Car­bon­ear hopes to spruce up train

The Compass - - EDITORIAL - BY MELISSA JENK­INS melissa.jenk­ins@tc.tc

Most of the tracks no longer ex­ist and the only train left in Car­bon­ear may not run, but the town is still known for its rail­way sta­tion that op­er­ated for nearly a cen­tury be­fore closing in 1984.

Af­ter $250,000 in ren­o­va­tions in 2010, the sta­tion, now a mu­seum, looked crisp and invit­ing. It’s been a reg­is­tered her­itage struc­ture in New­found­land since 1987, and con­tin­ues to be a big tourist at­trac­tion in Car­bon­ear.

But only a few hun­dred feet away from the sta­tion, an­other part of rail­way his­tory sits. Lo­co­mo­tive 803, a for­mer sec­tion of a 1956 Terra Trans­port train, has found a home there. It has been painted nu­mer­ous times since it was re­tired to the track across from the beach next to the Con­cep­tion Bay Re­gional Com­mu­nity Cen­tre.

It has been over a decade since it saw its last coat of paint. The rust stains are start­ing to bleed through and the rail­ings are wob­bly. It is in rough shape.

Car­bon­ear Coun. Ed Goff has been at the fore­front of a dis­cus­sion to ren­o­vate the train to make it pre­sentable.

“It’s di­lap­i­dat­ing and be­com­ing an eye­sore,” Goff told The Compass last week. “We have to do some­thing with it. It could be a real nice piece.”

But it has reached the end of its days for touch ups. A new plan has been in the works for sev­eral years, which would in­volve hav­ing the train sand­blasted and re­painted from the bare struc­ture.

Goff would like to see it hap­pen be­fore it’s be­yond re­pair.

“It’s no good to just paint it any­more. Get some longevity out of it. Coun­cil has got to do some­thing with it, one way or the other.”

Af­ter such an ex­ten­sive project on the train sta­tion, Goff would like the train to be a land­mark, drawing peo­ple in from far and wide. He has some ideas on how to get that to hap­pen.

“Ide­ally I would like to see rope light­ing on it, so that it’s lit up in the night­time,” he said. “But I guess you try to pri­or­i­tize that in terms of spend­ing. That’s why each (depart­ment) gets a bud­get.”

A spe­cific dollar fig­ure wasn’t avail­able for the cost of the project, but a quote a few years ago came in quite high, Goff said. The town is now check­ing with other mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties with trains on dis­play to see how much they spent on re­vi­tal­iza­tion and restora­tion ef­forts.

PHOTO BY MELISSA JENK­INS/THE COMPASS

Lo­co­mo­tive 803 sits for eter­nity be­side the Con­cep­tion Bay Re­gional Com­mu­nity Cen­tre in Car­bon­ear.

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