Jul 122010


This old coal tipple in south west Alberta has been abandoned forever.  Every explorer in Alberta and nearby makes it here sooner or later.  Although I would never make a trip just to see it, it is interesting to take a quick look at if you happen to be driving by like we were.  The tipple is in rough shape however it was obviously built tough and it is still rather photogenic. 

Coal Tipple 1

Some old large machinery

Coal Tipple 2

Looking east off of the sketchy roof.  It’s actually very stable – just avoid getting too close to the holes.

Coal Tipple 3

A view of the structure from the track side.  The building is larger than it appears from the highway.

Coal Tipple 4

Arilem taking a photo.

Coal Tipple 5

Old glass insulator for power lines.

Coal Tipple 6

Phoenix Enigma, Arilem, and I on the roof on one section

 Posted by at 12:49
Jul 082010

We tend to explore a lot of rural areas where access to sites is fairly easy, because the urban areas of Saskatchewan present few locations that one can explore.  I do enjoy the more urban areas as approach to the building and accessing the building without being seen is very exhilarating to me, and that is partly why I enjoyed this location so much.  This location is in the middle of an open field with many houses close by.  The owners have gone to great lengths to seal this building up – absolutely everything is welded shut.  Even the gates on the surrounding fence have been welded shut.  It is a one of the more difficult to access locations that I have been to.  However after much searching we did manage to find a way into the plant.


The plant consists of 4 or 5 separate buildings connected by conveyors.  Each of the conveyor lines has a small walkway beside it, so once we accessed one building we could get into all of them.  I have seen this location on a few urban exploration sites and it is referred to as a tipple; however after seeing all the machinery in the plant I came to the conclusion that this place was more that just a tipple, there was some type of processing of the coal taking place here.  Perhaps it was a breaker, or perhaps there was more going on here, but I don’t have enough knowledge of coal processing to make a conclusion on its use.  There were some offices in a separate building but we didn’t have the time or energy to attempt to see them.  They probably weren’t that exciting anyways.   


I have read that this old coal processing plant has a date with a wrecking ball.  It has been idle since closing sometime in the 1980’s.  The whole town is pretty rough shape as this place and the nearby mines were the major employer and they have all shut down in the past 25 years.  I would like to get back there someday as the whole town presents quite a few places I would like to check out. 

Coal Processing Plant 1

The smallest building on site an connecting conveyors as seen from high up on the main plant building

Coal Processing Plant 2

Inside one of the connecting conveyors

Coal Processing Plant 3

Under the main bins where coal would be start it’s trip through the plant.  From here it would be dropped on the conveyor and fed into the main plant.

Coal Processing Plant 4

Inside a different conveyor connection

Coal Processing Plant 5

Near the top of the main building looking down at some of the machinery

Coal Processing Plant 6

Arilem is intrigued by something – not sure what – she doesn’t remember either.

Coal Processing Plant 7

Main floor of the main building – various machinery

Coal Processing Plant 8

CaptainCanada using his telephoto lens to ensure the coast was clear before we made our exit from the plant.

Coal Processing Plant 9

There was a large tank with an agitator of some kind – not that kind of stuff you would find in just a tipple.

Coal Processing Plant 10

A quick shot of the main building as we were making our exit.

 Posted by at 12:01
Jul 052010

The Rocky Mountain Coal Mine is an amazing place to visit.  It is a heritage property and if you can find it – it is very easy location to see.  The expansive facility includes at least 15 buildings.  There were bunkhouses, power plant, heating plant, core sample warehouse, a couple clerical buildings, several maintenance / shop buildings, and a very interesting and dangerous load out building.  The load out building was half collapsed but has the interesting setup for dumping the mining cars and then returning them to the mine.  There are several mining cars laying around the facility and the main mine entrance is still in place; however it was blasted shut when the mine closed.


I assume the plant closed sometime in the 1970’s however that is just an educated guess by the amount of decay and the type of electrical equipment that was on site.  Time has been tough on this place, but it must have been amazing to see when it first closed.  Even now it offers everything you would expect to see in a mountain coal mine.  It’s too bad it wasn’t turned into a museum as places like this are fairly rare.  However it is pretty far gone now and I expect it will continue to rot until it is gone all together.

Coal Mine 1

The old mining carts outside the mine entrance

Coal Mine 2

The mine entrance – blasted shut when the mine closed

Coal Mine 3

Some interesting machinery in one of the buildings.  I have no idea what this would be used for.

Coal Mine 4

Generators in the power plant

Coal Mine 5

A warehouse full of thousands of core samples

Coal Mine 6

Unloading structure – the mining carts would be dumped here and then sent back to the mine

Coal Mine 7

Looking back to the entrance of the unloading structure

Coal Mine 8

There was a cart still in this in place.  The coal would be dumped to the level below and then loaded onto rail cars.

 Posted by at 15:23