Community Waterfront Heritage Centre (CWHC)
Celebrating the Marine, Rail and Industrial Heritage of Owen Sound, Ontario
Thank you to all who helped bring the Canadian National (CN) Coach 4884 to Owen Sound and helped with all phases of the restoration work.
173 km from Keswick to Owen Sound
The project was composed of three phases.
The first phase, moving the Car from Keswick to Owen Sound, was completed this year. Danco House Raising and Moving has been contracted to transport the Dining Car to its renovation site, in Owen Sound. [Completed].
The second phase consists in renovating, refurbishing and transporting the Car beside the CWHC. [Painting outside done, moved to CWHC – August 17, 2015.] Be a Pane Campaign was very successful.
In the third phase of the project, the Coach will be converted into an educative and historic display, a multi-use community meeting space. [This phase was completed in Fall 2018.]
How you helped us
In 2015, the CWHC created the “CN Dining Car Committee” which was in charge of planning and executing the first phase of the project. Composed of six (6) volunteers and consultants, the Committee participated in various activities to help fundraising efforts to bring the Coach to the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre. To see photos of the Celebration on September 19, check our blog post.
The major fundraising activity consisted of selling raffle tickets of $25 to win a 1-week luxury train package for two to Quebec City, with accommodation at the Fairmont Chateau Frontenac (cash value of $8,000 – two persons). The draw took place on September 19th, 2015, at 2 p.m., at the CWHC.
Congratulations Richard Bennett of Toronto! Richard won the $8000 raffle prize. Ted Tizzard, a 104 year old former CP Rail Employee, drew the winning ticket.
Read about the specifications and history of CN Coach 4884.
- 1953 — The Car was built by Pullman – Standard as a 76 seat passenger coach (likely in New York or Chicago) for the Grand Trunk Western.
- 1969 — The Car was converted into a “Buffet-Coach” seating 52.
- 1971 — The Car was reassigned to Canadian National Railway and operated by them until 1978.
- 1972 — The Coach section was converted into a “Lounge” making the car a “Buffet-Lounge” seating 16 in dining section and 24 in the lounge.
- 1978 —Canadian National passenger operations and equipment taken over by VIA Rail Canada
- 1984 — VIA retired car and it was sold to a private owner in Rexdale, Ontario
- 1986 — The Car was sold to new owner and moved to the IGA in Sutton, Ontario for use as a tea room
- 2008 — It was acquired by the Town of Georgina, near Keswick, Ontario and continued operation as a tea room but the restaurant was short lived.
- 2014 — The Town of Georgina, issued an Expression of Interest for the sale of a Train Rail Car Restaurant, and it was purchased by the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre, in Owen Sound.
- 2015 Summer — The car was separated from its trucks (its wheels) and the body placed on temporary blocking until it was going to be moved. The wheels were painted and arrived in advance of the car.
- The trip from Keswick was a distance of 173 kilometers and it took over 12 hours. The car was sandblasted and painted at a workshop outside Owen Sound. The exterior paint colours, lettering and logos are authentic to the Canadian National “family” of railways during the mid to late 1950s.
- 2015, August 17 — The CN Car arrived at the Community Waterfront Heritage Centre after a 10 kilometer journey. Two large cranes lifted the car back onto its trucks. A few days later it was pushed to its location to the north of the 1932 CN train station.
- 2015, September 19 — Celebration of the Car’s New Home — Ted Tizzard drew the winning ticket of the raffle for the train trip to Quebec City.
- 2016 – Hydro, water and sewer lines were connected to the City services
- 2016 – Windows replaced.
- 2017 – Work continues on the interior.
- 2018 – Work completed on the Coach.
- Built in 1953 to Plan 7536 Lot 6910
- Weight: 62.5 tons
- Length: 85’ long
- Width: 10’6” wide
- 500 square feet of meeting space
- Seating available for 40 to 50 patrons
- Car houses a kitchen area, washrooms and seating.
- Car 4884 has a unique brass viewing platform that was added to the car after being retired and is not typical for this type of car.
- Car is a unique example of the transition of passenger cars. Similar cars built prior to this car had six wheeled trucks and two vestibules for entering and exiting the car. In 1954, One vestibule was eliminated and four wheeled trucks became standard on most passenger cars. Our car is one of the few that had two vestibules and the newer four wheeled trucks.