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Grouped Material: View Maps - Alberta Railway and Coal Company, Lethbridge Alberta circa 1890
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Chronology of Southwestern Alberta Railways 1882–1912

1882April 25 Incorporation of North Western Coal & Navigation Company in Great Britain.
1884April 19 Company was incorporated in Canada.
1884April 19 Incorporation of Alberta Railway & Coal Company.
1885October 19 NWC&NC opens railway from Dunmore Jct. to Coalbanks (Lethbridge). 3'0" gauge.
1889October 2 Great Falls & Canada Railway Company incorporated in the United States as a subsidiary of the Alberta Railway and Coal Company.
1889December 31 NWC&NC leased to AR&CC with option to purchase before December 31, 1891.
1890April 2 GF&CR opened for service Sweetgrass to Shelby, Montana. 3'0" gauge.
1890October 1 AR&CC completed line from Montana Jct. to Coutts and connection with GF&CR 3'0" gauge.
1890December 8 AR&CC Montana Jct.-Coutts line opened for service, and GF&CR line opened to Shelby to Willard (approx. 1 mile west of Great Falls). Opened to Great Falls 1895. 3'0" gauge.
1891FebruaryAR&CC exercises option purchasing NWC&NC with transaction retroactive to December 31, 1889.
1893November 27 Lethbridge to Dunmore Jct. section leased to Canadian Pacific Railway Company. Subsequently gauge between Montana Jct. and Dunmore Jct. changed from 3'0" to 4'8.5". Third rail for standard gauge trains laid between Montana Jct. and Lethbridge.
1897December 31 Lethbridge-Dunmore Jct. section sold outright to Canadian Pacific Railway Company. AR&CC retains running rights into Lethbridge on double-gauge section from Montana Jct.
1900June 14 Incorporation of St. Mary’s River Railway Company, a “paper” subsidiary of Alberta Railway and Coal Company.
1900November 28 St.MRRC opened for traffic Stirling-Spring Coulee.
1901August 1 AR&CC sells GF&CR to Montana Great Northern Railway Company, a subsidiary of Great Northern Railway Company.
1902March 10 Preparation begun for standard gauging of GF&CR between Sweetgrass and Great Falls. Work completed late in 1902.
1903January 1 Inauguration of standard gauge operation between Lethbridge and Great Falls over AR&CC and GF&CR (MGNR). Third rail retained for St.MRRC trains between Stirling and Montana Jct. (also Lethbridge).
1903January 4 GF&CRC sold by MGNRC to its parent, Great Northern Railway Co.
1903St.MRRC extends narrow gauge line from Spring Coulee to Cardston and builds branch line from Raley to Kimball
1904June 6 Alberta Railway and Irrigation Company formed from combined Alberta Railway and Coal Company, St. Mary’s River Railway Company and Canadian North West Irrigation Company.
1906Third standard gauge rail laid to Cardston and Woolford.
1907Woolford to Kimball abandoned.
1909Raley to Woolford abandoned. Last narrow gauge train ran into Lethbridge, July 1909. (Kimball branch roadbed was retained and about 8 miles of it built upon again by Canadian Pacific Railway Company in constructing Woolford Subdivision, from Raley to Whisky Gap in 1929.)
1912January 1AR&IC leased to Canadian Pacific Railway Company for 999 years. Operation of railway by CPR assumed June 2, 1912.
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Source:Reprinted with permission from O. Lavellée, Narrow Gauge Railways in Canada (Montreal: Railfare Enterprises, 1972). Abbreviations altered to conform with The Atlas of Alberta Railways abbreviations list.