By Jody MacPherson
Staff Writer
Fort McMurray Express, July 30, 1986

Newspaper clipping from Fort McMurray Express July 1986Canadian National Railways (CNR) can now get you to Edmonton the same day.

The railway has recently made a number of schedule changes to its service between McMurray and Edmonton.

CNR spokesperson Cathy Markoff says the service was changed because the company changed the nature of its operation.

“We basically did not have enough freight to offer two mixed runs a week,” says Markoff.

“The Muskeg Special” formerly ran twice a week between Fort McMurray and Lac La Biche and Edmonton.

The main train carried a mixture of passengers and freight, says Markoff.

With the new schedule, there is only one mixed run a week and one purely passenger train, she says.

This means that the passenger train leaves every Tuesday at noon from Fort McMurray, and arrives in Edmonton at 9 p.m. The mixed train leaves every Friday at 11 a.m. and arrives in Edmonton at 9:45 p.m.

“Passengers no longer have to get off at Lac La Biche and spend the night in a hotel at their own costs,” says Markoff.

The train offers no sleeping car between Fort McMurray and Edmonton, she says.

Markoff says a study was conducted and a number of stops along the route were eliminated.

“They just weren’t being used enough, ” she says.

The train will no longer stop at Lynton, Draper, Quigley, Pingle, Leismer, Devenish, Behan, Pitlochrie, Tweedie and Barnegat, which are between here and Lac La Biche.

She says that no one lives at these stations and that they are just flag stops along the railway tracks.

Nine stops between Lac La Biche and Edmonton were also eliminated. The train will no longer stop at Venice, Hylo, Caslan, Ellscott, Alpen, Newbrook, Abee, Coronado and Duaugh.

Markoff says occasionally trappers would flag down the train at these stops but only four or five times every five years.

The changes had to be approved by the Canadian Transport Commission after a series of public hearings were held in Fort McMurray last fall.

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