|Take an Alberta Break... visit Lethbridge!|
Lethbridge OverviewThe city is split by the Old Man River, which runs north-south. The main highway through the city is #3 which comes from the west from Fort MacLeod and the Crowsnest Pass, and continues east past the city toward Coaldale, Taber etc. and eventually to Medicine Hat. The other major highway is #4 which heads southeast from Lethbridge through Stirling, Warner and Milk River to the border with Montana.
|Lethbridge area rail map|
- CP Crowsnest subdivision - Crowsnest to (Kipp Yard outside) Lethbridge, mostly along highway 3.
- CP Montana subdivision - Lethbridge down to Montana, mostly paralleled by highway 4.
- CP Taber subdivision - Lethbridge (Kipp Yard) to Medicine Hat
- CP Aldersyde subdivision - Lethbridge to Calgary (Alyth Yard)
Here are some railfan "hot spots" in and around Lethbridge.
|View of the Kipp Yard from the overpass|
The yard itself is of course off limits, but it is somewhat visible from highway 3 which runs parallel to the yard. There is an overpass over the southeast end of the yard which is a great spot to photograph trains from, and it is easily accessible from the highway. Range Road 225 runs parallel to the yard on the north side of the yard and provides some limited views into the yard.
Just north of the yard, the CP Aldersyde subdivision splits off and heads north.
The High Level Bridge
|Canpotex potash cars on the High Level Bridge in Lethbridge, AB|
There are several angles to photograph the bridge from. You can get quite close to it on the Heritage Heights (northwest) end. There are plenty of paths in the valley below where you can get a side view of it, and the view from the oddly-named Whoop-Up Drive is quite good.
Obviously, trespassing is a bad idea and never, never go on the bridge.
|Railway tracks inside Lethbridge|
Inside LethbridgeRailfanning inside Lethbridge itself is a bit more challenging. The majority of the main line through Lethbridge is not very accessible and there are only a few spots that are worth visiting. Parking can be a challenge, too.
There's one overpass at Stafford Drive that gives a good view down the tracks in either direction. The rest of the rail/road crossings are vehicle underpasses so you don't get any good views. There is one pedestrian overpass near 17th Street that has a decent view, although you have to work around a fence.
|View from the pedestrian overpass, facing west. Parrish and Heimbecker elevator visible.|
The CP Montana subdivision splits off from the main line by the elevator and heads southeast out of town. I did shoot at this location and it works OK. There is one level crossing on the Montana sub in town at 43rd Street South.
East of the crossings mentioned above, the main line track is buried between industries and you can't see much from public property. There is one turnabout at the intersection of 1st Avenue South and 36th Street South where you can see the track.
After that, there's the busy 43rd Street North crossing (not recommended) then you're out of Lethbridge. Between Lethbridge and Coaldale, the track parallels highway 3 and there are numerous opportunities to photograph trains there.
The major industrial rail customers in Lethbridge are:
- Richardson Pioneer, 2415 2A Ave N - has own trackmobiles
- Alberta Terminals, 2620 2nd Ave N
- Ring Container, 1820 31 St N
- ADM Alliance Nutrition, 1310 41 St N
- Parrish and Heimbecker, 1301 2 Ave S - has own trackmobile
|Alberta Terminals elevator|
|CP 3051 working the industrial tracks in Lethbridge|
Other Railway Attractions
|CP 3651 in Lethbridge|
You can visit the Galt Historic Railway Park in Stirling, not far out of Lethbridge on highway 4.
The new Forty Mile Railway shortline is near the Galt park - read more!