The Standard (St. Catharines)

Railway museum adds rare Inco piece used years ago

- KRIS DUBÉ Kris Dubé is a St. Catharines-based reporter for the Welland Tribune. Reach him via email: kris.dube@niagaradai­lies.com

A new piece added to the collection at Niagara Railway Museum last week has put the organizati­on further on the right track to preserving local locomotive and industrial heritage.

On Friday, a train car used by Inco was transporte­d from Port Colborne to the museum in Fort Erie. The car was used to carry nickel and alloy as part of the operation at Inco, which is now Vale.

There were eight cars in total that were taken out of service in about 1986. Four of them were scrapped, two were sold to a collector in the United Kingdom, and the remaining two have “sat outside in a field” since then, said Ken Jones, founder of the museum that opened in 2010.

The museum will restore the car to “see if it will run again.” It will be painted in its original yellow, which still shows amidst rust that has formed over the years.

“I thought it would be neat to have because it’s part of our railway history,” said Jones.

“I haven’t found any of this type.” The train is a narrow-gauge vessel, compatible with tracks that are two feet wide.

“It looked really funny on the tow truck. It’s a really small piece,” said Jones.

It was built in 1945 by Vulcan Iron Works in Pennsylvan­ia.

The addition is one of 16 pieces housed at the museum, which sits in the maintenanc­e shop of the former Fort Erie Railyard, a stop for trains crossing the border into Buffalo, N.Y., over the Internatio­nal Train Bridge. The yard closed in the late ’80s, said Jones.

Jones said the museum is anxious to welcome visitors again soon, once COVID-19 restrictio­ns are loosened, pointing out revenue has stopped dead in its tracks.

“We’ve lost 100 per cent of our revenue,” he said.

The most rare item at the museum is a fireless steam locomotive, one of two in Canada, which was used many years ago in Atlas Specialty Steel’s operations in Welland.

 ?? BOB TYMCZYSZYN TORSTAR ?? A tow operator prepares to transport an old train from Port Colborne as Ed Guhl, right, and Ken Jones look on.
BOB TYMCZYSZYN TORSTAR A tow operator prepares to transport an old train from Port Colborne as Ed Guhl, right, and Ken Jones look on.

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