Heber Valley Railroad Equipment
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This page was last updated on November 5, 2021.
British Columbia Equipment to Heber Research Notes
RPCX (ex CN/VIA) F9 6300 moved by truck from Provo to Heber on December 19, 2019.
The arrival of RPCX 6300 and four passenger cars loaded on flat cars on December 9, 2019 was the final movement of the former British Columbia equipment. The move of the former British Columbia equipment began in May 2019, with four passenger cars arriving loaded on flat cars. The same four flat cars were then returned to British Columbia twice and made two trips, each with four additional passenger cars, during the summer of 2019. The final trip for the flats cars was the final move in December 2019.
Craig Lacey wrote in December 2019:
There were also two other shipments of four cars each in the interim. Sixteen cars total came by rail, along with the 6300. The steam generators came by truck, so the total number is now 19 pieces of rolling stock. A car was donated to Canadian Pacific (as a parts source) and I believe a boxcar may have been scrapped.
The flatcars used for the coach shipments have been held in continuous captive service since the first shipment. Even so, it was a struggle to keep the empties headed in the right direction for reloading. This whole operation has been a major challenge.
From Facebook, Baltimore Chapter, NRHS, May 7, 2019...
The rolling stock collection of the British Columbia Chapter, National Railway Historical Society has officially been acquired by the Heber Valley Railway in Heber City Utah. Four of the coaches loaded on TPDX flats are now ready to head south via BNSF. The rest of the collection will follow in the coming months. The collection included one EMD FP9 locomotive, 23 coaches, 2 steam generator cars, and 1 box car. Three of the coaches have already been disposed of, purchased by Canadian Pacific Railway to augment their business car fleet for parts. The box car is to be scrapped.
For the better part of fifty years the collection of coaches, and more recently ex-VIA FP9 6300, have been dutifully acquired and attended to by BC Chapter NRHS founder Terry Fergusson. For the last 35 or so years the collection of coaches has been held indoors at the old Woodwards Warehouse in New Westminster, B.C. that has ensured the collection maintain its pristine condition, with the exception of a few coaches that had to be stored outside.
Unfortunately time and politics have taken their toll, and it was time to find a new home for the collection, and the folks at Heber Valley Railway stepped up to the plate to provide that well-deserved break and new home for the collection.
According to a notice of civil claim filed in August 2016 by the numbered company 2725321 Canada Inc., the society has some 25 passenger and freight cars, including an engine, stored at a giant warehouse at 109 Braid Street. There are also tables, chairs, signs, tools, equipment and other material on the property.
The property was formerly a Woodward's warehouse and has been owned by the numbered company since the mid-1990s. It is managed by QuadReal Property Group, a company the B.C. Investment Management Corporation launched in 2016 to manage its real estate investments.
RailsBC Facebook Entries
December 2017, equipment inside warehouse
March 2018, showing that CN installed the removed connection to the national network in mid March 2018
August 2018, equipment being loaded on flat cars
British Columbia Chapter's Facebook page...
Page created - October 3, 2012
Last news entry was April 21, 2014.
Last entry was when they changed their cover photo, dated February 25, 2015.
Last apparent usage of the equipment was for the chapter's North Pole Express for Christmas 2012.
From the chapter's defunct web site...
"Saturday April 19 2014, another milestone in the improvements to the 1957 built GM passenger engine number 6300.
The NRHS-BC team mechanic Murray Redford had rebuilt the head end power Detroit Diesel engine in his garage over the past 8 months. The earlier block had been ruined from freezing damage, a second block was worn out, and a third new block was donated, with thanks, from Cullen Diesel. Original good parts were used but many new gaskets and fittings were added.
A Hyab crane truck arrived at Murray's home early Saturday morning and brought the freshly painted restored engine over to the work site. A new very low clearance lifting appliance had to be created as the door clearances into the car body were whisker tight. The Hyab operator had measured the boom radius, lifting clearances and swing necessary in advance to be certain the install would work. The engine weighed 900 Kg or just under 2000 pounds. There was one inch (total) of door clearance to be navigated for the engine to be inserted into the car body and set down on the engine / generator frame.
In less than an hour the engine was safely nestled inside the car body with Murray and Andy Cassidy, another team diesel mechanic, finalizing the installation.
Both Andy and Murray, had two years ago, taken the out of service 6300 from a long sleep of seven years and brought her back to life. They both feel that the 6300 is in particularly fine condition and improvements are made when ever possible so that it can see service once again."
Railway Preservation News Forum Links
RYPN discussion from September 2017...
RYPN discussion from May 2019...
The following is from Canadian Railway Observations web site:
A collection of 23 vintage Canadian rail coaches as well as famous locomotive (VIA FP9Au 6300) stored in a New Westminster, BC warehouse is in danger of being broken up. Rip Peterman, the President of the B.C. Chapter of the National Railway Historical Society, said his group has until April 2014 to find a new home for the train cars that date from the 1940s to the 1960s, which have been lovingly restored in a back corner of a giant industrial warehouse next to the Braid SkyTrain station. The warehouse will be demolished by developer Bentall Kennedy to make way for Sapperton Green, a 38-acre mixed-use development including office buildings, retail and residential Peterman said many of the rail cars might end up in the United States. Some of the coaches may get dismantled by other collectors for parts. They also own ex-VIA FP9Au 6300, donated by VIA from VMC a few years back.
"This is probably the biggest operable collection in Canada," said Peterman. "We would like to keep it. But with the clock ticking the group, which is comprised of six active railway buffs plus volunteers who come and go as projects develop, faces some daunting obstacles. Peterman said the space they've occupied in the warehouse for 28 years is unique because it affords them the room to store the coaches inside, safe from the crowbars and screwdrivers of metal thieves and unscrupulous collectors looking for notable components, as well as access to a main rail line from an unused dead-end spur.
