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History of Ogden Shops
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Photo Old and New Shortly after the turn of the century, Canadian Pacific Railway decided that a major repair facility should be established in the West, in addition to the exisiting repair shops at Montreal and Winnipeg. It wasn't an easy decision where to locate such a yard in the West as many major centers wanted C.P.R. to build it in their cities. I.G.Ogden Because of the close proximities to the major travel routes such as the Trans-Canada highway and the meeting of the two major rivers, the Bow and Elbow, Calgary was chosen. Construction of the Ogden Shops started in May of 1911 and for the next 11 months, a work force of as many as 5,000 swarmed over the site. Single men were housed in tents, huts and boarding cars at the work location and married men were transported daily to and from Calgary by train. In less than a year after the first sod was turned, the new shops were ready to roll. In March 1912,Ogden Shops were formally opened and named for I.G. Ogden,Vice-President. During the First World War, the years of prosperity and depression, Ogden repaired steam locomotives, freight and passenger cars. The staff that had peaked at just over 1400 men slowly dwindled to 600 during the worst of the Depression and these employees only worked 10 days each month.

The approach of the Second World War brought renewed activity to Ogden. The need for locomotives and cars soon restored both staff and production to their former heights. However, the need for armaments was even greater and in 1941 the Main Locomotive building was stripped of all it's machinery and production started on 3 inch Naval Guns and mounts for Bofors, anti-aircraft guns. By the time peace returned, Ogden Shops had turned out 30 million dollars worth of war goods. Meanwhile, the work ordinarily handled in the Locomotive shop had been partially absorbed by C.P.R.`s Weston Repair Shops in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a new repair shop down the road from Ogden called Alyth and an addition that was built onto the Tender Shop ( now the Wheel Shop ) at Ogden.

Last Steam Engine 1957 In 1946, The Locomotive Shop was once again equipped to repair Steam Locomotives and work started in an attempt to catch up with the tremendous accumulation of maintenance that had been delayed due to the war.

A short eleven years later, another major change was taking place. Canadian Pacific was rapidly changing from Steam Locomotives to the Diesel-Electric locomotive. Machinery was up-rooted and moved or replaced to accomodate this new modern locomotive trend.

Progress and its ensuring change was constant and the Car Department was the next to adjust to the ever increasing number and complexity of larger steel freight cars. In 1972, a new, modern repair shop was opened, now called the Steel Car Shop, and a few years later, a semi-automatic Paint Shop to handle both freight cars and locomotives was opened.

The Minnedosa Coach 1913
Looking back to 1912, we can now appreciate the foresight of planners of those days. The plant has been able to meet the continually changing needs from it's inception, as a repair shop, to armament production, back to steam, then to dieselization and finally to the maintenance of large steel freight cars. It is doubtful that the city fathers of 1912, who successfully acquired Ogden Shops for Calgary,
were able to envision the tremendous return this would bring over the years.

In 1993, the position of Works Manager was abolished and a Facility Manager was appointed for each of the Car and Locomotive Departments.

More History can be found in the Health Center.

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Air Brake Shop Adminstration Office Maintenance of Way
Wheel Shop Main Gate Materials Department
Locomotive Shop Steel Car Shop Power House
Maintenance Shop Paint Shop Health Center


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Since 11-25-97

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