Railroader’s reunion features designation of Hanna’s historic roundhouse

19905899910_399c368601_zThe designation of the historic Canadian Northern Railway roundhouse as a Provincial Historic Resource will be showcased during the Railroader’s Reunion in Hanna, August 7 to 9.

Railroaders and railfans from across Alberta and Canada will take part in festivities hosted at the century-old roundhouse. The official unveiling of the designation will take place on August 8.

“The conservation of local heritage landmarks like the Canadian Northern Railway Roundhouse helps to preserve our past while creating new opportunities for the future. Thanks to the dedication and commitment of members of the Hanna Roundhouse Society, this amazing site will continue as a source of local pride and a destination for railway enthusiasts from across Alberta and beyond.”

David Eggen, Minister of Culture and Tourism

“We are so pleased the provincial government approved our application for historical designation of this iconic building, turntable and water tower foundation. It will serve as a reminder to those in the Hanna region and throughout the province of the huge influence the railroad had settling and developing Alberta and Western Canada. This is one of the last original Canadian Northern sites complete with roundhouse and turntable in Western Canada, and we in Hanna have the honour of preserving this history for future generations.”

Sandra Beaudoin, President, Hanna Roundhouse Society

20067621716_90630356f5_zBuilt in 1913, the roundhouse was the central feature of the Canadian Northern Railway’s Hanna rail yard, one of the company’s key regional operations centres in the province. The fan-shaped roundhouse featured 10 stalls (later expanded to 15) where crews worked to maintain the steam and diesel engines, freight and passenger cars that brought newcomers and their wares to Alberta. The turntable allowed crews to turn the massive locomotives quickly in limited space. The roundhouse ceased operation in 1961.

The Hanna Roundhouse Society has led local efforts to conserve the roundhouse with support from the Alberta Historical Resources Foundation. Designated in June, the roundhouse is now one of more than 360 Provincial Historic Resources across the province.