OUR HERITAGE FLEET
STEAM LOCOMOTIVE 2141
"SPIRIT OF KAMLOOPS"
The 2141 steam locomotive was built in 1912 in Kingston Ontario. She spent her early years hauling freight, passengers, and mixed trains across the prairies until being pulled from service for a rebuild in 1948. She emerged from the shops with a brand new look and was now burning oil instead of coal. She was then shipped to Vancouver Island where she worked with her sister engine the 2149 until 1958. Both engines were retired and diesels took their place on the island branch line.
The 2141 and all 24 sister locomotives (2130-2154) soon met their date with the cutting torch and the 2141 became the sole survivor of the family, thanks to Mayor Jack Fitzwater of Kamloops. In 1961, Mr. Fitzwater purchased the 2141 from the CNR for $2000.00 and had her shipped back to the sunny city of Kamloops. From 1961 until 1994 the 2141 sat idle in the downtown park and generations of Kamloops children played on her, sitting in the cab and pretending to thunder down the rails. Weather and vandalism soon took their tole on the old engine and in 1994 plans were put into place to restore her. This meant a lot more than a few cans of paint later, 2141 was destined to ride the rails again!
In October of 1994 the 2141 was lifted out of the park and trucked to a nearby barn for nearly a decade of work to begin. For eight years men and women of all aged toiled away hoping one day to see steam. In 2002 they finally did, the barn doors swung open and the 2141 chugged out under her own steam for the first time since 1958. Two open-air cars were built, three coaches, a cafe lounge and a caboose followed suit not long after. The Kamloops Heritage Railway was open for business! In the summer of 2002 the 2141 carried her first load of passengers… on a sold out train!
2141 now spends her second chance at life leisurely transporting passengers back in time, all the while providing guests a chance to see and hear the sound of the only steam locomotive left like it in the world!
CAFE LOUNGE CAR
Built in 1954, the “Monte Lake” (402) Café Lounge (ex-CN/VIA 5592/755) was part of the modernization process undertaken by the CNR to upgrade their fleet of passenger equipment. Rail travel was at the height of popularity in the 1950’s and CNR was feeling a little outdated, to counteract this CNR placed an order for 359 new “streamlined” passenger rail cars. Café Lounge cars were just a handful of the beautiful new fleet built by Canadian Car and foundry.
Café Lounge cars were attached to trains to offer a light meal and refreshment service. Unlike a Dining car the Café lounge catered to smaller portions and a larger variety of drinks. One end of the car was designated as a lounge area and it would seat 18 passengers. Minors were not allowed in this end as liquor was served. The other end of the car was the Café which offered service to families and travelers looking for a bite to eat and a non-alcoholic drink. The Café has room for 25 passengers with a third of the seating located at the counter.
The Kamloops Heritage Railway Society has modified the “Monte Lake” Café Lounge car slightly to make the lounge area more comfortable and to let more natural light in. Originally the hallway walls between the café and lounge continued for the entire length of the car. Other than that small modification in the hallway, we are proud to say that this Café Lounge sports much of the original CN/VIA interior. This car is also equipped with one washroom and is heated during cold operating days.
You can think of this car as the “Facebook” of its day. People came here to interact with one another; some people may even call this the original social network.
STREAMLINED COACH 403
Built in 1954, the “Riverside Park” (403) passenger coach (ex-CN/VIA 5590) was part of the modernization process undertaken by the CNR to upgrade their fleet of passenger equipment. Rail travel was at the height of popularity in the 1950’s and CNR was feeling a little outdated. To counteract this, CNR placed an order for 359 new “streamlined” passenger rail cars. Passenger coaches made up a large portion of the huge order and many of these fine coaches still survive.
The passenger coach was attached to all passenger trains for general use; all guests were assigned a seat for day use and could book a sleeping car arrangement for overnight. Overhead was a large area for carry on luggage and the cars came equipped with two washrooms. The 403 can seat a maximum number of 76 passengers and the seats can be rotated to face each other or left much like an airplane in the direction of travel. The seats are identified by an “A” for aisle and a “W” for window along with a number; they also recline and are designed to leave ample leg room for a more comfortable trip aboard. Blinds can be opened and closed with ease to block out the hot sun.
