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Manitoba from the Air
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Topographic Influence on Railway and Road Directions Near Miami

Railway Lines

Following the building of the CP railway line through southern Manitoba, numerous other east/west lines, with connecting north/south lines, were constructed, mainly to service the grain trade. Many settlements in southern Manitoba owe their existence to the arrival of the railway. By about 1900 there were enough lines, and after that there was over-building with the result that soon afterwards rail line abandonment started. From 1952 onwards many lines were abandoned, but these lines left their mark on the landscape that can be seen to this day. Various aspects of railway lines are shown in the following photos.

Construction of railway lines at great speed and in straight lines was possible at only a few locations across the prairies. Railways are intolerant of steep slopes, and strategies were adopted to avoid these wherever possible.

Shown on this photo is the steep, wooded eastern edge of the Assiniboine Delta 1 that is dissected by several small eastward-flowing stream valleys 2. East of the delta edge is a prominent, northwest/southeast Agassiz strandline 3. These topographic features influence the direction of transport routes in the area. Two east/west railway lines are just visible. In the north, a line runs east/west 4 through Roseisle 5, and then veers southwest along a wooded valley 6 to avoid the steep edge of the delta front. In the south an east/west line 7 through Miami 8 veers northwest along a strandline 9, then west to the edge of the delta 10 where it makes a large loop northward 11 and then south 12 to minimize the gradient as it crosses the delta edge.

Two major east/west roads can be seen; PR 245 is straight 13 except for a southward bend across the delta edge 14. In the south PTH 23 cuts diagonally across a section 15—possibly to avoid a small creek valley to the south 16. Northwest of Miami a discontinuous secondary road follows a strandline 17.

Figure 18.3

Topographic Influence on Railway and Road Directions Near Miami