GTPR Regina Boundary Branch Line

SE Saskatchewan, Canada

Grand Trunk Railroad

Note- The Hamlets, Villages, Towns, and Cities Listed below in SE Sask, will link to this page.

Hamlets, Villages and Towns on this Rail line: Regina-Boundary Branch Line, starting in Regina, heading SE:
Rowatt ; Estlin ; Gray ; Riceton ; Bechard ; Lewvan ; Colfax ; Cedoux ; ( Rainton, alt- Worcester ) ;
Talmage ; Brough ; Griffin ; Innes ; Huntoon ; Viewfield ; Benson ; ( Woodley , Alt Sander ) ;
Minard ; Lampman ; Breeze ; Steelman ; Deborah ; Frobisher ; Openshaw ; Souris River ; Elcott ;
Then ending at the border at Northgate Saskatchewan.

Originally these areas were located on the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad (GTPR), Incorporated Oct 24, 1903,
A Subsidiary of the Grand Trunk Railway, (GTR)

Referred to as the “GTPR Regina Boundary Branch Line”

Railroad built by Grand Trunk Pacific Branch Lines Company (GTPRBL)
Which completed the connection, to Prince Rupert BC, from Chicago IL, USA.
This Railroad connected at Northgate 1) SK.,
With a new branch line from Niobe, ND.,
Built by the Great Northern Railroad.

Feb 6, 1912
Seward T. St. John Secretary and General Manager
of the Transcontinental Townsite Company Ltd.,
located at 268 Portage Ave.
and also shown as 604 Sterling Bank Bldg., Winnipeg MB.,
who was in charge of the GTP Development Department,
announced the building of 15 new towns,
on the Regina Boundary Line.
A contract had been awarded to a Minnesota firm,
to build General Stores in various towns along the line.
They wanted to make sure the area the train went thru
would be well served and used by the settlers.
At this time Openshaw was still not a name chosen yet.
They had picked the following names:
Innes, Cedoux, Huntoon, Rainton (note later this became Worcester), Beliot, Sander (Later became Woodley), Minard, Breeze, Steelman and Deborah.
The Post Office required a name that was not the same as any other town in Canada at the time.

Trains #7 and #8, left Regina at 1pm, Mon, Wed, and Fri.
Arriving in Regina Tues. Thurs, and Sat. in 1914.
Times changed a little bit a few years later.

I remember travelling on Highway 18, between Hirsch and Frobisher, heading to Kenosee Lake in the early 1960's,
And crossing over these railroad tracks every trip.
June 2017, I made this same trip, and all the tracks are gone, and paved over.

1923 this all became part of the CNR
By Mar 20, 1915 The Transcontinental Townsite Co. Ltd. was in receivership
and Mr. St. John was hauling the books into court.

Seward Thaddeus St. John
b- Apr 20, 1865 in Eldora, Hardin Co., Iowa
d- ?
shown as a homesteader at Wilcox SK, 1901
also shown as Real Estate Agent there, when he was a shareholder in the Canadian Central Railway Company.
1900 living in Omaha City, Douglas Co., Nebraska, single
father- James McKie St. John, b- ca 1831 in NY
mother- Diantha Ellsworth, b- ca 1838, in PA
He married Stella Wilson, June 29, 1900
she was born in Roseland, Adams Co., Nebraska

Mar 17, 1913,
An article stated 600 men will be working on this line that summer.
Branch expected to be in operation end of 1913.
Steel was already laid for 106.9 miles to Hill Hall.
Grading was done as far as Frobisher, 136 miles from Regina.
and 90% of the grading was done to the border from there.

Saturday Sept 6, 1913
Government Railway Inspector, approved the line for use.
Vice President and General Manager of the GTPR,
Edson Joseph Chamberlin, was expected
the next Thursday or Friday to officially inspect the line.

Edson Joseph Chamberlin
b- Aug 25, 1852 Lancaster, New Hampshire, USA
d- Aug 27, 1924 in Pasadena CA
May 24, 1912 he became President of the Company
after Charles M. Hays died on the Titanic in 1912.
Sept 1917 he resigned, and remained as Director.
Howard G. Kelley moved up from Vice- to President.

Dec 4, 1913
A Grand Trunk Special train of Regina Business men
with train executives, were the first to travel on this line.

ca 1914
Mr. G. U. Ryley was Land Commissioner for the GTPR
They named a village in Alberta after him.
He was in Winnipeg at this time
but I believe he was from Ottawa, married
This was the guy that named all the towns/stations on this line

Found a 1926 article that stated Regina boundary branch in 1912 107.27 miles was built, then 1913, 46.94 miles
and in 1923, 2.00 miles on Lampman connections
abandoning 1.44 miles of old line.

Dec 26, 1946 2 CNR trains collided 50 miles SE of Regina at Talmage, killing J. G. Coutts, John Kerr, and Jack Scott. A Train running south to Northgate, smashed into the rear of a train sitting in the rail yard. Cause was a blizzard at the time, and smoke from the engine reducing visibility. The standing train had left Regina 2 hours before. Coroner's jury declared in an accident, with no blame.

Feb 1947- CNR Officials were considering using gunpowder to blast 15 ft hard packed snow drifts from the line, 120 miles SE of Regina.

2005 -CNR discontinued the Minard to Northgate spur line, claiming it wasn't used for 3 years prior to that.

GTP Telegraph Company Logo, 1916
Photo courtesy Grant Walker


Some old Newspaper Articles called it Northport
  • Last modified: 2018/01/07 12:03
  • by dlgent