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RyPN Briefs December 10, 2006
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Hydro Electric Power Commission ALCo (Cooke) 0-4-0ST #46

Back in September 1920, the American Locomotive Company (Cooke Works) built a standard gauge 0-4-0ST steam locomotive for stock. This engine along with another 0-4-0ST were sold to the Hydro Electric Power Commission, at Queenston, Ontario Canada, for use in the construction of the Adam Beck Generating Station (Queenston-Chippawa Project). #46 and sister engine #47 were delivered and placed into service along with some other small steam tender locomotives, as well as a stable of steeplecab electrics.

In 1922 the engine changed hands, going to the Sir William Arrol Company until 1963 when it became Deloro Mining & Smelting #48, a number which she carried until 2006. In 1965, 46 (48) was saved by a house mover in Toronto by the name of Charles Matthews. Mr. Matthews was responsible for saving many pieces of local railway equipment from the scrappers torch. 46 was part of the Ontario Science Center collection, which never got off the ground, and later became part of Ontario Railway Association. 46 was stored on the Matthews' property, and was eventually sold to its final owners in Northern Ontario, where she became part of a private collection.

Hydro Electric Power Commission #46 is shown one month after deliver to the Queenston-Chippawa Project at Queenston, Ontario in October 1920. Photo from collection of NFRM.

#47 and the other steam locomotives were scrapped towards the end of the project. Consequently, HEPC #46 (serial #62557) is the last of the Hydro Electric Power Commission steam locomotives is very historic to Niagara Falls. This is true not just in railway history terms, but also in our Hydro power history.

#46 has been operated and preserved over the years, and is currently located in Northern Ontario, in a private collection. The Niagara Falls Railway Museum acquired the locomotive from the current owners, who found it surplus to their needs, as they were not able to give it the care required. The engine is not currently in operating condition, but when cosmetically restored, will make a great static display.

Our first view of HEPC #46 in July 2005.  This is when the fundraising started to acquire this engine and bring it back to Niagara Falls. Who knew in less than 8 months, it would be ours. Photos by Ken Jones.

It is the goal of the Niagara Falls Railway Museum to bring #46 back home for public display. The NFRM is currently fundraising to help cover the cost of trucking #46 back to Niagara Falls, and it is planned to have #46 return to the City it once worked in, in early 2007.

At our first 46 work session in July, 2006, we removed all gauges and fittings from the cab to ensure they would still be around when we needed them.  With NFRM & HEPC markings painted on, #46 is ready to move.

A front view showing the smokebox mounted air compressor.

Items needed for #46:
In the NFRM collection, we have a photograph of #46, just after delivery to the HEPC in 1920, which shows what it looked like during HEPC ownership, which is the way the engine will be restored. HEPC #46 is 28' long, 9'10" wide, and 12' high to the top of the stack. She weighs in at approximately 45 tons and is standard gauge.

The cab on 46 will need to be replaced. Years of having coal sitting in the bunker has deteriorated the rear and floor of the cab beyond repair. Some parts of the cab may be able to be restored. The pilot beam on the front and back, both made of wood, have long since rotted and fallen off. There is some sheet metal work to be done on the cylinder covers, and the bottom of the smokebox. The bell, whistle, and front headlight were gone before the engine ever got to that property. All the gauges, valves, etc were still in the cab and on the engine.

While she originally had oil fired headlights, one of it's previous owners found the need to have electric lights installed. A Pyle National dynamo was mounted on the cab roof, and electric headlights were added.

Aside from the above items, the engine needs a good coat of paint, which would improve its overall appearance, even before the rest of the work was done.

This view shows the extreme amount of deterioration to the rear of the cab.  The cab will have to be braced before the winter, to support the accumulation of snow.
This is not the original headlight (the original was oil), but was added by one of #46's previous owners, who also installed a Pyle dynamo on top of the cab.  (the dynamo is no longer serviceable)  This headlight was removed from the engine in May, was cleaned and painted, and had new number boards installed, and is now taken to different railway displays by the NFRM.
HEPC #46 on November 12, 2006, showing the engineers side of the locomotive. Because of the deterioration in the cab, it was decided that a trip up north was needed to brace the cab, to ensure that the heavy northern Ontario snow didn't damage it further. We also brought back more parts, including one of the couplers, the step board brackets, and both drive rods.

The Niagara Falls Railway Museum is currently searching for a permanent home for their ever growing collection of railway items, which currently includes 3 ex-CP Rail boxcars, 5 track motorcars and other small MOW equipment, along with thousands of historical documents relating to the railways of Niagara Falls and the surrounding area. The first Sunday in March is the annual Niagara Falls Model Railway Show, which raises funds for the NFRM, to care and maintain the current collection. The NFRM is a charitable organization, and more information about the group can be found on their website.

This shot shows some of the NFRM equipment, from R to L - CNR Fairmont M19, CP Rail Woodings CBI, CNR Fairmont M9g, Fairmont A4D, Nordberg single stone track grinder (wheels visible behind the A4) a heavy duty Railcar Canada lorrie, and one of our CP box cars, #57974.