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NG Vulcan Restoration in Ontario

May 04, 2020 07:42AM avatar
Narrow gauge sure isn’t common in Ontario, but a 3’ gauge 0-4-0ST is undergoing restoration at the Ontario Steam Heritage Museum, just west of Toronto.

It was built by Vulcan in November of 1909, Serial #1419, as Essex Construction #1 in Effingham IL. It came to Canada at an unknown date and became Johnson Bros #2, then was later sold to Kirkfield Crushed Stone. While there it accompanied a couple other small Vulcans hauling stone to the crusher, but by the end it was downgraded to become just the spare engine. It was technically their number 2, although I’ve read it never carried a number in service. Sometimes railfan photographers would neatly chalk the numbers on the cab sides however, so that they could tell them apart.

Photos taken at Kirkfield Quarry May 24, 1947. Andrew Merrilees Collection, Library & Archives Canada

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On abandonment of the quarry line in 1961, the engine was put on display at the offices of then-owner Dufferin Aggregates, then to the museum in Pickering, Ontario, and finally to the Ontario Steam Heritage Museum in 2003.

The museum is on the property of long-time steam enthusiast Wayne Fischer, about an hour west of Toronto. There are more than 20 steam traction engines on the site, not to mention many other pieces of historic farming and transportation equipment. Most are owned by the museum, although many are stabled there on behalf of other owners.

Restoration of the Vulcan began a couple years ago. Some of the major work has been contracted out, such as construction of a new boiler by Oliver Boiler in Auburn ON, and re-profiling of the tires locally. The balance of the frame-off restoration is being headed by museum employee Richard Mosher. Many replacement parts are being machined on-site, and occasional volunteers help with the restoration.

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To be continued.....
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tgbcvr May 04, 2020 07:42AM

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