‘Rails and Tales’ pulls out all stops for Canada’s 150th

Alberta Prairie and East Central Alberta Heritage provide once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Two of Alberta’s history keepers – Alberta Prairie Railway and East Central Alberta Heritage Society have come together to host Rails and Tales.

Looked upon as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, Albertans are getting an insight into the past, and are being “transported to the days of their forefathers.”

Rich Graydon, who is overseeing the event with a team of dedicated staff and volunteers, had a vision, which he has translated well.

“For Canada’s 150th, I thought it would be nice to do something locally, and since the Railways played such an important role in the area’s development that we decided to use it as a focal point for the event,” Graydon said. “That led to the idea of bringing in a second steam engine to help demonstrate how railways operated.”

According to Graydon, much of Western Canada was developed around the Railways as they proceeded to open up new territory for settlement.

“Towns were planned based on the range that locomotives could travel before needing fuel or water, and brought everything from produce to farm implements and mail to each community,” Graydon narrated. “The train station in a community was a hub of activity as a result and over Canada’s 150 years of history, the railways have served as the backbone of commerce and trade, without them we wouldn’t have developed to where we are now. So what better way to celebrate than through a railway trip that takes you back to the days of our forefathers!”

Rails and Tales is showcasing the Metis Heritage in Big Valley with a Metis camp complete with tent and tipi; there will be an operating display of steam and oil-powered farm equipment north of the station in Big Valley.

“But to add to all this attraction were the two RCAF CF-18 that did a flyby on Thursday at 7 p.m.,” Graydon added. “There will be a Canada Day parade at 11 a.m. on July 1, and the Village of Big Valley along with local volunteer groups will also be putting on petting zoo, penny carnival, ukulele club and an art show.”

Graydon’s role at the Alberta Prairie Railway is to conduct and be a part of customer relations.

“As a conductor, I put our trains together, conduct safety inspections, load and unload passengers and make sure the train gets safely to its destination,” Graydon added. “At the Alberta Prairie Railway we are all customer relations specialists, ensuring our passengers have a great experience, their needs are met and any issues are dealt with quickly and professionally.”

The event, which kickstarted on Wednesday, June 27, will be running till Monday, July 3.

“We are in charge of putting smiles on every passenger’s face,” Graydon commented. “Rails and Tales has been a great experience for me because I’ve met a lot of new people in the Stettler area and throughout the province; we have had help putting the project together by a dedicated core of volunteers supported by both local businesses and non-profit groups.”

Needless to say, both Stettler and Big Valley are abuzz about the event. As the second engine was hauled into Stettler by road last Thursday, June 22 from Edmonton, area residents stopped by and photographed.

“It’s been a great learning experience and I’d like to thank everyone involved for their support and hard work,” Graydon said. “Special thanks to the staff at Alberta Prairie Railway who have gone above and beyond to make this happen.”


Royal Canadian Air Force CF-18 Hornet. FILE PHOTO

A train carriage gets prepped for the Rails and Tales event this week. PHOTO BY MOUSH SARA JOHN

Alberta Prairie staff and volunteers get ready to unload the engine, which arrived in Stettler by road from Edmonton on Thursday afternoon, June 22. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Just Posted

Stettler and area youth jump into curling this winter

Junior Curling Program runs Monday nights in Stettler

Stettler secondhand charity looks for new home

Superfluity lease not being renewed; will move by Sept., 2018

First auction of 2018 has solid numbers: auction market

Stettler Auction Mart sees 700 head move through Jan. 9

Lars Callieou to entertain in Halkirk on Feb. 10

Volunteer appreciation supper held on Friday night

Outrage against hunting ‘pretty animals’

But its ok if they are ‘stupid and ugly’

Stettler and area youth jump into curling this winter

Junior Curling Program runs Monday nights in Stettler

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

John ‘Chick’ Webster, believed to be oldest living former NHL player, dies

Webster died Thursday at his home in Mattawa, Ont., where he had resided since 1969

Bad timing: Shutdown spoils Trump’s one-year festivities

Trump spends day trying to hash out a deal with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer

Provincial park no more

The province transferred Sylvan Lake Provincial Park to the Town yesterday

Most Read

Weekly delivery plus unlimited digital access for $50.40 for 52 issues (must live within 95 kilometers of Stettler) Unlimited Digital Access for one year for $50.40 Prefer to have us call you? Click here and we’ll get back to you within one business day.