Field Trip: West Coast Railway Heritage Park – Part 4
Click on each image for a closer look!
Continuing our field trip to the West Coast Railway Association’s museum in Squamish, B.C. we now focus on the turntable area adjacent to the new roundhouse. It is about 96 feet long and electrically driven. It is just long enough to hold their CPR Royal Hudson steam locomotive. The normal storage track for the Royal Hudson in the roundhouse lines up with another yard track at the other end of the turntable allowing them to make a straight pull of the locomotive into the yard without having to steam her up.
Sitting on the turntable is their CPR #6503 Montreal Locomotive Works (MLW) S-3 switcher in the appealing maroon and grey CP paint scheme. It was built in May of 1951 and served the CPR until 1983 when it was sold to the United Grain Growers. It then operated in their Vancouver terminals until 1987 when it came in the possession of the West Coast Railway Association
The steam engine shown in one of the images is Pacific Great Eastern #2. It was built by Baldwin Locomotive Works, Philadelphia, Pa., U.S.A. in February 1910. It is a "Prairie" type locomotive with the wheel configuration of 2-6-2ST with the ST designation indicating that it was a saddle tank engine in which the tank surrounded the boiler precluding the need for a tender. A small amount of oil was carried behind the coal in a small bunker attached to the cab. The last owner, the Comox Logging and Railway Company, replace the bunker with a small tender. Crown Zellerbach, who acquired Comox, donated the engine to the association in 1965. Engine No. 2 is one of 3 existing Pacific Great Eastern steam locomotives. Sadly the other two, Nos. 53 & 56, were victims of serious accidents. No. 53 lies at the bottom of Seton Lake and No. 56 deep in Anderson Lake. They probably will never be recovered.
As seen in the image behind the steam engine, the large white building houses one of their restoration workshops. This is a Pacific Great Eastern car repair shop built in 1914 which was in service until 1991. In that year, it was moved in one piece over 2 kilometres and placed in its present location. It was subsequently restored and reinforced with a machine shop added on one side.
Another image shows in the background a building with many windows in it which is their main office, gift shop and station. More about this building in a future TRHA News item.
Click here to read the next installment of this TRHA News posting.
Posting and images by Russ Milland