Community Profile - Our History - The Railroad

CPR’s line through Stonewall is the earliest-built western railway line, west of the Red River. In August 1879, a man named John Ryan got a contract to build 100 miles of railway west of the Red River. He hired Donald Mann as superintendent of construction. Ryan and Mann completed the line from Winnipeg northwest to Victoria Junction – three miles east of Stonewall on June 30, 1880. The construction continued west through Stonewall, Hanlan, Meadow Lea and then southwest towards Portage La Prairie through the summer of 1880. The government lost confidence in Ryan’s ability to complete the railroad by his contract’s completion date and took over the project.

Victoria Junction was supposed to be the connecting point with the proposed original main line through Selkirk. Heavy lobbying from Winnipeg resulted in the transcontinental line going through Winnipeg instead of Selkirk. The track along the line west of Stonewall was torn up and rebuilt through Rosser to better align with the new transcontinental CPR line. The line northwest out of Stonewall was extended to Teulon in 1898, Komarno in 1907 and Arborg in 1910.