Biggar railway station


Biggar railway station

Infobox Station
name=Biggar Railway Station
type=VIA Rail (inter-city rail)


image_size=
image_caption=
address=Intersection of Main Street and First Avenue
coordinates=coord|52|3|13|N|107|59|11|W|type:railwaystation_region:CA-SK|display=title
line="Canadian"
other=
structure=
platform=1
depth=
levels=1
tracks=1
parking=yes
bicycle=
baggage_check=no
passengers=
pass_year=
pass_percent=
pass_system=
opened=1910
closed=
rebuilt=
electrified=
ADA=
code=
owned=
zone=
former=
services=
mpassengers=

The Biggar Railway Station is a heritage railway station operated by VIA Rail located in the town of Biggar, Saskatchewan.

History

Biggar received its first railway service in 1907 when the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) built a branch line through the area. The Grand Trunk Pacific Railway (GTP) transcontinental railway project was built through Biggar the following year in 1908 and the GTP designated the town as a division point on the main line between the railway's eastern terminus at Winnipeg, Manitoba and the railway's western terminus at Prince Rupert, British Columbia.

The town was named in honour of William Hodgins Biggar, who was the railway company's General Counsel. [Citation
last =Celebrating Saskatchewan
first =Saskatchewan History. Vol. XVIII, No. 3, Autumn 1965.
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Sask 2005 New Home Template
date =2004-2005.
year =
url =http://www.sask2005.ca/facts/skfactsresults.asp?ID=470
accessdate = 2007-04-22
]

The station building was constructed by the GTP in 1909 and opened in 1910. It was one of the largest GTP stations in western Canada and featured a 24 hour/day restaurant for passengers and railway employees. [Citation
last = Sharma
first =Harrish
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Canadian Civic Centres
date =
year =
url =http://www.soscanada2000.com/entertainment/civichistoric/priedwis.html
accessdate = 2007-04-22
[Citation
last =Cory Toth -
first =Encyclopedia Of Saskatchewan
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Biggar
date =
year =
url =http://esask.uregina.ca/entry/biggar.html
accessdate = 2007-04-22
]

In 1920, the bankrupt GTP system was nationalized by the Government of Canada and it was merged into the Canadian National Railways (CNR), a federal Crown corporation. Under CNR, later shortened to CN or CN Rail, the Biggar Railway Station saw continued use as a station stop for that company's premier transcontinental passenger train, the "Super Continental".

In 1978, CN transferred its passenger railway service to VIA Rail, a new federal Crown corporation dedicated exclusively to operating Canada's passenger trains. In 1981, VIA Rail budget cuts saw the "Super Continental" discontinued, thus Biggar lost its passenger service, however this returned in 1985 when the VIA Rail budget cuts to the "Super Continental" were reversed.

In 1990, further budget cuts to VIA Rail saw the "Super Continental" cut once again, however the "Canadian" which had run on the Canadian Pacific Railway in southern Saskatchewan from Winnipeg via Regina to Calgary, Alberta and on to Vancouver, British Columbia, was shifted to the more northerly CN line running through Biggar.

On Heritage Day, 19 February 1996, Sheila Copps, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Canadian Heritage designated the Biggar Railway Station as a National Historic Site of Canada and received legislative protection to prevent demolition or alteration. [Citation
last =
first =Department of Canadian Heritage
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Minister Copps Announces Designations of National, Historic ...
date =1996-02-19
year =
url =http://www.pch.gc.ca/newsroom/index_e.cfm?fuseaction=displayDocument&DocIDCd=6NR023
accessdate =
]

The citation reads as follows:

Quotation|Planned at the beginning of the 20th century as a transcontinental line to rival the Canadian Pacific, the Grand Trunk Pacific was beset by managerial and financial troubles which prevented its profitable operation and it became part of the Canadian National Railways in 1920. The railway played a significant role in the development of the western provinces and many settlements such as Biggar, grew up from stations along the line. Its station buildings, like the Biggar example, remain a distinctive contribution to Canada's architectural heritage.|Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada [Citation
last =Adamson
first =J
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Saskatoon Gen Web Project - Biggar Photographs Biggar World August 19, 1909: Biggars First Citizens Biographies
date =03-Mar-2002
year =
url =
accessdate = 2007-04-22
] [Citation
last =M. J. Camp,
first = Railroad Station Historical Society, Inc.
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Extant Saskatchewan Railroad/Railway Structures
date =
year =
url =http://www.rrshs.org/Sask./saskrrstruc.htm
accessdate = 2007-04-22
]

Current use

The Biggar Railway Station is a station stop used by VIA Rail's "Canadian" transcontinental passenger train service. Trains stop 3 days/week in each direction.

Biggar is the first stop for the westbound "Canadian" after departing Saskatoon 1 hour earlier to the east. Edmonton is approximately 5 hours by train to the west.

Biggar continues to be a division point for Canadian National Railway (CN) in its freight service. [Citation
last =
first =
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Snow Train to Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada - Train Schedule
date =
year =
url =http://www.snowtraintojasper.com/schedule.html
accessdate = 2007-04-22
] [Citation
last =
first =Government of Saskatchewan
author-link =
last2 =
first2 =
author2-link =
title =Biggar Geography Town of Biggar is located 93 kilometres (km ...
date =
year =2004
url =http://www.saskbiz.ca/communityprofiles/CommunityProfile.Asp?CommunityID=225
accessdate =
]

Footnotes

External links

*VIA Station|BIGG
* [http://www.rootsweb.com/~sksaskat/biggar/photo-index.html Saskatoon Gen Web Project - Biggar World: Biggar's First Citizens Biographies]
* [http://www.pc.gc.ca/clmhc-hsmbc/gfp-hrs/sk_E.asp Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada - Heritage Railway Stations]


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