The Selkirk Spreader was placed at the Revelstoke Railway Museum Sept. 19.
This formidable piece of equipment, the last surviving its type, was craned into the rolling stock display area, a huge operation involving a team of specialists and volunteers.
A spreader is the piece of rail equipment that sits behind the snow plow on a work train to spread snow off the tracks, using extendable wings. Designed by the O.F. Jordan Company specifically for the Revelstoke Division in 1931, this spreader featured a cab to protect its operator from the elements, and was robust enough to clear snow slides.
The acquisition is the result of years of planning by the museum’s board of trustees and the artifact’s owner, Canadian Pacific Railway, who have stored the spreader in the Revelstoke rail yard since its retirement around 2005, and have donated it the museum.
“This initiative brings the opportunity to preserve, and make accessible to the public, a completely unique piece of rail equipment that is quintessentially Revelstoke and would otherwise be lost to scrap,” says Revelstoke Rail Museum executive director, Hayley Johnson.
In preparation for the arrival next week, hundreds of hours’ work has gone into moving and preparing the track for the big event.
“We are fortunate to have a number of retired rail roaders who have donated their time and expertise to the project, and I’m incredibly grateful to the volunteers that have stepped up to take on the back-breaking work involved in upgrading the museum’s track.”
The acquisition has been made possible through funding from CBT Community Initiatives, the Revelstoke Community Foundation, and CBT’s Heritage, Museum and Archive program.
Specialist cranes will be brought in to pick up and load the spreader onto a truck at the CPR rail yard and then on to the track in the museum’s outdoor display area – it will be a delicate operation involving many tonnes of equipment.