St. Jacobs Ontario
Designed and Built
by Carson Wiebe
In 1993 SOLRS started using
the former Canada Southern Railway Shop located in St. Thomas,
Ontario, now owned by Canadian National Railway / Canadian
Pacific Railway as part of the CASO take over.
In 2006, with the St. Thomas Shop
in need of repair and with Canadian National Railway applying for
abandonment of the track on which we operated on, we had to find a new
location to operate from.
In 2007,an lease agreement was
entered into with the Regional Municipality of Waterloo for the
use of Waterloo Spur. The region had previously purchased the Waterloo
Spur from Canadian National Railway which runs north from Kitchener,
Ontario to Elmira, Ontario. In addition we contracted with the region to
provide tourist train service. Although restoration work continued in
St. Thomas on two smaller steam engines, the bulk of the equipment was
moved to the region in the fall of 2007.
Without the use of the
shops in St. Thomas, a repair facility solution had to be found.
In the fall of 2007, a new 5,700
square foot restoration shop was designed which will have two
through tracks, two inspection pits, wide work
areas, good lighting, full insulation and heating. In addition
washrooms for our passengers, storage and an office will be
included. The modern 62 x 95 foot facility will enable
restoration and maintenance work to take place year-round.
Preliminary site grading was approved by the board and was started in
September 2008. At the May 2009 meeting the board gave approval to
proceed with the installation of the foundation. This phase was
completed by the end of July and the shop was put on hold until
additional financing could be obtained. When an infrastructure grant
from the federal government was awarded to SOLRS in September the board
instructed the construction manager, Carson Wiebe, who had designed the
facility, to restart the project immediately. Construction continued
through the winter and the shop was substantially completed by April
which were taken by Carson throughout the construction process can be
found in section .