After 50 years of sitting idle a 5080 locomotive is on it’s way from Prince Albert to Alberta where it will receive a new lease on life. For one night on it’s journey it stopped in Rosetown.
Arne Lindberg is a volunteer that has worked on the 5080 restoration project for nearly a decade. “Its taken 7 years to get this restoration going. We looked at many options from building an enclosure, to a cosmetic restoration, in the end moving the locomotive from was the best option.”
To move the locomotive it took a team of people and two cranes to life the 118 tonne engine onto the truck. It will arrive at Aspen Crossing later this week and be placed onto their private track. After that, the railway themed amusement park will put a team of experts to work fully restoring the engine to an operational status.
“It’s going to be something special when it’s completed in a few years,” Arne says. “There aren’t many engines like this in Canada left. When it’s running it will be renamed ‘The Spirit of Prince Albert’ and it will be a real treat for the theme park’s 50 some thousand visitors a year. It will be such a great showcase.”
The locomotive has a long history in Canada. It was originally built in Montreal in 1914, and spent most of its life in Western Canada.
“I have pictures of it in Jasper and Banff. It spent time hauling people, lumber, and produce across Western Canada. It was part of all that history that made us what we are today”
The $1,000,000 restoration is expected to be completed in three to five years.