting numerous businesses and facilitating transport of passengers and cargo within a large region of east-central Alberta and Edmonton. With the replacement of steam locomotives by diesel trains in the 1960s, the water tower fell into disuse. During the succeeding decades, improved road infrastructure led to a sharp decline in passenger and freight transport by rail and by the early 1980s, the Heinsburg line was abandoned. The track was torn up in 1983.

The C.N.R. Station and Water Tower in Heinsburg illustrate two typical railway constructions in Alberta. The water tower, constructed in the late 1920s, represents a variation of a standard design commonly employed to construct these structures. Water towers were situated every 30-50 kilometres along early railway tracks in western Canada to service steam locomotives. The location of the tower on its original site, the presence of the original tank and piping system, and its high degree of integrity marks this structure as unique in the province. The station was built in 1950 to replace an earlier station that had served Heinsburg. It embodies the C.N.R.'s Fourth Class Depot 4A design, used by the company after World War Two.

Source: Alberta Community Development, Heritage Resource Management Branch (File: Des. 1694)

Character-defining Elements
The character-defining elements of the C.N.R. Station at Heinsburg include such features as:

- mass, form, and style;
- basic gable end roof with centre gable over ticket agent's office, medium hipped roof over kitchen, and gablet on freight room roof;
- bellcast eaves on trackside elevation;
- asbestos shingle siding and use of horizontal whaling timbers;
- panelled doors and special freight shed doors of solid rails and stiles with laminated tongue-in-groove panelling;
- fenestration pattern and style;
- interior layout;
- rafter system of freight room roof;
- original interior elements, including flooring.


Status: Status Date:
Designation Status: Designation Date:
(not assigned)

Record Information: Record Information Date:
S. Khanna 1993/10/28


Alberta Register of Historic Places:
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