Heritage Photos  TM-SPHA Special Places - Highlights #1

3. Heaslip Ravine Crossing

A Ravine Crossing on the Great Northern

When building a railway over hills or through valleys it is often advisable to the travel a few extra kilometers to avoid a steep grade and the expensive construction costs associated with difficult terrain.  As far as the prairies go, the northern portion of the Souris River valley is a major challenge. The surveyors for the Great Northern had rejected a crossing straight south of Minto (where Highyway #10 crossed today) where the valley is both deep and wide, and had selected a site near the hamlet of Bunclody.

The ravines south of the river were crossed by building temporary trestles and dumping fill to create a road-level earthen dam, complete with huge pipes designed to let the runoff through. The pipes soon broke and had to be replaced with concrete tunnels two metres square - still quite visible today,  although somewhat clogged with rubble. One resident told me about boyhood adventures that included a dare to go through the tunnel.