This section contains our collection of Northern Alberta Railways work trains. Work trains repaired and maintained track. They also served as a cook-supply car, a cook car, a dining car, and bunk, recreation and shower cars. The bunk cars were the sleeping cars for the work crews as well as their living area.
This locomotive was built by General Motors of Canada - Diesel Division for the Northern Alberta Railway and numbered 302. It went into service in 1960. It was named after Chief Moostoos, the First Nations Chief who signed Treaty #8, the last treaty signed with the First Nations in Alberta. In 1981 it was renumbered to 1179 by CN.
The last passenger train on the NAR from Dawson Creek to Edmonton was pulled by NAR 302. Its "consist" included Baggage Car 1460 and "WESTLOCK". Locomotive 302 was restored back to its NAR livery.
Flat Car 15511
Built: 1911 Acquired: 1985 from CN
This car was built for the Canadian Northern Railway as box car 661595. After catching fire in May 1949 at Mile 216 on the Slave Lake Subdivision, it was rebuilt as a flat car and numbered 15511. The flat car's trucks have coil springs and 5.5 x 10 journals with plain bearings. The trucks also have 1909 patent dates. This flat car is currently being used for rail storage.
Flat Car 15015
Built: 1910 Weight: 35,400 lbs. Length: 36 ft. Acquired: 1973 from CN
This car is another example of a light duty flat car like 15511 above. Its main features include a steel centre sill and bolsters with wood stringers and wood deck, steel end sills with pole pockets on each corner and K-type air brake equipment. It is smaller and lighter than normal. The car has arch bar trucks and 4.5 x 8 journals with 1911-20 wheels. It is currently being used for storage.
Ballast Car 14040
Built: 1919 Light Weight: 81,200 lbs. Capacity: approx. 1450 cu. ft. or 57 cu. yds. Load Limit: 148,800 lbs. Acquired: 1982 from CN
This ballast car was built by Hart-Otis Car Company. It has steel-reinforced wooden sides and outside deep steel sills to allow either side or centre dumping. The dumping mechanism is manually operated. This is the only car in the collection with Dolman Patent trucks that have 5 coil springs in each side frame and 5.5 x 10 journals. It is currently being used for storage.
This ballast car was used by the Edmonton, Dunvegan and British Columbia Railway (ED & BC), the Alberta and Great Waterways Railway and then NAR. The primary use of a ballast car is for hauling and dumping material (i.e. rip rap rock, sand, gravel) for bank widening and grade stabilization. Material would be dumped in one location, then distributed via Jordan spreader, bulldozers or horse drawn scrapers.This car used compressed air from the locomotive to dump the gravel - an improvement from Ballast Car 14040. 14085 is equipped with two different trucks: a Dolman (patented 1929) and a Vulcan (patented 1911), with pole pockets cast into the ends of the truck sides. This ballast car is currently being used for storage.
Built: 1914 Length: 40 ft. Acquired: 1982
This flanger was built by the National Steel Car for the Grand Trunk Railway (GTR) as box car 395604. It then became GTR boarding car 45 and then converted back to revenue service as box car 171 in 1923. The car was then acquired by the ED & BC as box car 5024. It became NAR property in 1931. It was converted to a flanger and numbered 17022, and then renumbered to 16601 in 1946. The underframe was then reinforced in 1947. After amalgamation with CNR in 1982, it became CN 56241.
The flanger was repaired in 1995 and repainted inside and out in 1996. It was renumbered back to NAR 16601. It is currently in Calder Shop being restored.
Photos of the flanger's interior.
Jordan Spreader 16522
Built: 1915 Acquired: 1982 from CN
This spreader was built by O.F. Jordan Company for the Alberta and Great Waterways Railway. It was delivered to the NAR in 1929 and numbered 16522.
It is used for spreading ballast along the side of the track and for clearing track-side brush which increases drainage for a better roadbed. The spreader also plows snow from the right-of-way. A locomotive would push the spreader and provide compressed air supply to run it. The cab and decking of the spreader was restored in 2011.
The builder's plate on the side of the spreader reads:
No. 437 O. F. Jordan Co. Spreader, Flanger, Scaper, Bank Builder & Snow Plow East Chicago, Indiana
Outfit Car 68301
Built: 1911 Acquired: 1968
This double wood sheathed car was built by Canadian Car & Foundry for the Grand Trunk Railway as box car 16522. It then became CNR box car 314614 in 1923. The car then was converted to a work service car CN 68301.
