Northern Alberta Railways

The Northern Alberta Railways (NAR) used to operate in Alberta (and in a bit of a British Columbia). It was a sprawling railway, covering a total of 923 miles in 1976.

Map of Northern Alberta Railways in 1976
Map of Northern Alberta Railways in 1976

The NAR was formed from a few older railways – the Edmonton, Dunvegan and British Columbia Railway, the Alberta and Great Waterways Railway, and the Central Canada Railway – in 1928, and it became a federally chartered railway in March 1929. It was sold to CN and CP, who owned and operated it jointly.

Northern Alberta Railways diesels
NAR 302. Photo by David Othen.

CN purchased CP’s share of the NAR on January 1, 1981 and the NAR became part of CN’s network. The Northern Alberta Railways identity disappeared and the NAR yards in shops in Edmonton were demolished in favour of CN’s existing Walker yard.

Several portions of the NAR were sold to short lines in the late 1990s, and most were subsequently re-acquired by CN.

There are several books on the Northern Alberta Railways.

NAR Blog Posts

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