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Four companies show interest in moving Locomotive 6167 to its new location

Train weighs 500,000 pounds and has to be moved by the end of the year from its current spot on Farquhar Street
locomotive 6167
Locomotive 6167. Guelph Museums photo

The city is hoping to move historic Locomotive 6167 to its new location in late September to mid-October.

Four different companies are currently listed on the city website as "plan takers," meaning they requested a copy of the tender, which closes on April 29.

The city has until the end of the year to relocate the locomotive from its current resting spot on Farquhar Street just south of the train station. It has put the tricky job of moving the location out to tender.

There are two sections to the train –the engine and a tender – that are 30 metres (97 feet) long and weigh a combined 227 tonnes (500,000 pounds).

"The city is currently in discussions with Metrolinx to determine a window in which Locomotive 6167 can be moved away from their tracks. It is expected that the contractor will have between 24-48 hours over a specific weekend in late September to mid-October to move Locomotive 6167 away from the Metrolinx tracks and restore the site for the safe movement of GO Transit trains and other rail traffic," says documents contained in the tender package on the city website.

Metrolinx, the crown corporation that operates the rail line, owns the land where the locomotive currently sits and needs the space for future expansion. The city's lease runs out at the end of 2020.

Last November Guelph City Council approved spending an estimated $650,000 to relocate the 79-year-old engine to a new location beside the River Run Centre in John Galt Park.

The train had been sitting on Metrolinx property just south of the rail tracks, but Metrolinx needs the property for future expansion and the city would have to move the train when the current lease expires at the end of this year.

Council had discussed trying to sell the train or retaining some historical elements and scrapping the rest.

The tender documents say lifting the engine by a single-point crane likely isn't possible and offers three alternatives: moving it by road on the back of some kind of vehicle, loading it onto a rail car and using the existing tracks to move it, shuttling it over to John Galt Park in a more direct line.

The train has no means of rolling on the tracks itself and would have to be transported.

The local train restoration club will be involved in preparing it for the move, says the tender.

The engine, originally a passenger and freight train based out of Moncton, N.B., was gifted to the city of Guelph by the Canadian National Railway in 1967. It was restored and sat on a pad on the north side of the rail tracks on Macdonell Street until 2012, when it was moved to its current site.