Group wants to restore Ontario Northland steam locomotive.

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  • Member since
    March, 2017
  • 50 posts
Group wants to restore Ontario Northland steam locomotive.
Posted by RobertSchuknecht on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:34 PM


A group of local volunteers hopes to breathe new life into an old train engine donated to the city nearly 60 years ago.
The small group, led by train enthusiasts William Love and Bill Ferguson, is hosting a public meeting at Discovery North Bay museum on Oct. 3 at 7 p.m. to discuss the possible restoration and operation of the old Ontario Northland Railway Engine 503 as an historic tourist train.
“The first step we are taking is to have a community meeting,” says Ferguson, noting the group is looking for others who may be interested in working on the project.
He says volunteers would be needed to help out with the restoration work, as well as organizing and fundraising.
Ferguson says the group is starting from scratch without any financial backing. And, he says, the restoration project would be a not-for-profit initiative that's likely to be a lengthy endeavour.
“It hasn't been fired since 1960 when it was given to the city by Ontario Northland,” Ferguson says, noting the steam engine will have to be professionally assessed to see if restoration is even feasible.
Ferguson says it was kept at Lee Park for some time before being moved to its current location near the Canor Sand Centre at Wyld Street a number of years ago.
And Ferguson says the intent at that time was that the steam engine would be made into a static display behind the museum as part of the city's Waterfront Park. But that plan never materialized.
“We don't want to see it just sit and be further vandalized,” says Ferguson, noting the long-term concept is to see the engine operate out of North Bay as a tourist train utilizing an existing track.
“North Bay does have a long-standing railway history,” says Ferguson, noting an historic rail attraction would be fitting for the city.
He says the group would need to figure out exactly how that would work. But Ferguson says the first step would be to get the engine running again if restoration is deemed feasible.  If that's the case, he says, the engine would need to be stripped down and rebuilt.
  • Member since
    August, 2010
  • From: Henrico, VA
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Posted by Firelock76 on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 6:54 PM

Interesting!  Best of luck to them!

  • Member since
    September, 2010
  • From: Parma Heights Ohio
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Posted by Penny Trains on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:17 PM

Beautiful machine!

I wish them success!  Big Smile

A waking Lithium Flower just about to bloom

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    September, 2013
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Posted by Miningman on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 7:32 PM

Better's a 2-8-0

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    September, 2014
  • 1,109 posts
Posted by ROBERT WILLISON on Friday, September 22, 2017 8:49 AM


Better's a 2-8-0

 Great looking loco, best of luck!!!!


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