DeWinton Station Garden Railway



Ol' Smoky train at parades and special functions

Ol' Smoky - with Barrie L. Roberts CEO and friends

2012-06-19 01.19.19

There goes Ol’ Smoky, off to Foremost Alberta. I decided to let Ol’ Smoky go as it is getting harder for me to keep up with the daily workload around here, I plan now to concentrate on my own railway projects and garden upgrades here with my partner Katharina. 

It has found a new home in Foremost Alberta with the Redcoat Rail Inc. group that are revitalizing a rail short line to transport goods on an abandoned or seldom used CP line to Stirling AB. Shipping goods and commodities to the mainline there to help revitalize their weakened economy. 

Ol’Smoky will be in the July 1st parades in Foremost, after some refurbishing and a fresh coating of paint.  After that I am sure it will be appreciated by yet another generation of youngsters, as it will be used more extensively by this group in their marketing campaigns hereon. I have mixed emotions about letting it go but have enjoyed it immensely while I could for about seven years.

Project sponsors

I would like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors of this project, without the generous assistance of these individuals and organizations it would, at times, be very difficult to continue with all of the complex aspects of DSGR. To provide  some of the materials and/or special services such as painting, powder coating, plus aluminum and steel welding. Advice and consultation solicited or otherwise is recognized as value added, to all my appreciation and gratitude!

Interior of Ol' Smoky's cab


Ol' Smoky on front lawn

  Ol' Smoky ATCO picnic

Carrying precious cargo at the ATCO company family picnic for employees.

ATCO family picnic

For the 2007 year I successfully completed two bookings, the first was to provide train rides with the engine and tender for ATCO Natural Gas employees and their children, at a company picnic.

For four hours the engine performed without any difficulty. As this was the first engagement we had not yet tested the trains’ capabilities and did have a last minute mechanical failure which forced a roadside alteration. Fortunately this did not cause a major delay, with the assistance of my son Troy we managed to (MacGuiver) bandage the problem well enough to continue on time and not disappoint any of the children. The day was well received by all and plans for a repeat performance were discussed.

Ol' Smoky  

Ol' Smoky in the Nanton Days Parade
Heritage Day 2007 for Nanton's 100 Year Anniversary


Nanton Days

The second commitment was to my friends Tony & Joan Scheiwiller at Ultimate Trains, whom have been very helpful to me and DeWinton Station. Tony did sponsor the amplified digital sound system that generates all of the real train sounds for Ol' Smoky, as well as to provide rain protection covers for the trailing cars. On this occasion I was able to complete the entire parade route for the annual Nanton Days celebrations and for the town of Nanton's 100 year anniversary. At one point I did created a little too much smoke from the stack and lived up to Ol' Smoky's name but no one complained and the day was an overall great success. We managed to secure a first place red ribbon for our efforts so I am satisfied with our performance as well.

Grey Cup Parade

Ol' Smoky at the 2009 Grey Cup Parade
Ol' Smoky at the Grey Cup Parade on November 28th, 2009

Ol' Smoky at the Parkland Summerfest
Ol' Smoky at the Parkland Summerfest on June 19, 2010

I will surely miss all the fun Ol' Smoky has provided to me and the good times it brought joy to the many children it carried at functions such as these mentioned and my Canada Day Open House events at DeWinton Station. There comes a time when you must make hard decisions in life, this was one that weighed heavy on my emotions.


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