CN Preserving Historic Piece of Canada’s Railway
Restored Engine to be Displayed in Middleton, NSMIDDLETON, NS -Dianne Hankinson LeGard, Chair of the Middleton Railway Museum Society, is proud to announce that CN is assisting in the restoration and display of a vintage locomotive in recognition of the rich, century-old, heritage of the railway in the Town of Middleton.
Completed by the Locomotive and Machine Company of Montreal in 1905, the 61.1-foot-long engine weighs 274,500 pounds and could carry 10 tons of coal and 5,000 gallons of water. “It is quite unusual as it is equipped with a Belpaire firebox, a design usually associated with the Pennsylvania Railroad in the U.S.A. To my knowledge there is no other similarly equipped steam locomotive in Canada,” said Bill Linley, chair of the Nova Scotia Railway Heritage Society.
CN has offered its services and materials to create new infrastructure capable of supporting the 75-ton locomotive and tender in front of the historic railway station. Construction has already begun.
Middleton’s railway history dates back to the 1870s when Nictaux and Atlantic Rail commissioned the line which was later renamed Nova Scotia Central. The line would service the nearby iron mines at Torbrook and the growing agricultural industries of the province for over a century. “We view the lines and the station as core to the development of our primary industries and early passenger traffic in central Nova Scotia,” said LeGard.
“CN is extremely pleased to support the effort to bring this rare piece of Canadian railway history back to Middleton, a founding line in our now tri-coastal network which provides essential transportation service to the economy, our customers and to the communities we serve,” said Robert Pace, chair of the board of CN. “This is the type and size of locomotive that would have run through Middleton to the great Canadian North and to the Pacific Coast – the engine was engineered to be a work-horse in the second wave of the industrial revolution.”
After being sold for preservation, the engine was later acquired by a private owner in Michigan in 1969 and eventually made its way back to Nova Scotia. After being displayed at Upper Clements Park to the delight of thousands of railway enthusiasts, the locomotive will now be proudly displayed in Middleton, NS.
“We can trace our Province’s integral role in today’s international supply chain back to the innovations and infrastructure put in place over a century ago in Middleton,” proclaimed the Honourable Stephen McNeil, Premier of Nova Scotia. “CNR 1521 will stand as a reminder of our capacity to innovate and compete in what is becoming a more virtual and global marketplace every day. It is important to reflect on Nova Scotia’s long history as a central figure in the trade and transport of our nation’s natural resources and products, a legacy that continues to this day.”
The locomotive was donated to the Middleton Railway Museum by the Municipality of the County of Annapolis when some assets of the theme park became surplus. "Municipal councillors voted unanimously to give the train to the museum in Middleton," said Lawrence Powell, the county's information officer. "The feeling was that this iconic engine should remain in the area as an attraction and as a testament to the transportation industry that helped make the Annapolis Valley a thriving and vibrant place."
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Dianne Hankinson LeGard
Middleton Railway Museum Society
Telephone: (902) 824-2766
Telephone: (902) 955-0704
Telephone: (514) 399-7956
Cellphone: (514) 755-7956