The group finances its acquisitions by booking out the trains for private functions, tours and even movie shoots. Peterman said efforts to move the collection, even in a pared-down state, to new locations in Coquitlam and Port Moody have fallen through because property in the Lower Mainland is "too valuable" to set aside a chunk large enough to park a long train. "That's how all our dreams and aspirations get crushed," said Peterman, who noted the group's work to acquire and restore rail cars has pretty much ground to a halt since last September when they rolled out their restoration of the diesel-electric locomotive that was infamously in the consist of the VIA Rail passenger train that collided with a freight train outside Hinton, Alberta in 1986, killing 23 people
Peterman said a proposal by the group to straighten a section of the spur line and set aside a small back corner of Sapperton Green for a historical working museum that includes a covered workshop, a pit for undercarriage repairs and a viewing gallery for the public to see them at work as well as appreciate the collection has so far fallen on deaf ears
RPCX 6300 Locomotive
In the early morning hours of December 9, 2019, RPCX 6300 F unit rolled through Salt Lake City, en route to Provo to be loaded on a low-bow truck for movement to Heber. (Paul Liddiard, comment to Facebook, Utah Rail Enthusiasts, December 9, 2019)
(The RPCX reporting mark was from Heber Valley's membership in the Railroad Passenger Car Alliance for the movement of private railroad passenger cars.)
On December 19, 2019 RPCX 6300 was moved by truck from Provo to Heber.
Posted to Utah Rail Enthusiasts by Trenton Oakeson on December 19, 2019...
"Thirty minutes ago I passed what my best guess is Heber's newest locomotive. It rolled through downtown Provo on a truck. Pretty neat unit too bad I was driving so I couldn't take a picture."
RPCX 6300 as VIA 6300
RPCX 6300 was originally CN 6524, moving from NRHS Vancouver (New Westminster) to Heber Valley Railway.
CN 6524 was built in April 1957; transferred to VIA March 31, 1978; rebuilt by CN Pointe St. Charles shops for VIA in 1983 and renumbered to VIA 6300; was the locomotive in the centre of the passenger train involved in the accident at Dalehurst AB, 8 February 1986; received some damage that was repaired using the nose of KCS F7A 4062; returned to service; modified by VIA in 1997 to remove steam generator and install head end power generator; based in Montreal and used on passenger service in northern Quebec.
As VIA 6300, it was operating mid-way in the consist of the Transcon that was involved in the disastrous head-on collision near Hinton, Alberta. Resulting damage was repaired using the nose from KCS 4062.
Following the wreck in February 1986, including being seen with unrepaired wreck damage as late as June 1986, VIA 6300 was rebuilt using major portions of KCS F7 4062 (nee KCS 75A), which was purchased as a complete locomotive for the purpose of repairing VIA 6300. KCS 4062 was moved to CN's Pont St. Charles shop, where the repairs were completed in
KCS 4062 was built as Louisiana & Arkansas 75A in 1950 (EMD 9165, 2/1950); renumbered to KCS 91; then renumbered to KCS 4062.
VIA 6300 was the last active F unit in VIA Rail's roster. It had been used as a shop switcher at VIA Rail's Vancouver Maintenance Centre.
From Canadian Railway Observations web site:
February 8, 2011, marked the 25th anniversary of one of Canada's worst rail disasters, the head-on collision of a VIA Rail passenger train and a CN freight at Dalehurst, AB, just outside of Hinton. On February 8, 1986, VIA Rail's Super Continental and Skeena were running connected as Train 4, having departed Jasper heading east towards Edmonton. At 8:40 am, a westbound 114-car long CN freight failed to stop for a red signal, and collided head-on with the VIA Rail train at over 80mph. A total of 23 people were killed, including the head-end crews of both trains and a number of passengers. As many as 95 other passengers were injured. The cause of the accident was never absolutely determined, but it is believed to be the result of human error. The disaster was tragic, but has led to changes in railway practice that has greatly improved railroad safety today.
The consist of VIA #4 on that day was:
FP7A 6566 - F9B 6633 - Baggage 617 - Coach (Snack Bar) 3229 - Skyline 513 - Sleeper Ennishore - Sleeper Elcott - FP9Au 6300 - Steam Generator 15445 - Baggage 9653 - Dayniter 5703 - Cafe-Lounge 757 - Sleeper Estcourt - Steam Generator 15404
All equipment ahead of 6300 was destroyed and never returned to service. FP9Au 6300, which started life as CN 6524, was severely damaged. It would later be rebuilt with the cab of Kansas City Southern F7A 4062, and returned to service. Years later, it was assigned to serve as the shop switcher at VIA's Vancouver Maintenance Centre. Although often sidelined by mechanical failures, 6300 is still assigned to service at VMC, making it the last active F unit on VIA's roster.
Tim Ball submitted these photos of VIA 6300, taken by his father shortly after the wreck in 1986 while at the shops in Capreol, ON. The fact that 6300 sustained this level of damage despite being eighth in the train consist, gives a sense of the magnitude of the wreck.
From Wikipedia article about VIA FP9ARM rebuilt units...
VIA 6300, built in 1957 as CN 6524 (EMD-DD A1196, April 1957); rebuilt as FP9ARM in December 1983; Donated to the BC chapter of the National Railway Historical Society in 2011 [Bytown Railway Society, Inc. Canadian Trackside Guide 2017].
Photos of VIA 6300...