Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Bassano Station Gong Show!

photo courtesy of the Rocky View Weekly
I've just finished reading the article in last week's Rocky View Weekly about the Beiseker railway museum

First, I will compliment former Village councillor Fred Walters who seems to be holding this project together single handedly, through all the troubles it has faced.  Thank you Fred, your effort and dedication are appreciated!

It looks to me that the well-intentioned railway museum was the victim of con-artists, and fraud!   By my math, the museum group is out around $155,000 or more because some folks took their money under false pretences!  They'd be in a worse situation if Mammoet Canada hadn't helped them out.  Everyone involved should thank Mammoet from the bottom of their hearts!

And what's this about the walls of the new foundation falling in?  What kind of a builder doesn't do soil testing to make sure he's working on firm ground?  This project appears to be lurching for one catastrophe to the next.  Village council has attempted to contact the full executive of the museum to no avail.  Village council needs to talk to them, very soon!

In my opinion the project has progressed too far to stop now, but how do we progress?   Railway museums are a great tourist attraction, but how do we get this project from where it is to a functioning museum?   I do not want this building (the world's largest pigeon roost) to sit up on those beams through another year! 

The rest of the railway museum folks need to step up and help Fred through this mess, and soon!


  1. It almost appears as though Fred Walters is the sole remaining person involved with this museum project. Is their society still registered?

    While the project has progressed quite a bit already, it may end up being abandoned all the same, due to a lack of interest. What sort of contingency would there be in that event? It would be a shame to have this collection fall further into disrepair and become a more serious eyesore, right in the middle of the village.

  2. Fred keeps referring to a "society" in the Rocky View Weekly interview so we must assume that it is a registered society. Any contingency plan would have to be drawn up by that society and Alberta TrailNet who were given the land on which the museum sits. The Village of Beiseker has nothing to do with it except that we issue the building and development permits and the structure and collection in its present state and location contravenes a number of village bylaws!

    1. If the society's executive is as hard to get ahold of as you say, one must assume that it's inactive - or at least, lacking in members.

      But if the society were to dissolve or go kaput, what then? That seems to be the direction they're going. Would the village have to try and recover the site - or would Alberta TrailNet be left to clean it up?

    2. The Village office is still trying to contact the Railway Museum's executive. We have also contacted Alberta TrailNet. We (The Village of Beiseker) will try to help the museum get itself going in any way except financially! We cannot afford to support the museum with an injection of cash! As far as recovering the site goes, we're in a holding pattern at the moment. Stay tuned.