Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society
The Southern Ontario Locomotive Restoration Society was established April 1986 and as a charitable organization September 15, 1988. It was organized by David Spiegelman a railway enthusiast with an interest in steam locomotive resoration and operation. His attention centered on an old steam locomotive languishing without any effort to restore it. Essex Terminal Railway 9 the last steam locomotive of this small shortline railway operating out of Amherstburg, Ontario. It had been used for several years as a stationary shop boiler until it was finally retired in 1963. ETR recognized the historical value of this small engine and originally intended to include it in the still-born Ontario Transportation Museum. It was rejected by the replacement 1967 Centennial project Ontario Science Centre in Toronto when all steam locomotives that had been acquired by the Ontario Government (and many others held by CPR) were disposed of. It was then loaned to Ontario Rail Association (1971-1985). ORA made no effort to move the engine to Tottenham or do any work on it where it was stored. Spiegelman contacted ETR expressing his interest in their steam engine and was able to negotiate a change of the loan from ORA to SOLRS April 1986.
Serious work was undertaken with the aid of a well-equipped workshop
including 170 ton overhead crane.
ETR 9 was relocated July 1986 to Nanticoke at the Ontario Hydro generating station where Spiegelman worked and with the aid of a number of fellow employees and others began serious work to overhaul this steam locomotive. A change of management brought about the need to move the engine to another location unfinished. This was accomplished in December 1993 with a move of number 9, ex CN 57636 an old work service baggage car once located in the CNR London Reclamation Yard waiting destruction and acquired 6/1991 for use as a tool car along with CN 565342 box car used for storage.
SOLRS secured a portion of the Elgin County Railway Museum
located in the former Michigan Central Railway locomotive erecting shop
in St. Thomas where restoration was finally completed October 1997 when
ETR 9 was steamed up for the first
Eventually, SOLRS was faced with a dilemma when CN-CP
abandoned the CASO running through St. Thomas including
A previous tourist railway Waterloo - St. Jacobs Railway
Co. Ltd. (formed June 24, 1993) operated from July 12, 1997
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