Getting the Short Line 101 back on track

Don Fox, volunteer engineer, (left) and Tim Pomeroy, conservation manager with the Western Development Museum, stand next to the Short Line 101 Vulcan steam engine. Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

Western Development Museum launches $101K for the 101 campaign to fix the track for the Vulcan steam engine

The Short Line 101 at the Western Development Museum (WDM) has gone off the rails for the moment because its track is in need of repair.

This week, the museum launched a campaign to try to raise $101,000 and get the 1914 Vulcan steam engine back on track.

“I’ve had many people tell me that they know it’s summer when they hear that whistle,” said Kathy Fitton, manager of the WDM. “I think a lot of people identify that engine with the Western Development Museum in Moose Jaw and I know countless people have brought their children and children’s children to ride on that train.”

Tim Pomeroy, conservation manager with the Western Development Museum, stand next to the Short Line 101 Vulcan steam engine. Lisa Goudy/Times-Herald

This is why she said it’s imperative to get the train, which is the only operating steam locomotive in the province, up and running again. The attraction didn’t run last year because of the work needed on the track.

The track campaign doesn’t have a deadline, however she said the sooner the train can be up and running, the better.

“Our hope is that at the very least the work can be completed by the end of this season and the engine can be back for sure next spring,” she said.

When the train will be back on track depends on the fundraising and availability of the company that gets the tender for the work. The tender was released on Tuesday and it closes on May 5 and there have already been two proposals.

The track has been an issue for the last three or four years, said Tim Pomeroy, the WDM’s conservation manager. These problems came to a head a year and a half ago when the condition of the track began causing safety concerns. Most of the track’s 700 rail ties are rotted.

For more on this, see the April 21, 2017 print or online edition of the Moose Jaw Times-Herald.