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50 Diefenbaker Dr.
Moose Jaw, SK


"Short Line 101" printed on a slate
History of the
Short Line

Short Line 101 Specifications

History of the Short Line 101

In 1914 the Vulcan Iron Works in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania shipped the shiny new narrow gauge locomotive to southwestern Alberta. For the next few years, the Vulcan worked in the coal mines at Hillcrest Collieries in the Crowsnest Pass. From there it went to Alsask, on the Saskatchewan-Alberta border, where it hauled hopper cars loaded with sodium sulphate from a salt lake bed to the Saskatchewan Minerals dehydration plant. The Vulcan moved again, to another sodium sulphate mine at Bishopric near Old Wives Lake southwest of Moose Jaw. The locomotive ended its working life as a steam heating unit for the Bishopric plant.

Fortunately, the Vulcan did not fall victim to the cutting torch, a fate that befell thousands of steam locomotives in the 1950s and 1960s. Instead, the engine was acquired by the Western Development Museum in 1958. Rebuilt in 1978 as engine 101 on the Short Line, the Vulcan steamed along a track on the Moose Jaw WDM grounds, to the delight of visitors. The late 1980s saw another overhaul of the engine, but by 2008, the little engine needed a new boiler.

In 2009 the WDM commissioned a new boiler for the Vulcan. The engine was dismantled at the WDM Curatorial Centre in Saskatoon and a new boiler built by Saskatoon Boiler. For the past several months, Curatorial Centre staff and volunteers have rebuilt the Vulcan, restoring the mechanical components to top notch shape, repairing the cab, painting, installing and fitting the boiler to the running gear, installing the pressure piping, and dozens of other details. Today, the Vulcan looks like new.

 101's sister engine black and white photo

Builder photo of 101's sister engine at Vulcan factory in Pennsylvania.
(How 101 would have looked at time of delivery in 1914.)
Image courtesy Hagley Museum & Library, Willmington, Delaware

Vulcan original locomotive record

101's original Locomotive Record or 'birth certificate'.
Click on the image for larger view.
Image courtesy Hagley Museum & Library, Willmington, Delaware.

To learn more about the history of steam in Saskatchewan, read "New for the 19th Century" by Collections Curator Ruth Bitner.

To learn more about the steam collection at the WDM, read "Full Steam Ahead: Steam Power at the WDM" by Collections Curator Ruth Bitner.

Short Line 101 Specifications

Short Line (narrow-gauge rail -36”) Vulcan Iron Works (0-4-0 class) Locomotive  

Vulcan Locomotive # 2265
WDM Engine #101 - built in 1914

Weight   11 tons (9979 kg)
Hauling capacity  659 tons (597845 kg.)

Drivers 24 inches in diameter Wheel base 4 feet

Maximum allowable working pressure 200 psi
175 square feet of heating surface
17.5 Boiler Horse power (175 kilowatts) steaming capacity
46 tubes 1 ¾ “ diameter 86 ½ “
Long firebox 26 ¼ “ long 29 ¾ “ wide 26 ½ “ high   
2” diameter Safety Valve
Internal throttle valve - shaking grates - built for firing coal as a fuel


2 – 8” diameter pistons with 12” strokes   
Stephenson Valve Gear  
Sliding D valves  
#6 Nathan mechanical lubricators  
2 - ¾” Penberthy Injectors
400 gallon saddle type water tender tank originally came with a cab lamp, head light, a bell and a Lunkenheimer whistle.