Stanley was one of the original stations on the PAD&W and was located at Milepost 19.
When construction began on the railway in 1889, Stanley was the first significant point reached by the rails as it lay on the wagon road to the silver mines southwest of the Lakehead. The area was visited by the Governor General of Canada, Lord Stanley of Preston, in September 1889 and it was decided to name this location after him. Stanley’s station was a framed building that measured 50 feet by 25 feet (15.3m x 7.6m). It also had a water tank, 700-foot siding and a 2000-foot spur.
In 1899, Mackenzie and Mann purchased the PAD&W primarily for its waterfront properties and the first 19 miles of line, deciding that Stanley would be the start of their new line to Winnipeg (instead of Sand/Sandstone Lake that had been proposed many years before). Therefore, Stanley became known as Stanley Junction in 1902. Unfortunately, while that brought a great deal of importance to the village, it only lasted 9 years.
The section on the mainline between Stanley and Kakabeka was very problematic due to steep grades. In 1909, CNoR decided that they would construct a new piece of line to bypass what was becoming known as “High Track.” The cut-off was completed in 1911 and Twin City became the new junction point. Stanley remained an important point on North Lake Branch (what it was known at the time) until the line was abandoned in 1938.
There is a video of Stanley from 2012 in the YouTube playlist below.