9 Railcars to be Released from the Cranbrook History Centre Collection

*As originally submitted to the Cranbrook Townsman

August 17, 2020

The Cranbrook History Centre (CHC) has begun the process of deaccessioning 9 railcars determined to be historically significant but beyond the resources of the Centre to maintain or restore.

In 2019, the CHC began a complete assessment of its Historic Railcar Collection with the intention of creating a rationalized collection and a sustainable organization. The History Centre currently maintains 29 historically significant railcars, 17 of which are open to the public through year-round tours.

The final collection assessment was completed in August of 2020 and reviewed by the Board of Directors. The Board concluded the organization could not sustain the Historic Railcar Collection in its entirety. The Centre has begun the process of deaccessioning 9 railcars which will enable the museum to direct its available resources towards completing restoration work on its core collection.

The CHC will now begin receiving expressions of interest from museums, railway preservation societies, and other public institutions. Every effort will be made to keep these significant pieces of Canadian heritage within the public domain as the Centre’s Collection Policy dictates. It is hoped that by releasing these objects from the collection, another organization with the resources to do so will have the opportunity to restore, maintain and showcase these important pieces of Canada’s railway history.

The railcars could be purchased by a suitable private collector if an appropriate public organization cannot be found. Any money received from the sale of the 9 railcars will be put back into maintaining the rest of the collection.

This is a transformative period for the Cranbrook History Centre. With the completion of the first phase of the Heritage Railcar Preservation Building and the decision to rationalize the collection, the organization is prepared to move forward responsibly, thereby ensuring the Centre’s long-term sustainably.

Any questions or comments are welcomed, and may be directed to: Bob Whetham, Board Chair at [email protected]

*Edit August 19, 2020

Thank you to everyone who expressed their interest so far. The cars we are in the process of deaccessioning include:

  • Chinook set (as one unit) comprising 4 semi-streamlined steel cars:
    • Baggage Car 3612, built in 1940. Condition: Fair. Currently used as a workshop and storage.
    • Baggage and Buffet Combine 3051, built in 1936. Condition: Fair. Baggage area used for storage. Original interior.
    • Coach 2104, built in 1936. Condition: Poor. Some water damage to wall panels. Original interior.
    • Coach 1700, built in 1938. Condition: Poor. Some water damage to wall panels and weakening floor panels. Original interior.
  • CP Baggage car 4481, built in 1921.
    • Steel Heavyweight. Condition: Fair/Poor. Used for storage. Recent water damage due to exposed roof panels. A quarter of the roof has been recently covered with new rolled roofing material.
  • CP Sleeper Redvers, built in 1929.
    • Steel Heavyweight. Condition: Fair. Restored 1950’s modernized interior. Small but numerous repairs required.
  • CP Sleeper Newcastle, built in 1921.
    •  Steel Heavyweight. Condition: Poor. CP work train interior condition.
  • CP Diner Wingfield.
    • Steel Heavyweight. Condition: Poor. CP work train interior condition.
  • Locomotive Tender 3100, built in 1928
    • From locomotive 4-8-4. Condition: Poor. Previously used on excursion service.

More information will be made available as the deaccessioning process continues.