Waterloo Restoration Story

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Box 1404 Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada TOH 0C0

The restoration of this rare 30 HP Waterloo steam traction
engine began in 1974 when the engine was purchased by Ted McLean
from Mrs. Eva Smith. At this time the engine was located at
Triangle, Alberta, a distance of about 150-160 miles from
Ted’s. Luckily a trucker friend, Mr. Merle Morrison,
volunteered to move the engine for just his fuel used, so help from
others was already becoming evident. Shortly after arriving home,
restoration began. Fortunately, because of the engine’s rarity,
there were no major parts missing except for the clutch. In order
to overcome this a clutch from a Rumely was adapted and worked
quite well. To get the engine to where it could be used required
the following: reflue, build a new smokestack, rebuild governor,
install the intermediate gear, new piping and injectors, build a
platform and wood tenders, add a water tender, and of course a
complete cleaning and painting.

1914 30 HP Waterloo steamer, owned by Gordon McLean, Box 1404,
Beaverlodge, Alberta, Canada, and pictured here at the South Peace
Centennial Museum’s Pioneer Day 1997.

The retubing was the first task accomplished, and then the
boiler inspector did the hydro test to check all rivets, joints,
etc. All of this was perfect and she was certified for 150 P.S.I.
Once this good news was received, work proceeded rapidly as
everyone was anxious to see it operate. The clutch was a major
problem, as only half of the Rumely clutch was available.
Measurements were taken from this half and the second half was
built. As soon as the new smokestack, platform, piping and
intermediate gear were installed, it just had to be steamed up to
see how she worked. Things went very well. Only a bit more to do to
the governor to get it to operate more smoothly. Next came the
painting and the addition of the water tender. This completed the
engine and it was used at the South Peace Centennial Museum to
operate the sawmill, a task she handled very easily.

1914 30 HP Waterloo built in Waterloo, Ontario. This is a very
rare engine, being one of only about eight to ten built. Standing,
left to right, Gordon McLean and son David McLean. On display and
working at South Peace Centennial Museum.

Now, as all steam men know, there is always something else to
improve and tinker with on your engine. This is part of the fun,
and this one was certainly no exception. Up to this point we did
not have any information on this engine whatsoever until a 1914
Waterloo catalogue was acquired. A threshing scene taken at
Winnipeg showed a 30 HP Waterloo. It is not a good picture, but it
does show it had a canopy. Also at this time Jack Beamish from
Manitoba came on the scene with some information and an additional
picture. We now had something to base further restoration on. More
people came forward with correct parts including the smoke box door
(a locomotive door was being used), and would you believe, the
original clutch. This clutch had been removed while in a sawmill
site and had been separated from the engine for years. The clutch
was donated back to the engine and rebuilt, which involved
re-boring the center and installing a sleeve. It is a beauty,
having four shoes, and its operation is as smooth as any modern
clutch of today. Of course the canopy was installed as was a lid
for the smokestack. This lid can be opened and closed from the
ground eliminating the job of climbing up and down the boiler. A
new dome valve has been installed, throttle valve completely
rebuilt, and Waterloo decals were obtained from a museum in
Ontario. Last March ’93 a surprise package arrived by courier
one day, a big box with return address of Leamington, Ontario. When
opened, a perfect coal oil headlight was packaged and ready to be
mounted on the engine. What a treat! As of this writing, the engine
is in excellent shape, near original and the only one of this model
in existence which is in operating condition. We realize from
information recently received that the tenders are not quite the
exact size, and we are still searching for a correct

Due to the fact there were only about eight to ten of these
engines built, parts are indeed scarce. Our research has only
turned up one reference in Waterloo literature, where they intended
to develop (but had not actually built) a 30 HP engine. Jack
Beamish has located about six scrap piles with some 30 HP parts.
Some of the 27 HP parts will fit.

As we all know, many people become involved with these projects.
I am going to say a special thank you to the following who helped
so much with volunteer labour and donation of parts to make this
engine what it is today. To Ed Johnson, Jack McCal-lister, Harry
Burt, Rick LeMuir, Barry Collum, Cam Scott, George McKen-zie, David
McLean, Tom McLennan, Dennis Lay, and Allen Lowe, thank you! To any
I have missed, please be assured your efforts are greatly

This engine is now owned by Gordon McLean, Ted’s son, and is
on display at the South Peace Centennial Museum in Beaverlodge,
Alberta. It can be seen under steam several times during the
summer, but especially on Pioneer Day, the third Sunday in July
annually. If anyone has additional information about these engines
please contact me, Gordon McLean, at the above address. Your help
will be greatly appreciated.

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