External link
 Photo
Canadian National number 6218 at the Fort Erie Railway Museum - Date unknown Kris Dube.
6 October 2017
Council Considers Future
of Historic Steam Engine


Fort Erie Ontario - Fort Erie council is on track to a decision about the historic 6218 steam locomotive on display at the Fort Erie Railway Museum.
 
In its current state on Central Avenue, it serves as a reminder of days past when Fort Erie boasted the third-largest rail yard in Canada.
 
For several years, councillors have been discussing the preservation of the aging piece of history and on Monday night, the current council was presented with a study conducted by Maltby and Associates, including 10 recommendations to move forward, with a three-stage process provided as the firm's preferred option.
 
The first phase would cost $72,000 and involve remediation, the removal of fiberglass and asbestos containment and other minor repairs, which Susan Maltby, the hired expert who drafted the study, says would be a great start.
 
"That's the best thing for the locomotive, after that, it buys us time," she said to councillors.
 
A complete cosmetic reconstruction would cost more than $500,000, according to estimates in the study approved by council for informational purposes.
 
The previous council discussed a strategy for the aging train, which was expected to cost $429,000.
 
Community fundraising was supposed to cover a large portion of the cost but that effort didn't meet its goal.
 
Also, $100,000 was set aside by the last term of council, which is still available for improvements on the train.
 
The 6218 was built by the Montreal Locomotive Works, as part of their 6200-6234 series.
 
It spent its 18 year working career in a variety of roles across the country.
 
Built in 1948, the locomotive served well into the 1960s.
 
In 1989, the Railway Museum volunteers successfully raised $58,000.00 to fund the refurbishment of the locomotive.
 
One of the main tasks was the removal of the asbestos insulation around the boiler.
 
Since then, about $30,000 has been spent on painting the caboose and engine and on additional repairs.
 
Some of the other 10 options include further fundraising, and allowing the Alberta Railway Museum to take it to their site because of its connection to that province.
 
Ward 1 Coun. George McDermott said the engine is important to local heritage.
 
"I think our history as a railway town should be preserved," he said, adding previous councils should have acted on this matter.
 
Council will be asked next month to vote on a direction to move forward.
 
Kris Dube.

 Photo
Canadian National number 6218 - Date unknown Photographer unknown.
Quoted under the provisions in Section 29
of the Canadian Copyright Modernization Act.
 Internal link          Internal link
 Image