Thursday, 29 May 2014

Aspen Crossing: A Train Haven Somewhere In Alberta

How many of you have heard of Mossleigh, Alberta? Some of you probably have. Did you know that just outside of Mossleigh, there is a garden centre with a variety of railroad stock, mostly cabooses(cabeese)? Probably not. This place is called Aspen Crossing. Yep. Its a neat little area, with a campground just nearby with so-called 'Caboose Cabins'. Aspen Crossing was originally built as a garden centre, but soon after, the place started adding some railcars to the property.

Remaining Pioneer grain elevators in Mossleigh along the CP Lomond Sub

ex-CP 434059

Today, the place owns 12 railroad stock. 5 cabooses, 3 boxcars, 1 bunk car, 1 snowplow, 1 GE 45-ton diesel, and 1 1887 Pullman Official Dining Car, built originally for Southern Pacific(SP 27 - San Mateo). CN owned it afterwards, giving it three different numbers in its service time(57, 85:2, 64:2). Before it was bought by Aspen Crossing, it served as the Sidetrack Café in Edmonton named Cowley. Now, its named Aspen and is used as a restaurant. Reservations should be made.

On to the cabooses. Out of the 5, they own 1 US-built caboose, and 4 CP-Angus built cabooses, two being rebuilt Angus vans. One of the vans, 434479 was in good enough shape to have people walk in and it out. Right away, you could tell it was all original from its date built(11/1974). The cupola however, didnt look very inviting, so I stayed on the main level. Other than that, the experience was amazing!

Inside CP caboose 434479

The other Angus van was CP 434395. It was sitting between the caboose cabins in the campground. It was in horrible shape, probably untouched since its 2011 retirement. The windows were shattered, it was rusting a lot, and just wasnt looking good at all. It was blocked off, so nobody could step foot on it. I snapped a couple pictures of it.

CP 434395

Some of the other stock owned is on the nearby rail line, the CP Lomond Sub. CP had the line for sale since 2002, and had close to no trains running it, mostly because the line is in much need of maintenance. Aspen Crossing has plans to change that. They are planning to buy a huge portion of the line and run a tour train on it.

Planning a trip past Mossleigh, Alberta? Maybe plan a stop here to rest and relax near trains!

Pictures were taken May 24, 2014.

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