The Station

The Train Station was originally built in the summer of 1890 by the Alberta Railway & Coal Company/Great Falls & Canada Railway, operated by a consortium of investors led by Sir Alexander Galt and his son Elliott Galt. They operated a narrow gauge railway line that ran from Lethbridge to Great Falls, transporting coal to new markets and bringing new settlers to the Canadian West.

Straddling the Canada – United States border from October 1890 to September 1916, it is the only existing example of this kind of structure left in Western Canada. The International Border ran through the waiting/dining room. The Telegrapher and Station Agent worked in the center section, arranging shipment in Bond to proceed from Coutts, Northwest Territories (pre-Alberta) to Sweetgrass, Montana, and vice-versa. It was one of only two “Lunch Stations” along the railway line – the other lunch station was at Shelby, Montana. The Great Falls & Canada Railway was sold to Great Northern Railway in August 1901, which operated the American portion of the track. The Alberta Railway & Coal (later Alberta Railway & Irrigation Company) was acquired by CPR in June 1912, which continued to operate the Train Station jointly with Great Northern Railway. In September 1916, the Train Station was “cut in two” and the northern portion was moved across the border into Coutts, where it continued to be used by CPR until its closing in the late 1980s.

In 2000 the Train Station was donated to the Great Canadian Plains Railway Society from CPR and moved to a 35-acre site, 1 km north of the Village of Stirling, where it has been completely restored back to its original glory.