Locomotive #17 refurb plan moving ahead

In this February 2017, file photo, Locomotive #17 sits in a green space near Ninth Street and Brookdale Avenue in Cornwall, Ont. City council is expected to move ahead with a refurbishment plan on Monday, which includes hiring a consultant. (Newswatch Group/Bill Kingston, File)

CORNWALL – City councillors will move forward with a refurbishment plan for Locomotive #17 near Ninth Street and Brookdale Avenue, which includes hiring a consultant.

The artifact, given to the city by Canadian National Railways in the 1960s, was in the spotlight this spring after Coun. Andre Rivette suggested scrapping it, in order to save the $100,000 line item in the budget.

His comments drew a petition from residents asking the city to protect and restore it.

The budget was eventually passed with the $100,000 still there to restore the locomotive from the Cornwall Street Railway Light & Power Company Ltd. – what is known today as Cornwall Electric.

The engine was designated as an artifact of cultural, heritage value or interest in 2006 but little has done to keep it in good order since that time, states a city report.

On Monday, city council is expected to endorse a plan to hire a consultant – at a cost of $15,000-25,000 – to do a detailed condition assessment and develop tender specifications.

The work that has to be done to the locomotive includes removing the lead-based paint, replacing corroded parts and giving a new paint coating that would last for roughly 20 years.

As for its future home, the potential tender would include possible relocation of Locomotive #17 to a “higher profile location” in Cornwall. But relocation has not been included in the budget, so the future tender would include a “provisional price” for relocation for councillors to debate.

Monday’s council meeting starts at 7 p.m.

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