CHTR - CNoS Open House at Big Valley
The Canadian Heartland Training Railway (CHTR) hosted over 250 guests at its open house held Saturday August 12 at Big Valley, maintaining an annual tradition of ensuring that a railway themed event is held each summer in the district. Visitors to the open house were provided with an opportunity to learn about the CHTR's railway educational programs, including an upcoming "conductor training program" that is being offered in conjunction with the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology, using rail facilities at Big Valley, Warden, and Stettler. Dave Armitage, General Manager of the CHTR remarked, "we were extremely pleased with the turn out and the genuine interest in the CHTR."
CHTR provided a locomotive for training and operational demonstration to the public, and CHTR representatives were on hand to discuss operational, safety, and training programs. Thanks to Don Gillespie at Alberta Prairie Railway Excursions, a dining car was available for some brief train rides and additional interpretation.
The event also provided a venue to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Operation Lifesaver - an industry-led program dedicated to public rail safety. Special 25th anniversary pins were handed out, and OL promotional material - including the Railway Association of Canada's most recent "Interchange" magazine featuring OL efforts - were provided.
Holding the event in the historic railway setting at Big Valley added to the day, with tours of the railway depot, roundhouse, grain elevator, and McAlisters Garage Museum being offered.