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Restoration of historic Mattagami steam train in Smooth Rock to resume next spring

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Restoration work on the historic Mattagami steam train in Smooth Rock Falls is expected to resume next spring. Train committee member and town councillor Pat Roberts says work on the project slowed after asbestos was discovered in parts of the train, but was quickly taken care of by the construction company.

“We had to take off some pieces that the company didn’t have to fix,” he said. “We are at the point right now because of the weather conditions coming up we are going to cover two pieces. We have two big tarps so we can cover both sections the car and the train separately.”

He adds town council gave the committee $25,000 to help with the project but realizes that the price tag is going to be much higher.

“We are looking at some fundraising through corporate as well as we have a wonderful group of fans of Smooth Rock Falls, thousands of followers,” he said. “You know hopefully in the future we will be contacting them and putting out a message to help us out.”

The old steam train is 111 years old and arrived in Smooth Rock Falls in 1966 and tabbed as the smallest railroad in Canada, 3.7 kilometres to haul logs to the mill.  Roberts says it’s one of the few pieces of history left in the community and residents are thrilled it’s going to be fixed.

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