By: Solrs  09-12-2011


Locomotive Repair Shop

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 2010.

Pictures which were taken by Carson throughout the construction process can be found in section .