Railway Preservation Group begins Spirit of Alberta Steam Engine restoration in support of Alberta economy

A diagram of the system the Rocky Mountain Rail Society hopes to repair as part of the Spirit of Alberta steam train engine. ECA Review/Submitted

The Rocky Mountain Rail Society (RMRS) has decided to proceed early with plans for the repairs to their 75-year-old steam engine, ex Canadian National Railway locomotive #6060.

The engine is named the Spirit of Alberta.

The locomotive has been out of service since 2012 due to repairs needed to her boiler.

Over the last eight years, RMRS has spent $132,000 conducting metallurgical tests and developing a repair plan.

A plan is in its infancy to raise the $650,000 for the repair costs but with the current economic situation, it was decided to go ahead with an initial stage of the repair.

It will cost an estimated $50,000 which the Society has raised to date.

The funds are a combination of Alberta Gaming and Liquor Casino funding and private donations.

The initial repair stage consists of our contractor, dfBioiler Tube Industries of Edmonton, removing approximately 100 boiler staybolts that require replacement.

The boiler staybolts provide strength in sections of the boiler while allowing water and steam free-flowing room to move.

The RMRS had initially planned to conduct the repairs after raising the entire amount of funds needed but have now decided to move ahead with the initial stage of the repair.

After completing the first stage of the repair plan, they will then work towards funding the second stage which includes replacing the staybolts that have been removed followed by Stage 3 which is the repair of the boiler patches and holes. 

“We realize in the current economic situation it will be difficult to complete the project. We hope that our project will provide jobs for Albertans and demonstrate our commitment to doing our part,” said Rich Graydon.

“It is incumbent on all Albertans and Canadians to do what they can in this time of economic need. We hope that this small gesture will lead to other non-profit groups to look at their plans and encourage them to continue their missions.”

Work will commence on Mon. June 22, 2020 at Stettler, Alta.


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