Apr 11, 2012

Train Station in Medicine Hat

Constructed in 1906, and doubled in size during an upgrade in 1911/12, the Canadian Pacific Railway station in Medicine Hat, Alberta has long been a prominent landmark in the city. I think it was in 1990, when I was 6 years old, that my family took us on one of the last passenger trains from Medicine Hat to Calgary. Passenger train service in much of Western Canada is now non-existent, although there are a few exceptions. 

This historic station is now used as offices for CP Rail. It gained designation and protection as a Heritage Railway Station by the federal government in 1991, but I don't have much of an idea of what the interior is like anymore. It's always been an attractive building though. Pronounced gables, sloping eaves, and locally produced red brick make it a highlight of Medicine Hat's core.

As a kid I had a model station for my train set that resembled this popular early 20th century style. It's one more reason this building has always been so iconic in my eyes. I can't help but wonder what a flurry of activity there must have been every time a train rolled into town, especially back in those early years when the railway truly was the lifeline for the community.  

Medicine Hat from the tracks ca. 1912

King George VI and Queen Elizabeth at the Medicine Hat train station during their cross-country tour in 1939.

Another postcard of the station from the early 1910s.


Joe Stalin said...

Too bad you couldn't get some interior shots.

Editing Luke said...

Yes, unfortunately CP turned down my request to photograph the interior. Although I'm not sure it's as compelling as my imagination hopes - it's been used as offices for over 20 years now, and looking through the windows it looks pretty standard.