Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 18/12/2015 (555 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.
A piece of western Canadian railway history is back home in Transcona.
On Dec. 17, the Midwestern Rail Association Winnipeg Railway Museum signed over historic steam engine No. 2747 to the Transcona Historical Museum. Built in the CN Shops in Transcona in 1926, No. 2747 was the first steam engine built in western Canada.
"It’s very exciting," Alanna Horejda, curator at the Transcona Historical Museum, said. "It’s a good representation of the community of Transcona."
Technically, No. 2747 has been at home in the Park City since 1960 when the Transcona Kiwanis Club took possession of the locomotive when it was retired in 1960. It’s been a fixture on Plessis Road in the Rotary Heritage Park ever since.
Peter Martin, vice-president of the museum’s board of directors and chair of the No. 2747 project, said the transfer has been in the works for about a year.
"It was a slow process," Martin admitted. "the Midwestern Rail Association needed to make sure that we would take care of it as well as they were."
Now that the transfer is official, Horejda said a full condition report has to be completed, something that is done for all 45,000-plus artifacts in the Transcona Museum’s care.
"When our museum takes in an artifact, we’re taking it in to care for it for the foreseeable future. Forever, basically," Horejda said. "We have to ensure its safety."
"Because it’s off-site it holds a few different challenges," Horejda added. Things like temperature, humidity and light cannot be controlled for an artifact like No. 2747.
Nevertheless, a plan will be drafted to maintain or improve the iconic engine. Martin said the museum will be looking into ways to make the artifact more accessible to the community.
"This is Transcona history. It was built here, and it’s still alive. We want to keep it alive," he said. "We’d like to restore it back to it’s original state, as close as possible."
While the details are being worked out, train buffs are invited to check out a display on the No. 2747 in the Transcona Historical Museum.
"Some pieces that had been removed are already here in the museum," Horejda said. "We have some history on the train, some photos showing construction of the park in 1960."
Martin invited those who are keen on following developments with No. 2747 and other Transcona Museum projects to become members.
"It’s $15 a person, or $20 for families," he said.