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2022 CN 2747 Enclosure.jpg

Preserving CN 2747

Since 2017, the Transcona Museum has worked to preserve CN 2747 for present and future generations to experience.

Distinctions & Rarity

An artifact of Canadian railway history

Between​ 1926 and 1931, the Canadian National Railway undertook a limited program of "home-shop" locomotive building at three of its shop facilities (Montréal, Moncton, and Transcona). In the Western Region at the Transcona Shops, a total of 33 steam locomotives were constructed. CN 2747 was the first to be built under this program, and it is the only one to survive into the present day.

Any one of these three latter distinctions makes CN 2747 a valuable historical artifact that is well worth preserving for future generations. To add to this significance, CN 2747 is the only surviving N-5-c class of 2-8-0 Consolidation type locomotives in Canada. Only two of these classes of locomotives were ever built by the Canadian National Railway (CN 2747 and CN 2748).

CN 2747 is also one of 6 preserved Consolidation type steam locomotives of the Canadian National Railway family in Canada (1 in British Columbia, 3 in Ontario, 1 in Québec, and 1 in Manitoba). The fact that CN 2747 is a Consolidation type locomotive further enhances its significance in Canadian railway history. Of the 4075 locomotives operated by the Canadian National Railway through the steam era (1923 - 1960), 852 were Consolidations. This amounts to over 20% of the total, making it the most common type in service.

The locomotive also features the so-called "Transcona front end" - a front end fitted with a distinctive style of cantilever bell hanger. Beginning around 1944, the Transcona Shops designed this mount and relocated the bell above the headlight (significantly altering the front-end appearance of the locomotive). This modification continued at the Transcona Shops until the end of steam in 1960. There were 194 known "Transcona" modifications. Although more research is needed, CN 2747 might be one of a few surviving examples with the "Transcona front end".

"Transcona Front End" bell hanger

CN 2747 and its distinctive "Transcona Front End" bell hanger
CN 2747 in Kiwanis Park, 1960s

CN 2747 in Kiwanis Park, 1960s

2016 - 2020

SAVE 2747

Preserving the historic steam locomotive

Since 1960, CN 2747 has been damaged due to exposure to the elements, vandalism, and theft. A thorough condition assessment of the locomotive was completed by GP Heritage Consulting in 2017, and the Transcona Museum has since undertaken necessary preservation work to ensure the stability and longevity of CN 2747. 

 

The goal of the overall preservation of CN 2747 is to bring the locomotive to a safe, stable, secure, and attractive condition. The locomotive will be restored to its 1960 appearance. 

Starting in 2018, the preservation of the locomotive has been overseen by the 2747 Committee and undertaken by our dedicated volunteer crew (many being retired CN employees). Their knowledge and expertise are invaluable to the ongoing preservation of CN 2747.

Preservation Work at a Glance

From 2018 to present

  • Blast cleaning and repainting the exterior using products recommended in our conservation assessment, and completed by Winnipeg SandblastingThis project was made possible by The Winnipeg Foundation and the Province of Manitoba Building Sustainable Communities Grant

  • Minor repairs and cleaning including replacement of the rear bumper and running boards, removal of the cab floor, replacement doors and windows installed, and painting of wood elements

  • Safety and security measures including a security gate in the cab

  • Welding repairs including areas of loss, with substantial work completed on the tender, completed by Kinetic Machines Ltd.

  • Refinishing small fittings such as gauges from the cab

  • Procurement and fabrication of parts


Our 2017 condition assessment guides the preservation of CN 2747. This 208-page report includes recommended preservation work with appropriate materials and estimates of costs. 

 

To date, preservation work on the locomotive has totalled over $63,000. Past financial support has been provided by grants through The Winnipeg Foundation, the Province of Manitoba, the City of Winnipeg, community fundraising efforts and events, and donations to CN 2747. We also acknowledge previous support from Wyatt Dowling Insurance (Plessis Road), Portage la Prairie Mutual Insurance Company, CN Pensioners Association of Manitoba, CN Corporate Services 935, and Transcona Friends and Neighbours. 

Examples of preservation work on CN 2747 over the years before the construction of the protective enclosure

April 2021 - Present

Major Sponsor for the CN 2747 Protective Enclosure

GET ON BOARD Capital Campaign

Building a protective enclosure over CN 2747

The GET ON BOARD capital campaign was launched on April 19, 2021 – the 95th anniversary of the construction of CN 2747.

 

The goal of the campaign was to build a protective structure over CN 2747 to help protect the locomotive from the elements, increase security, and provide more opportunities for the public to see, interact, and appreciate the engine. Construction on the protective enclosure began in late 2022. 

 

In July 2023, the City of Winnipeg and the Transcona Museum announced that CN will be the major sponsor for the CN 2747 protective enclosure.

Construction of the protective enclosure concluded in late 2023, with other aspects of the project (signage, interpretive panels, paving the paths) currently underway or planned for later in 2024.

After almost three years, the Transcona Museum Board and the 2747 Committee announced the successful conclusion of the GET ON BOARD capital campaign on January 31, 2024. Thank you to our donors who contributed to the capital campaign - we deeply appreciate the tremendous generosity of everyone who supported this opportunity to preserve a historically significant railway artifact for present and future generations in Transcona, Winnipeg, and Canada.

2022 CN 2747 Enclosure.jpg

Official opening of the CN 2747 Enclosure on 19 June 2024

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