Historic Sites of Manitoba: Canadian National Railway Station (Piney, RM of Piney)
The Canadian Northern Railway station at Piney, on the Ridgeville Subdivision in the Rural Municipality of Piney, was active from 1906 to 1968. The railway arrived into the area in 1900, thanks to about 300 men who constructed it by hand using shovels, axes, and wheelbarrows. This line provided wood to Winnipeg and opened the area up for further development, running between South Junction, Emerson, Ridgeville, and past Piney. It was the first important competitor of the Canadian Pacific Railway, emerging as a major rail operation after 1901 and becoming a transcontinental railway system, later to become the Canadian National Railway. The station at Piney opened officially on 16 June 1907.
Of the 134 stations in Manitoba, Piney was one of 62 “Third-Class” (type 100-3) station buildings. This design, a Canadian Northern standard designed in 1901 by Ralph Benjamin Pratt, is identified by its pyramid roof and lack of windows on the front of the building on the waiting room end. It measures about 42 feet by 22 feet. The upper level was the living quarters for the station agent and his family. In 1951, it was wired for electricity. The railway closed the line in 1960 with the tracks being torn up in the early 1970s and sold to Brazil.
After railway service ended along this line, Joe and Carl Olafson either purchased the building or were permitted by the railway to use it for storage, where they bought and sold appliances and furniture, storing them in this building. Joe had worked for the railway, and Carl ran an electric shop where he sold and serviced radios, televisions, and other appliances.
The building stood vacant at the time of a 2019 site visit, along with a former section foreman’s residence to the west of it.
Photos & Coordinates
Railway Stations of Manitoba: A Building Inventory by Patricia Trainor, Farhad Rahbary, and David Butterfield, Historic Resources Branch, Manitoba Department of Culture, Heritage and Tourism, 1984, 233 pages. [Manitoba Legislative Library]
Pine Valley Echoes: A History of Badger, Menisino and Piney by Piney Area Historical Book Committee, June 1988.
Page revised: 1 December 2019