Cowichan Valley Railway No. 25

No. 25, also known as “Samson.”

Technical Data:

  • Designation: Class C-6, 0-4-0 ST.
  • Weight: 18 tons.
  • Built: 1910, as c/n 1549.
  • Cylinder dimensions: 10×16
  • Boiler pressure: originally 140 pounds per square inch – now 150 psi).
  • Hauling capacity on straight level track: 95 tons.
  • Gauge: narrow (36 inches).
  • Fuel: originally coal – now oil.


  • Samson was sold new to Grant Small & Company, a construction contractor based in Leavenworth and Spokane WA, as their No.25. S.S. Magoffin Construction purchased the locomotive from the Vancouver Machinery Depot in 1920 and used it to construct Great Northern Railway (now CNR) grade through the Fraser Canyon and then to transport fill for the construction of North Vancouver harbour facilities.
  •  On completion of the North Vancouver job, in 1926, No.25 was overhauled by Vancouver Machinery Depot, where the boiler’s lap-seam joint was replaced with a butt-strap joint, allowing the allowable steam pressure to be raised to 150 psi. Major boiler repairs completed in 1998 by museum staff, saw a welded barrel installed.
  • The locomotive saw little service after the overhaul and was facing the scrappers torch when purchased by Gerry Wellburn in 1955, becoming first G&WR then CVR No.25. To satisfy the BC Forest Service, No.25 was converted to burn oil for operation at Deerholme. The tender needed to carry a fuel tank also carries a water tank and duplex-pump for fire fighting purposes.
  • No.25 is very similar to “Old Curley,” the first logging locomotive used in BC.
  • Named “Samson” (after the Hebrew judge of mythical strength), No.25 received a major overhaul in 1998 and should be good for many more years of service pulling the BC Forest Discovery Centre’s passenger train.