Alco Steam Locomotive 113 is getting a facelift.
At the Regional District of Mount Waddington meeting Sept. 15, Manager of Economic Development Pat English told the board that the work of removing bunker oil from the locomotive and preparing it for painting has been contracted.
Once the engine has been repainted it will be put on display, complete with viewing platforms and information displays.
The hope is “to get that constructed this fall,” said English.
The Alco Locomotive 113 and Hornsby crawler are portable heritage pieces. Both were secured by the regional district after challenges from outside entities – the Alberni Valley Heritage Society sought the steam locomotive claimed by the Woss Community Association, and a private collector in Surrey held the Hornsby for several years before being forced by court order to return it to North Vancouver Island.
Woss has been approved for grants for a 2.79-hectare Woss Living Heritage Park, which would have the Alco 113 steam locomotive as its centrepiece and would also include picnic and play areas, an interpretive kiosk, viewing deck and parking, with the potential future addition of trail development and other heritage placements.
The RDMW currently has a licence of occupation from the Crown for the Heritage Park land and “we have applied for a free Crown grant,” said English.
The 113 was built in 1920 by the American Locomotive Company, which originally numbered it the 102, and served duty in Oregon before Alberni Pacific purchased it following a refit in the late 1930s. Alberni Pacific ran the engine as the No. 6 for 14 years, which is part of the basis for the claim by the Alberni Valley Heritage Society and the AVRD. Canfor purchased the locomotive in the 1950s, renumbered it to the current 113 and ran it in its Englewood logging operation until 1976.
Loci 113 was the last steam locomotive in active logging service and, at 135 tons, has the distinction of being the largest logging locomotive on Vancouver Island.