Rails to Trails fundraising tops $550K | DrumhellerMail
05222024Wed
Last updateTue, 21 May 2024 12am

Rails to Trails fundraising tops $550K

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Members of Drumheller Town Council, and representatives from the Town’s Public Works and Administrative departments officially cut the ribbon on what would be- come the Rails to Trails project to convert former CN Rail right of way throughout the community into walking trails in July 2022. Since then, the Rails to Trails Fundraising Task Force has managed to raise more than $550,000 towards the project.

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Drumheller’s Rails to Trails fundraising campaign has wrapped up having raised just over a half million dollars.

In April 2022, the Town secured a 25 year lease, at a cost of one dollar per year, from CN Rail to convert the railway bed into an active transportation system throughout the Valley for residents and visitors.

The 12 kilometre trail will have stops and stations along the way, all railway-themed, these will be equipped with benches picnic areas shade structures and bike stations.

The work first started with connecting downtown to 19 Street East, near the Walmart. Crews are now working on the train bridge that connects Newcastle to Midland. The concrete blocks used to stabilize the bridge at times of high water have recently been removed and the work on restoring the deck has begun.

“The Town secured the line but there is a contingency that CN has the opportunity to take the line back and use it for rail if they need to, but the odds of that happening are pretty slim,” Chairman of the project,, Jason Blanke tells the Mail. “We have raised over $557,000 for the project through sponsorship of bridges, stations and stops along the line. It was way more than we expected to receive. We are so happy and thankful to the community for stepping up to help out.”

Alongside Blanke, there has been a task force of a number of people involved in the project. Mayor Heather Colberg, Councillors Crystal Sereda and Patrick Kolafa, Lana Phillips, Courtney Bell, Barb Lubinski, Becky Kowalchuk, Tyler Eddy, Josh Bhikoo and Madison Colberg, have all worked effortlessly together to bring this project to fruition.

“Thank you to the committee and the community for being a part of this great contribution towards active living,” Councillor Sereda, and the Treasurer/Secretary of the Committee expresses. “This is really going to connect the Drumheller Valley!”

During this summer and fall, people will see a lot of change happening along the railway. There is no timeline set but the work is hoped to be completed this year to at least make it usable from the Royal Tyrrell Museum to Rosedale, there the network will connect to pathways to the Swinging Bridge and east to the Hoodoos.


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