19760234045 | St. Mary's railway station located near the confluence of the Oldman and St. Mary's Rivers, AB
St. Mary's railway station located near the confluence of the Oldman and St. Mary's Rivers, AB
Silver salts on paper
11.8 x 15.3 cm
This artefact belongs to : © Sir Alexander Galt Museum and Archives
Keys to History
For the next twelve years, the narrow-gauge railways built by the Galt companies struggled to overcome the difficulties of a limited market. The Montana market never developed according to expectations, and the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) was able to continue to keep down the price they paid for Galt coal. In 1900, after the irrigation canal from the St. Mary's River to Lethbridge was finished, another narrow-gauge line was constructed. Named the St. Mary River Railway, this line went south from Stirling to Cardston via Magrath and Raymond, with a spur line to Kimball. The St. Mary River Railway was intended to serve the Mormon settlers in southern Alberta, as well as the settlers who would buy the newly irrigated land south of Lethbridge.
St. Mary's railway station was located near the confluence of the Oldman and St. Mary's rivers. (undated photograph)
The St. Mary River Railway was marked by three large wooden trestle bridges. One crossed Pothole Creek between Raymond and Magrath, and the second crossed Pinepound Creek just west of Spring Coulee. The third bridge crossed the divided channel of the St. Mary River just east of Cardston.
Finished in 1902, the St. Mary River Railway was converted to standard gauge just a few years later. All of the Galt lines had been converted to standard gauge by 1909.
Built by the Galt companies, the St. Mary River Railway was 99.8 km long, including the spur to Kimball.