A Makeover With Mileage

A Makeover With Mileage

An antique railcar has taken a journey from rundown to runway with a much needed fresh coat of paint.

In 2019, an old wooden caboose used by the Canadian Pacific Railway in days gone by was anonymously donated to the Miami Railway Station Museum in Miami, Man. The vintage railroad car was in need of serious repairs in order to open as an exhibit to the public.

Pembina Co-op was happy to support the museum’s restoration efforts, donating 12 gallons of CO-OP® Imagine paint for the historic railcar.

Joan Driedger, Chair of the Miami Railway Station Museum, said the support from Co-op’s Communities in Full Colour program was essential to the caboose’s transformation.

“This project was expensive for our small museum to undertake, and with COVID restrictions we were not able to hold our usual fundraising events,” said Driedger. “We could not have completed the exterior of our caboose project without Co-op’s contribution.”

Miami Railway Station was built in 1889, and the museum now occupies the station's original location as both a National Historic Site and a Municipal Heritage Site. The museum is run by a board of local residents whose mission is to preserve the building and depict the life and times relevant to the station’s history, including housing important railway artifacts.

Robert Lesage, the branch manager at the Co-op Home Centre in St. Leon, Man., explained they chose Miami Train Station as a Communities in Full Colour recipient for its importance to the community.

“It was a great experience,” Lesage said. “It always feels nice when we can donate and help out our local community. The project turned out very nice.”

The caboose was built in 1914 in Montreal and used by Canadian Pacific Railway for many years. Neglected for many years and left to the elements, the caboose was in need of extensive work to restore it to its former glory. The Miami Railway Museum was determined to restore the caboose to its original appearance with tongue and groove lumber inside and outside and use it as an exhibit, educating the public on the purpose of the caboose and historical railway crews.

“Everyone involved in the work is proud of the caboose and what it contributes to the museum and community,” said Driedger. “The biggest part of the project has been the restoration and preservation of a unique piece of Canadian rail history. The caboose has a significant role in keeping Canadian history alive.”

With the help of volunteers and Co-op’s Communities in Full Colour program, the caboose has been restored to its original 1914 glory, and it has become a welcome addition to the Miami Railway Museum.

If you know of a project in your community that could use a fresh coat of paint, apply here for support from Communities in Full Colour.

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