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Restoring the Box Car

By Shirley Blackstaff

If it wasn’t enough to refurbish Ladysmith’s steam Locomotive #11 and track and the rare Humdirgen off-loader, which was designed and built in the Machine Shop, Ladysmith & District Historical Society’s (LDHS) volunteers tackled the box car located at the original Comox Logging & Railway Company site.

Alex Garvin, one of the Industrial Heritage Preservation volunteers, fondly known as the “wood butcher” and who has taken the lead on all of our woodwork projects, got his measuring tape out and started figuring out what wood was needed. Canadian Bavarian Millwork and Lumber donated the specialty-cut boards.

Also, we were fortunate to be able to purchase some original-style bolts and receive some donations of other supplies.

All of our crew (Alex Garvin, Bob Taylor, Alex Stuart, Arne Bogwald, Bill Drysdale, Floyd South, Harry Blackstaff, Henry Schneider, Mike Kennedy, Jim Williams, Ed Heyes and Quentin Goodbody) helped with the various aspect of restoration: gathering the materials, scraping, sanding, undercoat painting, welding, making repairs, cutting boards to fit, hammering them into place, bolting on boards, washing off graffiti and cleaning the interior.

Before the weather got too rainy and damp, along with the help of other volunteers, Alex Stuart got the box car sanded and applied undercoat paint. The final coat of box car red will be sprayed on in the summer.

The interior of the boxcar is being transformed into a “Discovery Box Car”  on February 22, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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