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The Legend and an enlarged portion of the 1931 Provincial Highway Map (showing Main road through communities prior to the con­ struction of No. 10 Highway).


by Leona Gustafson

information by: the C.N. Railway, R.M. of Clan william, and Village records

At the turn of the century, the residents of the R.M. of Clanwilliam were excited about the proposed Railway line that was to be constructed in the area. By November 22, 1903, the Manitoba and Northwestern Railway had completed the tracks to the village of Clanwilliam and had regular train service running Tuesdays and Thur­ sdays. A Minnedosa Tribune news item; February 5, 1903 read, "A party of surveyors are busy surveying for the new railway which is going to run through the Scan­ dinavian colony." The Canadian Northern Railway completed the line through the Rural Municipality by 1904, to Rossburn by October 25, 1905, and to Russell by November 27, 1908.

The first record of train service to Erickson in the Canadian Northern Timetable folder was dated October 25, 1905. The telegraph line was built through Erickson in 1905, but Morse and Telephone equipment was not installed until 1908. Can you imagine the excitement of

the residents in the area? The whistle of the large steam locomotive was a welcome sound. Mail and supplies were now shipped directly to the area. New settlers arrived bringing their families, personal belongings, household effects, cattle, horses, and machinery. A new era had begun, much easier than for the persons who had previously made the long trip by horse drawn vehicle or walked after departing from the train at Minnedosa. In 1918, the Canadian Northern formed part of the Canadian National Railway.

The two stations in the Rural Municipality were: The Crocus Station, located on S.E. 3-17-18W, "now the Albert Sillen property", was built in the early 1920's, but didn't have an agent. Passengers, mail, freight such as cream-cans, etc., and empty cars for grain were left. and picked up at the station. Mail service began in August, 1923. In 1943, the mail service ceased at the Crocus station and was then changed to a Flag station. In 1944, the loading of grain cars was terminated, closing the station. The station and platform remained at the site until sometime after 1952. The Erickson Station was constructed in 1905, by the Canadian Northern Railway and in 1917, a new freight and passenger station was erected.

Watertank, first Railway Station, Section house and the Northern Elevator at Erickson.

In 1919, Edgar Neupert was the first station agent, followed by Tom McBratney in 1923. A third station with living quarters was erected in 1923, further south near the Railway Crossing in the unincorporated village.

Freight and passenger trains had increased in the early 1930's when the Riding Mountain National Park of­ ficially opened, also the unemployment camps, and in the early 1940's, the Prison Camp at White Water Lake.

Over the years, many carloads of pulpwood, grain and cattle have been hauled out of the area with machinery, cars, trucks, gas, fertilizer and other freight hauled into the area.

On October 8, 1959, the last passenger train came through the area ending a fifty-four year service. Several Erickson residents who were stranded in a snowstorm at Oakburn, boarded the train for the final run.

In 1973, signal lights were installed at No. 10 highway, south of the Village of Erickson. In 1975, the station was