Kaatza Station Museum – No.7 and No. 145

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Western Forest Industries No. 7 1929 Plymouth Locomotive

Purchased new by the Merrill & Ring Lumber Company, No.7  was operated near Powell River. The locomotive came with a gasoline motor which meant that it was best suited for light duty. In 1945, Kelly Logging bought the Plymouth, re-powered it in 1948 with a 150 HP Cummins diesel and moved it to Moresby Island.

The locomotive was sold to Western Forest Industries of Honeymoon Bay in 1955. The locomotive worked in the Honeymoon Bay / Mesachie Lake area until 1978 when it was sold to Westcan Terminals Ltd for switching duties at the Ogden Point dock in Victoria BC.

In 1987 rail service to Ogden Point was stopped, and locomotive was donated to the Ladysmith Railway Historical Society. After the museum closed the locomotive was donated to the Kaatza Historical Society in 1996.

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BC Forest Products Speeder Trailer No. 145 behind No. 7

This speeder trailer was one of a fleet of five speeders and two trailers built at British Columbia Forest Product’s Nitinat Camp in 1948-1949, for use there and at the company’s Caycuse Beach Camp. The geared steam locomotives used in logging normally travelled at between 6 and 9 miles per hour, so speeders capable of 45 mph could reduce travel time considerably.

The speeders were powered by Chrysler Marine gasoline engines, and equipped with automatic couplers and Westinghouse air brakes. An operator’s cupola facilitated operation in either direction. Operators were required to hold operating certificates issued by the British Columbia Department of Railways.

Speeder trailers (aka Crummies) were towed behind a speeder to provide additional carrying capacity &/or to be left at the job site as a dry place to have lunch. This trailer, BCFP No. 145, had a capacity of 40 men.

Following the conversion to truck logging, this and sister trailer, No. 146, had their wheel flanges removed for uses such as portable offices, lunch rooms, and storage rooms. No. 145 was used as a dispatch office and storeroom, before being recovered from the bush at Caycuse in 2004.

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