I realized it has been some time since I sent out an update on happenings at the Museum, and there has been a lot happening, even though we are closed to the public.
Our Calder shop, named after CN’s Calder yards, is now more of a Northern Alberta Railways shop. NAR steam locomotive 73 is on the south track, currently getting a face lift with new paint on the boiler, cab, and tender; a new headlight; and overall touch-ups. On Saturday it was a beehive of painting and cleaning activity. After painting it will be relettered. The Museum has received a grant under the Heritage Preservation Partnership Program from Alberta Culture for this restoration.
On the north track in Calder Shop, patiently awaiting attention, is NAR business car Dunvegan. The roof was patched earlier this year. The existing siding is disintegrating, and will be removed. New siding will be purchased and applied, thanks to a grant from the Edmonton Heritage Council.
Dunvegan shop is also NAR territory. The crane idler car restoration is almost complete. The eight man bunk car behind has had the exterior cladding stripped off, exposing the sawdust insulation underneath. Further work on the bunk car is on hold with the focus on completing NAR 73 in time for the grant deadline.
This year we have four summer staff: Anikka, Claire, Monika, and Nathaniel. They have been busy with projects at the Museum and offsite. If you visit the site you will notice the fresh paint on the volunteer centre, Opal passenger shelter, the firehall, the white picket fence, and some of the small sheds. As well the staff have completed an education program, put together a virtual tour, worked on displays, and have a kids story about the child of a station agent in progress.
Work around the site is both visible and invisible, at least until one looks carefully. The St. Albert station has had the windows redone and the station platform has been extended for better traffic flow. New platforms have been built for the fire hall and speeder shed. Canadian Northern combine 7379 is getting a fresh coat of paint. Our main speeder has been rebuilt, and another speeder repainted. The grass has been mowed in spite of the wet weather. Small improvements have been made here and there. Track one between Calder & Dunvegan shops is getting some tender loving care.
Our finances continue to be tight. There has been no further news on a casino date. We have received donations of tools and money from members, a few special visitors, and the CN Railroaders in the Community, for which we are most thankful. We continue to apply for grants, which typically are project based, that is the monies received are for the completion of a specific project, such as NAR 73.
As always, members and volunteers are welcome to visit the Museum. If you wish to visit, please let me know and I will advise on the protocol.