The Kamloops Heritage Railway acquired the 403 passenger coach in 2004 along with its sisters the 404 & 405. This coach has been kept in almost original condition except for the aisle carpet which would have matched the “groovy” carpeting under the seats. KHRS is proud to say that this passenger coach sports much of the original CN/VIA 1970’s interior. The 403 at one time was known as a first class day coach and was heated and cooled depending on the weather. The coach also came equipped with a water filtering system and water was picked up en route.
Imagine experiencing the massive expanse of the prairies and the grandeur of the Rocky Mountains from your comfortable first class seat in this very passenger coach. ALL ABOARD!
OPEN AIR HAYRACK CARS
"301 & 302"
Open air car 301 was built in 2002 and was one of the first pieces of equipment that 2141 hauled when she was restored. Open air 301 was designed and built by volunteers of the Kamloops Heritage Railway and was completed in time for the KHR’s inaugural excursion within the city. Kamloops Heritage Railway’s trains at one time only consisted of open air car 301 and coach 406! Today the society has grown and our fleet now includes 3 coaches, 2 baggage cars, a café lounge, a parlour car, 2 cabooses, a snowplough and of course 2 open air cars! The open air car originally didn’t have a roof as it was designed to slightly resemble the CPR’s open air “Hayrack” style car which was coupled to CPR trains in the early 1900’s. These cars were for First class passengers only and were put onto trains traveling from Kamloops to Banff and Lake Louis. (The Rocky Mountain section)
In the spring of 2004 the open air car received a “clear-a-story” style of roof as the Kamloops sun was proving to be too hot for passengers traveling with Kamloops Heritage Railway.
Open air car 302 has a very similar history to her sister car 301 with only a few exceptions. 302 was completed in 2003 and very closely resemble 301. The car was also fitted with a roof in 2004 and was altered slightly to accommodate passengers traveling in a wheel chair.
One surprising fun fact about 302 is that it is about 8 feet shorter than 301 which many people don’t notice until told.
Another important fact that must not go untold is that both open air cars at one point were flat cars which hauled logs and other goods on Vancouver Island. Our steam locomotive 2141 was very well known for hauling goods on the island! Although there is no evidence, we at KHR believe that at one point 2141 would have hauled these two cars on the island from 1948 to 1958.
Isn’t it funny to think how life comes full circle and how 2 standard log cars could be saved from scrap and turned into passenger cars all the while following the very locomotive they followed 60 years ago!
CONDUCTORS CABOOSE #501
Built in 1975, the “Westwold” caboose (ex -BC Rail 1882) was acquired by the Kamloops Heritage Railway in 2003 from BC Rail. The caboose saw a short career in freight service before being retired only 20 years later in 1995. The caboose had been badly damaged in a fire and was completely restored inside and out by volunteers of the Kamloops Heritage Railway Society. The interior was once again given a face lift during the winter months of 2015 & 2016.Welcome aboard one of the few operating Canadian Cabooses left in our country!
The Kamloops Heritage Railway 501 caboose came into regular service in 2005. The caboose has been modified both inside and out to enhance guest experience. It has been redesigned to hold passengers, rather than just a conductor and brakeman. The “Westwold” caboose can now accommodate 12 passengers and a tail end crew at one time. There is a small washroom onboard and passengers are welcome to ride in the open-air area at the front end of the caboose depending on weather conditions.
The Cupola (area above and accessible by ladder) is a popular spot for passengers because of its unique view. The idea of an upper area on a caboose came from a conductor riding a box car in 1886; there was a hole in the roof and the conductor poked his head and shoulders through while standing on a pile of crates. The view from above was unobstructed and the idea of a closed in area for the crew was born. By 1900 all cabooses in Canada had a cupola for the conductor to ride in.
Until the late 1980’s all freight trains in Canada and the USA required a caboose. Advancements in the railway soon saw the caboose put to rest as a tail end crew was no longer needed. Tail end devices took the place of all cabooses.
HEAVYWEIGHT PARLOR CAR #406
Currently in restoration. Information and history coming shortly!