Thread: Old Halifax
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Old Posted Mar 24, 2019, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by OldDartmouthMark View Post
Their acquisitions sound amazing and the end story is tragic. The "Ethan Allen" seems to be at the pinnacle of 19th century luxury travel. Absolutely beautiful, even in black and white as you say, you can see the handwork involved to give it that beautiful, detailed and finished appearance. I am curious as to how it ended up with NS Pulp and Paper. (...)

It's too bad that the society couldn't make a go of it, but you are right on the money that it is an ambitious goal due to the size and storage requirements of the artifacts. However, a real rail museum in Halifax would have been something worth maintaining, if it had been possible to keep it going.
With your question about the "Ethan Allen" I realized I made an error in my original account. NSP&P acquired the car in 1964; H.B. Jefferson bought it from them around 1970. (I've corrected this in the original.) Unfortunately, the source article in Canadian Rail (which is still published by the Canadian Railway Historical Society) doesn't say how the car made it from Vermont to Nova Scotia. But it does say the car was sitting on a siding in Port Hawkesbury when Jefferson discovered it, being used as accommodations for the construction manager in charge of building the Port Hawkesbury pulp mill at the time. Probably the most luxurious construction trailer that guy ever stayed in!

Historical preservation is a messy, expensive business, as other threads about our built heritage attest, and preserving old rail equipment is no different. Sadly, SRS is not the only group to founder in the attempt. I remember being quite bitter that no Nova Scotia institution was willing or able to step in. But I had moved away from Halifax at that time and I don't really know the details. It's quite likely there were real time pressures. It's also true that in many of these cases the enormous difficulty in maintaining these big artifacts outdoors means corrosion and decay advance to the point they are beyond salvation.

[Now this is veering completely off topic but, for anyone curious about what successful preservation looks like (and the deep pockets required to make it happen), in May the Union Pacific Railroad will complete its restoration of a 4-8-8-4 "Big Boy" locomotive, the biggest and most powerful locomotive ever built (133 feet; 1,250 tons, 6,290 hp). The locomotive hasn't run in 60 years and it's taken five years to restore. UP won't say what it's costing but estimates range from $6-$8 million. It will make its inaugural run, from Cheyenne, Wyoming to Ogden, Utah, on May 9th, part of the celebrations around the 150th anniversary of the completion of the US transcontinental railroad.]

Last edited by ns_kid; Mar 24, 2019 at 11:09 AM.
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