Shawnigan Lake Lumber Co. No. 2

Technical Data:

  • Catalog designation: Horizontal Style “B” Code Word “Card” (25 ton 2-truck)
  • Weight in working order: 25 tons
  • Light weight (no water or fuel): 23 tons.
  • Built: 1910, as c/n 1057
  • Cylinder dimensions: 10×12.
  • Boiler pressure: 160 pounds per square inch.
  • Hauling capacity on straight level track: 1250 tons
  • Gauge: standard (56.5 inches)
  • Fuel: wood

 

History:

  • Shawnigan Lake Lumber operated a sawmill on the E&N Railway at Shawnigan Lake, between 1889 and 1943, when the company was acquired by H.R. MacMillan Export. Logging methods progressed from ground lead yarding, to a 6-foot gauge pole railway using first horses, then a homemade wooden locie and then a 15 ton Style “A” Climax (Betsy), then to a standard gauge railway, starting in 1905.
  • No.2 was purchased when increasing hauling distance and production rate could not be met by No.1. Similar circumstances resulted in the locomotive being sold to Sahtlam Lumber in 1922, when a 70-ton Climax (2nd No.2) was purchased to work with Betsy. In 1924, No.2 was sold to nearby Channel Logging, on the CNR, 5 miles south of the community of Lake Cowichan.
  • In 1929, Channel Logging encroached on timber owned by Cameron Lumber, and the locomotive was held as collateral at Cameron’s camp, just off the CNR at Deerholme, 3 miles west of Duncan. When the Great Depression caused both operations to close in 1930, No.2 was abandoned in the wilderness, until Duncan resident Granger Taylor plowed a road through one-half mile of forest to rescue it in 1969. By then the locie was in a sad state – the wooden cab having rotted-away, its trucks and drive shafts missing and trees were growing through its frame. NB: The trucks reportedly were salvaged by Hillcrest Lumber, during World War II, for use on company speeders.
  • Taylor restored the engine to operation at his residence (known as the “Sleepy Hollow Museum), using freight car trucks and industrial power transmission components. In 1973, his interest had switched to airplane construction, and No.2 was sold to the provincial government, which at that time was interested in the preservation of historical artifacts.
  • Following further restoration at British Columbia Forest Product’s Caycuse Camp, No.2 toured the province between 1975 and 1979 as a working display on a flat car of the (then) Provincial Museum’s museum train. Since 1980, it has been on display at the (now) BC Forest Discovery Centre.
  • As well as being one of only two authentic Climax locomotives preserved in Canada (both at the BC Forest Discovery Centre), No.2 features the T-shaped, square firebox type boiler typical of early Style “A” and “B” Climaxes.