British Columbia Museum to Celebrate 2-6-2’s Centennial This Weekend

Locomotive 1077 leads a short excursion at the Fort Steele Heritage Town near Cranbrook, B.C., in August 2018. The museum is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the locomotive’s construction on July 15. Photo by Justin Franz. 

British Columbia Museum to Celebrate 2-6-2’s Centennial This Weekend

By Justin Franz 

A small 2-6-2 steam locomotive that once hauled logs on Vancouver Island and was one of the last in Canada to be used in regular service will celebrate its centennial this weekend. The Fort Steele Heritage Town near Cranbrook, B.C., is holding a birthday celebration for locomotive 1077 on Saturday while also kicking off its regular excursion season. 

Locomotive 1077 was built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in December 1923 and spent the last century in British Columbia. The locomotive worked on various logging railroads on Vancouver Island from the 1920s until being retired in 1969. The locomotive was then sold to the government of British Columbia and was one of two steam engines used to lead the Provincial Museum Train in the 1970s, along with ex-Canadian Pacific 2-8-0 3716 (the smaller locomotive specifically handled the train on Vancouver Island). In the 1980s, the locomotive made an appearance at SteamExpo 86, a gathering of steam locomotives as part of Vancouver’s World’s Fair. In 1990, it was brought to Fort Steele where it has operated ever since. 

An undated photo of locomotive 1077 in service on Vancouver Island. Photo Courtesy of Fort Steele Heritage Town. 

“We are extremely proud to be presenting the celebration of this historic locomotive,” said Gene Roshau, Fort Steele’s Train Department Manager. “Working on the train is a passion and to be part of its impressive history is an honor. The 1077 locomotive is not only dear to our hearts but an important piece of Canadian history.”

The Fort Steele museum has about 2.5 miles of track that it runs excursions on. Besides the 2-6-2, the museum also has a three truck shay, although it has been a number of years since it has operated. The museum is running steam daily (except July 30 and 31) until September 10, with departures at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., 1:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m. On Saturday, there will be a special ribbon cutting ceremony followed by BBQ and cake. 

For more information, visit the Fort Steele Heritage Town’s website

This article was posted on: July 13, 2023