News and views from beautiful downtown Beiseker, Alberta.
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Future of the Bassano Station
Beiseker Village Council is most concerned about the Bassano Station building, which sits on huge moving beams on the former CPR trackway next to First Avenue here in town. We have watched the project stumble and sputter along for years now.
Although the Village has no connection to it - and no taxpayer money has been spent on it - I think the incomplete project reflects badly on the village as a whole.
Almost ten years ago, the Alberta Centennial Railway Museum approached Alberta Trail Net to lease a large section of the old CPR right-of-way, which passes through the Village of Beiseker. They needed the land to build their railway museum complex. The Provincial government had promised them millions of dollars to build the museum if they found a suitable location.
They were all set to start building their museum complex when then Premier Ralph Klein cancelled all Centennial building projects in the province, including theirs. This came as a serious blow to the museum society but they decided to struggle on.
They moved much of their rolling stock and a locomotive to the site and applied for other grants. A large international heavy-lift and moving company did much of the moving for them free! That same company finally moved the Bassano building here free of charge, as well!
Council would like to know what the museum's plans are for the future of the building. I understand that the building will be placed on its new foundation soon - but what then? A funtioning rail museum here in Beiseker would be a large draw of railway buffs and tourists from all over. Council is anxious to see this project completed.