This year is the 50th anniversary of the CN logo. It is one of the most well recognized logos anywhere. CN has moved forward dramatically from the 1960s to today. I gladly sit at the crossing near my home to watch an outbound freight with three and sometimes four locomotive moving a 1.5 mile train at track speed.
We have other anniversaries. The following cars in our collection are 100 years old this year.Tank Car 51625, Stock Car 172755, Box Car 17913, Outfit Car 68301, Cook Supply Car 17032, Box Car 17092.
On of the great rewards of being in the railway preservation game is to preserve significant artifacts. We have done that.There is lots of work to be done, but we need to step back and share the satisfaction of seeing some dreams come true.
The washrooms are painted and the floors are ready for installation of the lino.
New counters for both washrooms have been donated. The next task is to prepare the gift shop for painting. This week saw a lot of basic work done - several coats of paint in the washrooms.
Barry has supervised the project and has put in a lot of hours. Hans is getting set to install the lino in the washrooms. The floors will have to have a plywood sub-floor installed first, then the lino.
Hans has proposed that we repair/replace the station platform ourselves. He will supervise the project with major assistance from the Attendance Centre Crews. The cost of materials is approximately $2800. The work will be done in early June, between weekends when the museum is closed to the public.
Crews are scheduled for March 30, April 2 and April 9. The work will consist of cleaning and painting the gift shop in preparation for opening on Victoria Day.
Whew! This has been a busy week. At the last board meeting it was decided that our focus would be on "curb appeal" and projects related to that objective. If we fix, repair and paint, our visitors will get an initial impression that will set the stage for the rest of their visit.
So the washrooms and the gift shop are in process. Platform replacement, painting the outside trim of the station, paint and new flooring in the washrooms., paint and new flooring in the gift shop and setting a schedule for preparing the collection for the summer season - all are being addressed.
This will not happen all at once. It will take some dedication from all of us to take on a task, project or challenge. Let me know if you can help.
The new brochures are now printed. Boxcar (CN 503893) renovation and repair is progressing well. Barry and Phil have almost completed the dismantling of the wood siding. The Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre is milling the wood to the proper dimensions for the new siding. The materials are being donated by Brad Rae.
We have had three Attendance Centre Crews (about 35 people) out over the last four days. The washrooms have been primed and painted - a final coat will be applied next week. Side walks have been cleared and the donated linoleum (known as "battleship") has been moved into the gift shop. For the sake of some coffee, hamburgers, hot dogs and fries, this labor force has had a major impact on our progress. Thanks to the Attendance Centre and the Attorney General.
Hans has replaced two of the doors in the Women's side of the washrooms and new counters are planned for both sides. One exhaust fan is being replaced as well. Barry has taken a lead role in organizing the job. This work represents a significant upgrade, since the washrooms have had little attention since being installed by Doug Hunt, Mike Frail and Ted VanGunst about 8 years ago. The "Portapotties" from before that are but a dim, ugly memory.
Terry and Dennis have kept the driveways and roads clear. The bulldozer has been a real asset, not to forget the backhoe and Don's dedication to keep it running and working. Terry has spent some time cleaning up the shop office in Calder - re-arranging the tools and supplies and washing the floor. This was a real boost to me Terry!
We have requested a quote from HARK Electric to replace the fixtures in both shops and the washrooms. The lighting in Dunvegan shop is totally unsatisfactory and unsafe. The old sodium vapor fixtures in Calder are due for replacement as well. The fixtures that are being recommended are ecologically compliant. They use only a small percentage of the power that is drawn by our existing fixtures and have a life span of 5,000 hours.
Scott Lang has experience in Real Property Administration in the Arctic and has agreed to help set up grant proposals for the station, water tank and power upgrades. His skills and training are an invaluable asset to us. Among other qualifications, he has a certificate in Museum Management from the Alberta Museums Association. Thanks Scott.
If anyone has extra pots and pans and cutlery for our commissary a donation would be appreciated, as would any kitchen range of the wood-burning type for display in the gift shop.
By taking on tasks that can qualify for grants, or that require labour only we will make a powerful difference to "Alberta's Largest Railway Museum"!
We have a new member - Sara Kammeraad from Hudsonville Michigan. Sara dreams of seeing 1395 under steam some day. I say - "Live long and prosper" Sara! You may need to.
Thanks to Jim Lanigan's sharp eye I must correct an earlier post. 1395 is displayed at the Coopersville and Marne Railway which is located at Coopersville, Michigan not at Owosso, Michigan
Earlier I mentioned 1395 from the Ohio Central. Further to that here is a video about one of their steam operations. It features 1551 which was another CN locomotive.
Thanks to Sara Kameraad - a new member but a long time friend - here is a picture of 1395 at Owosso, Michigan. Do I have that right Sara?
Sara is working toward restoring 1395 to her original glory. It is a long road but a very rewarding one.
Sara, we salute you!!
The work party was not only a real challenge but also a real success. A challenge because of the wind and temperature and a success because of the work that got done.
There were 10 Community Service Workers (CSW) - who shoveled the sidewalks and cleared the station platform.
Terry, Don W., Barry, Phil and Hans were there also along with Irene Dixon, Cathy Garvey and Gloria Jackson. Hans and Barry spent some time planning the upgrading of the wash car and the gift shop - paint, lino and counters.
Terry was on a search mission for parts for Alberta Prairie.
Cathy and Gloria did a complete inventory of the gift shop.
Don fired up the backhoe and cleared sidewalks and the gate entrance.
Sharon re-set some breakers and kept the power flowing!
Irene supervised a CSW crew as the shelves and displays were removed from the gift shop in preparation for a "new look". Hans removed the pictures and displays from the walls and stored them safely in another part of the station.
Phil and Barry continued with the restoration of boxcar 509893. Barry has ordered the wood which is being specially milled at the Fort Saskatchewan Correctional Centre. In the meantime, all the rotten wood has been removed and the doors dismantled.
Only eleven weeks until we open. The cats are ready.
A great day and a great group!
Free lunch! The Community Services Crew will be at the museum tomorrow shoveling snow, clearing sidewalks and the station platform.
We expect to get a few extra tasks done as well such as checking the lino and moving some fixtures in the gift shop
We will feed them at noon and you are welcome to join in -- hamburgers, hot dogs etc.