Dirty Hands Club

Ed Jr, Steve and Doug installing the sheet metal floor on the coal area of the tender.

A group of Society members/volunteers christened the "Dirty Hands Club" by Helen Tucker, meet every Wednesday and Saturday mornings in the back shop located at 2495 Lancaster Road, Ottawa Ontario, part of the Canada Science and Technology Museum's campus.

These dedicated people work to preserve The Society's Equipment. Painting, sanding, welding, scraping and woodworking are just some of the tasks performed by these members. The work not only serves to preserve but to fully restore our equipment to operating condition, especially for the summer months.

The summary articles below will give you a glimpse into the ongoing work that is being performed by the Dirty Hands Club. The seasonal descriptions below of the work being done are just snapshots of all the work our volunteers do. There is much more that goes on behind the scene by these dedicated members

For more in-depth details about restoration work please visit our Dirty Hands Club Blog.  You can also visit our DHC Photo Gallery on Flickr.

If you currently are a Society member with an interest in working to preserve railway heritage equipment, then Contact Us and we can get you started. We're always looking for an extra pair of hands!



Summarized below are equipment work highlights for 2016 extracted from our detailed equipment restoration reports available on our DHC Blog

Pontiac HyRail #26 Work

  • Car is currently stored off-site in a climate controlled storage facility. This was necessary to make room to museum renovations/material stored in shop.  No work was done on the vehicle this year.

Passenger Car #4977 Work

  • B-side exterior metal work completed. A-side exterior metal work started.
  • B-side entrance floor replaced.
  • Window frames repairs in Snack Bar completed
  • EPDM installed on entire roof.
  • Interior panelling stripped down to original mahogany. 

TNVR #10 Work

  • Engine #1 now running properly.

CP 6200 Work

  • New Number board installed on head-end.
  • Feed Water Heater needle-gunned and primed. Template for sheet metal jacket started.
  • Measurements taken for cosmetic windows.
  • CP transition era maple leaf monogram installed on both sides of tender.
  • Fuel and water data applied to the rear of tender.


Summarized below are equipment work highlights for 2015 extracted from our detailed equipment restoration reports available on our DHC Blog

Pontiac HyRail #26 Work

  • Car stored over winter to make room to museum renovations/material stored in shop.

Passenger Car #4977 Work

  • Glued down centre strips of anti-squeak canvas as well as installing wooden backing pieces for securing the centre ceiling panels
  • Ceiling Panels fabricated, installed.
  • B-side exterior wire-wheeled, Body filler applied, prepped for priming.
  • Window frames repairs in Snack Bar in-progress.
  • EPDM installed on one side of roof.

TNVR #10 Work

  • New Alternator installed on Engine #2.

BRS Hand Truck Work

  • Restoration completed.


Summarized below are equipment work highlights for 2014 extracted from our detailed equipment restoration reports available on our DHC Blog

Pontiac HyRail #26 Work

  • The interior upholstery has all been replaced.

Passenger Car #4977 Work

  • Battery boxes repaired/restored.
  • Wooden roof completed.
  • Windows installed on one side. Window frames repaired on opposite side.
  • Metalwork completed on B-end vestibule.
  • Metalwork started on A-end vestibule.

TNVR #10 Work

  • Engine #2 repaired/operating.

ex-Canadian Pacific Van No. 436436 Work

  • Interior tongue and groove panel replacement in the cupola 

Car 27 Work

  • Minor door adjustments as well as a good cleaning of the carpet on its floor. 

ex-CN Baggage Car No. 9246 Work

  • Applied second coat of red primer. 

Central Vermont Railway (CV) Tender No. 4264 Work

  • Pair of former heating oil tanks that have been appropriately cleaned for use as spare water reservoirs for the operation.

As a memorial tribute to Duncan du Fresne, 1930-2012, the Society approached the Canada Science and Technology Museum with a proposal to restore the cab of CP 2858 to an as-built representation.  

The museum agreed, and the Society's Dirty Hands Club volunteers, led by John Bryant, tackled the project. 

The restoration allows museum visitors to see the inside of a steam locomotive cab as it would've appeared during it's working life.

The restored cab was formally unveiled at a special ceremony in April 2014 with Duncan's family as honourary guests.

Photo of the du Fresne family courtesy of Richard Lawrence Photography.

Built by Portland in 1872, this locomotive is a museum artifact and was pulled from storage in 2013 to start cosmetic restoration work.

This project was initiated in anticipation of using #40 as a key-note static display at a new museum building/site.

Under the direction of the museum staff, Dirty Hands Club volunteers worked at cleaning and needle gunning both the boiler and underside of #40 and it's front truck.

Subsequent to this initial restoration work, #40 was placed back into storage.

Photo courtesy of J. Loucks.

Page 1 of 2

DHC Links

For more in-depth Dirty Hands Club restoration reports and photos. Please check the links below.

DHC Files

DHC Blog

DHC Photo Gallery

Photo Courtesy of Garry Knight, Flickr

Museum Shop Map