Masthead image
Ardley: A fading pioneer train station waits for help in the prairie ghost town.
The last train passenger has long since passed Ardley. The CN train station was closed in 1965 and two years later, Ernie Kirbyson, who lived one kilometre west of the hamlet, put a bid on the historical relic at an auction. There were few takers. In fact, the structure was quickly sold to Kirbyson for a paltry sum of $30. It was then transported to the Kirbyson acreage where it still sits today, a derelict home for pigeons and a storage facility for antique agricultural equipment.
Ardley Train Station
Most people didn't want it," said Ernie's son Gary Kirbyson, who now lives and farms on the 200-acre property. "He just bid on it for the fun of it. Most of them didn't want to move it across the track because it cost a lot of money.
It was sitting on our side of the tracks, which was in our favor."
© Johnnie Bachusky
Ardley's original CN train station in 2002.
The pioneer Ardley train station was built after the first settlers arrived in 1912 and after the Grand Trunk Pacific Railroad went through the Central Alberta hamlet, a former coal mining community in the heart of what was known years ago as the Ardley Coal Fields along the banks of the Red Deer River, about eight kilometres north of Delburne. The townsite, located about a kilometre and a half east of the river, was never large, peaking at under 100 citizens. In its heyday it was well developed with a hotel, small blacksmith office, pool room, bowling alley, general store, post office, and a grain elevator.
Ardley Map
Map of the hamlet of Ardley.  Photo courtesy of Red Deer County.
Bridgeman's House - 1916
Ardley bridgeman's house, Abel and Dorothy Knight in photo, 1916.
Photo courtesy of Red Deer and District Archives.
Ardley sidewalk
Ardley Hotel
© Johnnie Bachusky
Ardley's former hotel and now a private residence.
© Johnnie Bachusky
Ardley's sidewalks show that at one time the hamlet was becoming well-developed.
Ardley Trestle - 1916
River ice takes out  Ardley Trestle - date unknown
Ardley trestle after the river ice took it out - exact date unknown.
Photo courtesy of Red Deer and District Archives.
Ardley Trestle 1916.
Photo courtesy of Red Deer and District Archives.