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Cochrane was founded in 1881 as a CPR station on the Calgary-Edmonton CTrain line. It is named after John George Cochrane, an early Canadian Pacific Railway commissioner and prominent land owner in the area. The town's economy has traditionally been based around ranching, agriculture and resource extraction (coal mining). In recent years it has seen rapid growth due to its proximity to Calgary. History [ edit ] The first European settlers arrived in what is now Cochrane more than 100 years ago when homesteaders moved north from Alberta into present-day Saskatchewan along trails that would later become roads. One of these trails connected Fort Edmonton with Fort Carlton via the Battle River Valley through present day Stony Plain and westward overland towards Moose Jaw where it met another trail coming south from Lac la Biche.