With opening weekend a few days away, it is a good time to update you with some of the recent activity at the museum.
The last two weekends have seen a fantastic effort by our volunteers to get the grounds, displays and Gift Shop ready for opening. Dave Muma took charge of the preparations and coordination of volunteers, well done. The drive and parking lot have been graded and we are ready for the public. Barry Collis does most of our site management and none of this would have been possible without his continued hard work. Thank you to all who assisted in getting the museum ready.
BMS Locomotive Service Group has repaired 7944 and it is now operational. It was used during the spring switching and shall be formally unveiled later in the summer. We are very grateful to BMS and its staff for returning our 1946 switcher to operation!
The refurbishing of the NAR caboose is nearing completion and the NAR engineering car is complete and out of the shop. Lukas Tyzuk did a proper job with the lettering, well done. Many thanks to all who have assisted with these projects. There were many, many hours of hard and uncomfortable work poured into both pieces of rolling stock.
The Board has come to an agreement with the Canadian Railway Historical Association regarding the ownership of the Northern Alberta Railways 2-8-0 No 73. We are planning a ceremony to mark the transfer to the ARM in August. You can expect a fundraising drive to restore her around that time.
Another problem with CNR 1392, our flagship steam locomotive, was discovered. Large amounts of the firebox brickwork were found to be badly wasted. The firebox brickwork was removed quickly and replaced this past week. Ted Van Gunst, Terry Wolfe and Barry Wolfe cleaned out the wasted brick and Terry organised the replacement. Well done.
1392’s Springs are back from BC and installation is proceeding. It is hard work - the springs are heavy and have to be lifted around and over many obstacles to get them in place. The buggy springs under the cab were found to need some re-working and have been sent back to BC for the work to be done. Leon Belov spent the day under 1392 in uncomfortable spots trying to coax the springs in. Work is ongoing, thanks to all who have or will help. More work on this project will be done on the 19th and 20th of May if you can help.
We have received some generous donations to help off-set the thousands of dollars’ worth of work on 1392 but we still need more to cover the costs to keep our 104 year-old locomotive in steam. Please consider donating to this worthy cause. There are not many left and ours is one of only two operating Canadian National Railway steam locomotives. Any amount can help. There is a Paypal button on our website or you can make the donation with more traditional methods.
We are on track for running in Stettler from the June 28th to July 5th. We have a lease agreement with the Alberta Prairie Railway to provide 1392 and crews for Rails and Tails. A number of our crew members attended a rules class in Big Valley at the end of April to get ready for this outstanding event. The website is: www.railsandtales.ca. We encourage all members to advertise this event. The better it does, the better we do.
We are planning an operating weekend on the June 10th and 11th as well as June 17th and 18th (Father’s day weekend), and Canada Day weekend July 1st – 3rd. There will be more trains running in July, August and September too. Please consider volunteering – we will be especially short on Dominion Day weekend with a number of volunteers in Stettler.
Hope to see you Victoria Day weekend for the start of an outstanding open season!
C. Joel Mullan, CD Vice-President