Restoration of train station continues in Beiseker
Renovations of the historic train station in the Village of Beiseker are underway.
The Alberta 2005 Centennial Railway Museum Society (RMS) has begun the next phase of the recently acquired historic train station, but it’s going to take work according to Fred Walters, Beiseker councillor and member of RMS, the organization responsible for the move.
“It’s 101 years old (and) it’s starting to show,” said Walters of the historic station. “It’s wear and tear.”
Individuals from the volunteer society have started renovations on the 162-foot by 31-foot station, which will be transformed into a museum after being moved 156 kilometres from Bassano to the west side of Beiseker on July 19.
“We have to straighten the walls and the foundation first before we can do anything else,” he said, adding that the walls and foundations can only be moved about half an inch per day.
According to Walters, this phase of the renovations will likely be completed within a week or two.
Straightening the walls and foundation is only part of the group’s restoration plans.
Other renovations include adding handicapped washrooms, a new roof, display areas inside the building and painting both the inside and outside of the building.
After the walls and foundation are straightened out, Walters said the group will move the station onto the foundation.
The museum should be up and running by next spring, said Walters.
While Walters is unsure of the total costs involved to fix up the station, he said it cost $400,000 to move the station to Beiseker. Those funds were raised in the community and through provincial and federal government grants.
“I would probably say (renovations will be) another $200,000,” he said, adding RMS is working on getting more provincial and federal grants to help cover costs.
Walters said Beiseker tourism will benefit from the investment into the new museum.
“Hopefully once we get it up and running we will get bus tours,” he said. “They go to Drumheller anyway, and we’re right on the road to Drumheller.”