Electric locomotive BCER960 is currently in the 6th year of the planned 2-year restoration and 2/3 of the way from completion in restoring the loco to operational status - thanks to approximately a group of W.C.R.A volunteers and thousands of volunteer hours to date.
The loco was originally built by General Electric/Alco in 1912 for the Oregon Electric Railroad, number 22, for their 1,200 volt system. She was then purchased by the B.C. Electric Railway in June 1946, with 3 sisters, and renumbered 960. One of the sisters was used for parts while the other three were extensively upgraded in March 1948 with new Westinghouse equipment, painted red, and converted to 600 volt.
They worked the freight trains all over the B.C.E. R. system, to Chilliwack at first, then later on the local interchange; on the Kitsilano trestle to the CPR Drake St. yard, the Carrall St. yard in Vancouver, and the Marpole line to New Westminster. All of the B.C.E. R. engines and cabooses were painted yellow in the late 50's as part of their new color scheme. Our 960 was the last electric piece of equipment to work on the system, later called the B.C. Hydro Railway, where she ran until October 1970 (there was even a 1970 calendar in the cab).
She was then owned by the B.C. Provincial Museum for several years and placed in storage. She was then donated to the W.C.R.A. and trucked to our site on April 1993, the first treasure on the park site, where she sat in the back on display for 18 years.
Thanks to a $30k donation from Henry Ewert and the Steveston Group in 2010, the 960 was moved to the MP2 shops and in August of 2011 serious restoration began.
Plans are to restore her to the operational status in the 1948 livery, complete with builder plates. We have been lucky several times with donations, acquiring her original bell from a donor in Kamloops, several correct headlights, and lots of photos.
A big thank you to Roy and the crew at Roman Metal Works in North Vancouver for 12 big steel panels that came riveted and pre-drilled to fit the sides of the hoods, saving volunteers lots of time and work.
The next step is to install the wood flooring tongue and grove and the rooftop planks.
Peter Dickson at FraserWood, Squamish generously donated all of the fir wood required. Volunteers are anxious to work on this precision work which should now only take a few weeks. Special thanks to Mike McGaw, Martin Jergens, Bill Marchant and Bob Gordon throughout the years for their hard work. Several others have been a great help doing the dirty work - their names will be honored later.