118-year old Class A-313 Climax locomotive makes its way back to Corry

Local News

A locomotive that’s been away for over 100 years has made its way back to the place of its creation, Corry.

This isn’t your ordinary garage. Inside, a piece of history, an A-313 Climax locomotive. For over 30 years, it was disassembled in Nome, Alaska. Following a three year conversation, this 118-year old locomotive now resides just three blocks from where it was created in Corry.

“It needed to be brought home. We actually sat down one day and he showed me a picture and I say ‘Why don’t we just go up and get it?'” said Tom VanTassel, Chairman of Corry Rails.

Three different models made up the 1,050 built, with only 21 still around today.

“This is the only complete class-A left. The reason being they were made pretty cheaply. Originally, they were all wood frames. If they were abandoned, they could deteriorate pretty rapidly.” said Vice Chairman Carl Wassink, Corry Rails.

The locomotives claim to fame would come during the gold rush in 1902.

“It was mostly transportation from the beach back to where the mining was taking place because it was all tundra in between and you couldn’t build roads, you couldn’t take horses over it.” Wassink said.

The group Corry Rails spent $80,000 to purchase and ship the locomotive back.

“Now, the real work starts. It’s a lot of work sitting inside there. We have people from, literally, around the world that want to come and help with this restoration.” VanTassel said.

About 4,000 pieces to be exact. Both guys agreeing having the piece of history brings back a sense of relief.

The restoration project is expected to take three years to complete. To finish the project, the group still needs to raise for the restoration project.

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