This car was built for the Canadian Pacific Railway as box car 56936 and then renumbered to CP 409748. Its main features include wood stringers under the car body, four truss rods, K triple air brake, arch bar trucks, coil springs and 4.25 x 8 journals with plain bearings. The car also exhibits three outstanding inventions: the automatic coupler, the arch bar truck and the automatic air brake. At the time it was built, it represented the highest standards of freight car construction and technology. It is currently being used for storage.
This box car was built for the Grand Trunk Railway and was numbered 16846. Grand Trunk Western converted it to a bunk car and numbered it 338546. It went onto the Grand Trunk Pacific Railway and then to the Canadian National Railway where it was numbered 69695. Its main features include K triple air brakes and arch bar trucks with leaf (riding) springs.
Note: The car served as a concession car for a number of years before it was restored back to its bunk car configuration.
The bunk car's interior.
Bunk Car 17050
Built: 1914 Acquired: 2000 from RaiLink
This car originally started out as a Canadian Northern Railway box car and numbered 376917. It was then converted to a two man bunk car by the NAR in 1942 and re-numbered to 17050. The car itself was found abandoned on a siding at milepost 197 on the Waterways Subdivision, north of Lac La Biche. The car was relocated and taken off its trucks. It was refinished inside and repainted on the outside.
Engineering Car 17900
Built: 1914 Acquired: Unknown
This car was built for the Canadian Northern Railway. In the 1930s, it was then converted to a NAR work service train where it was used as a road car and field office for the civil engineer responsible for the right-of-way.
A complete restoration has been carried out on 17900. The exterior has been repaired and many boards replaced. Windows and doors were rebuilt and the floor was repaired and re-tiled. The rest of the interior was restored, including shelves, doors, cupboards and moldings. The car was completely repainted inside and out. It has been fitted out as a display car, showing the implements and tools used by the track engineer.
Foreman and Tool Car 17009
Built: 1912 Light Weight: 29,200 lbs. Acquired: 1982 from CN
This car was built for the Grand Trunk Railway as a box car and numbered 23213. It then became a CN box car and re-numbered to 343413. NAR purchased the car from CNR on July 18, 1940 for $1,450.17 and converted to work train service as a foreman and tool car. The car was then numbered 17009.
This foreman and tool car was used as the office and sleeping quarters for the work foreman. It contained all the documents necessary to authorize repairs to the track, the time sheets for the crew, and the tools to carry out the job. This is also where the pay packets were handed out.
The car has been painted inside and out as part of its restoration to last used condition.
Pictures of its interior.
Cook Supply Car 17032
Built: 1911 Weight: 42,000 lbs. Acquired: 1983 from CN
This car was built for the Canadian Pacific Railway as an outside sheathed box car 197282. In 1941, the car was converted for work service by the NAR and refitted as a mobile pantry and living quarters for a cook.
At one end of the car, there is a bed, locker, stove and sink for accommodations. The other half of the car served as storage space for the food supplies needed for the cook car which is coupled to it. The shelves are slanted so that cans which are stacked on them do not fall over when the train moves. There is also a refrigerator for the storage of perishables and a meat cutting table across from it.
The cook supply car was completely painted inside and out in 1995-96 and currently contains many interpretive artifacts.
Cook Car 17062
Built: 1917 Acquired: 1983
This car was was built for as Canadian Pacific Railway as box car 214022. It was bought by the NAR in the 1930s and used as a box car until 1944. The car was then converted to a cook car (kitchen). The freight doors were replaced and new flooring was put in. Windows, lower open shelving (for pots and pans) and upper securely latched cupboards (for dishes) were also installed. There is also a metal triangle just outside one side-door that was used to call work crews for meal time.
This outside sheathed box car was built for the Canadian Pacific Railway and numbered 199801. It was rebuilt in 1924 with Dreadnaught pressed steel ends in a "reverse Murphy" pattern. In 1944, NAR purchased the car and converted it to a material car 17092. Some of the car's features include arch bar trucks with 5 x 9 journals and plain bearings, and truss rod supports. The car was repainted in 2015 and is currently being used for storage.
Built: 1953 Weight: 47,300 lbs. Acquired: 1983
This caboose was built by the Canadian Car & Foundry for the Northern Alberta Railways and numbered 13025. It became part of the CNR system following the amalgamation in 1981 and was renumbered to CN 78978. It currently rides on American Association of Railroads (AAR) double truss trucks with leaf springs. This caboose also had a generator which provided power for lights and a hotplate.
This NAR caboose is a bit different from the museum's CNR caboose 78185. The most visible difference between this and other cabooses is the replacement of the cupola with bay windows.