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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Preserving 6069

Jim's article continues with the efforts to preserve 6069.

This engine was left to deteriorate until a group was organized to raise funds to keep it in as good a shape as they could with the dream that someday it might even be refired and brought to operating condition. For the present time their goal is to preserve it as much as possible as a fine example of Canadian Steam and of the craftsmanship of Canadian manufacturing.

Some previous work done to protect the engine has led to problems that need urgent attention. By the photo you may be able to see a heavy rubberized coating on the firebox and smoke box.  This is a thick rubber roofing material that was applied to keep moisture away from these areas but, unfortunately, weather cracking is allowing the exact opposite to happen and the moisture is seeping through and being trapped against the steel.

Vandals have done their worst and caused some irreparable damage.  The bell is cracked, the headlight was smashed, the seats were torn out as well as the usual spray paint work. As well as human damage, mother natures critters have found it to be a wonderful fortress in which to make their homes. The bell can never be repaired to make it sound right.  The glass and the bulb were able to be replaced but the reflector was an infusion of gold and glass that makes the cost prohibitive.  Happily the seats are ready to go back in, all the gauges have been rebuilt, the floor in the cab has been replaced and the removal of rust and paint on the tender is about half done.  The smoke box cover on the front had to be removed and the lower half replaced.  Nests and similar bedding had retained the moisture in there and caused rust perforation of the steel.

A few years back some of the linkage to the smaller cylinders was removed for repair and refurbishing. They were very happy to find that the cylinders moved very freely.  At the same time they discovered a very heavy weld repair on the chassis just by the front of the cylinders.  When they searched the records of this engine they discovered that it had been involved in a collision.  The photos showed heavy damage to the front end of 6069 and it appears that they just cut off the front end and welded on another one.  The weld on the chassis is about 1 1/2 inches wide and 3/8 inches thick.

The work being done is definitely a labour of love by persons who have a love and appreciation of the era of steam locomotives.  If you are in the area it is worth stopping to see a fine example of canadian steam power.

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