Curzon
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The Curzon Story (11 of 13)
Work on the exterior of the Curzon;
Move of three cars onto the museum site

The car still looked like a basket case however. The end platform and roof were still not finished, the additions connections points were still evident, and the old roofing was rolled up at some places. All exterior windows and door openings were still covered, and the car still carried it's faded and faded blue and white paint. Some cosmetic improvements were done, such as painting the car a faded Soo Line deep red prior to its move to the downtown museum site. There, it would suddenly be in a very high profile position for all to see.


Move of three cars, including Curzon, onto the museum site

In the fall of 1992, arrangements had been made with the Canadian Pacific Railway to move three important museum cars, including Curzon, into the remaining space inside the museum enclosure. The museum site offered security in the form of the tall 10' wire mesh fence, as well as connections to the museum's intrusion and smoke detection systems. It would also quickly allow regular public access which was an important part of the Cultural Property Designation. However, this final move also filled in the last part of the old parking lot on site. The museum's other parking lot across the street would have to be expanded, and highway access improved.

There were also two other important cars which had been stored in Cranbrook for some time that needed to be placed on the museum site.

  • One of these cars, the Redvers had been planned for the collection when it became available, but negotiations were not completed until late fall of 1992.
  • The second car Strathcona (designated, like Curzon, as Canadian Cultural property), had also been stored since late 1989 on a spur in Cranbrook. It's solid steel construction, with barred windows and doors, had made the car relatively secure compared to the Curzon, but the Strathcona was also a risk to leave outside the secure museum site. Since the Railway wanted the move done at one time, all three cars had to be planned for.

The final factor was the availability of winter job-creation funding which would allow work on all three cars, and the extension to the viewing corridor. This would give visual and physical access to these three new cars on regular public tours. This also coincided with the museum's name-change ceremonies in the summer of 1993.

Finally, the Redvers arrived in late October 1992, by which time the Curzon had already been loaded onto its new chassis and wheels, and was therefore mobile. First, a museum work crew constructed two new tracks inside the museum site for the three cars during the months of October and November. The cars were moved on site at the end of November. The cars looked very unusual in their line up and various conditions. First, there was the wooden Curzon, with some of its body painted tuscan red. Then there was the Strathcona with its temporary red paint to disguise the orange paint in which the car had been found. Finally, the Redvers, painted and lettered only a year or two before, appeared quite fresh.

The Curzon was pushed in first, backed by Strathcona and Redvers. The cars had to clear a 15-foot gate opening, miss the museum's main sign, curve quickly towards the fence, and then straighten out again, with the Curzon coming to rest about 10' from the fence on an 80' section of track. The Curzon was now front and centre at the museum site.

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