In June, 1972, a large section of the Alberta Resources Railway was severely damaged by spring floods along the Smoky River in northwest-central Alberta. The damaged section extends north-eastwards from the McIntyre Coal Ltd. mine near the northern margin of the Foothills along the deeply incised valley of the Smoky River for a distance of approximately 60 miles. Within this distance, the railway is constructed along the narrow floodplain on the north side of the Smoky River; the rail bed itself consists of local river gravel buttered in places by large blocks of Lower Cretaceous sandstone (rip-rap) hauled in from the Foothills.
Hinton to Grande Prairie. This report describes the general geology and terrain along the damaged section of the Alberta Resources Railway and in a region to the northeast (Fox Creek-Simonette area) where an alternative railway line has been suggested. Emphasis is given to the engineering aspects of these features.