Digest: Date, site set for trial seeking damages from Durango & Silverton for fire

News Wire Digest second section for Nov. 16: Ontario museum completes caboose restoration; commissioners approve funds for Macon, Ga., locomotive repairs
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The trial in which the U.S. Government will seek $25 million from the Durango & Silverton for costs of fighting the 416 Fire will be held in Denver and is set for September 2021.
TRAINS: David Lassen

Monday morning tourist railroad and preservation news:

Trial seeking fire damages from Durango & Silverton to be held in Denver

The trial in which the U.S. government will seek to recover $25 million from the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad for the cost of fighting a 2018 wildfire will take place in Denver, a federal judge has ruled. The Durango Herald reports the suit, which blames the railroad for starting the 54,000-acre 416 Fire, is scheduled to start Sept. 13, 2021 in Denver following the ruling by U.S. Distruct Judge Robert E. Blackburn. The railroad, which denies starting the fire, had sought to have the trial in Durango, with its attorneys writing In a filing that a Durango venue “is appropriate as it would allow the citizens of the area affected by the 416 Fire to serve as jurors and hear this matter.”

Northern Ontario museum completes restoration of former CN caboose
The Northern Ontario Railroad Museum and Heritage Centre in Capreol, Ontario, has completed restoration of a former Canadian National caboose later used to transport employees and store equipment by mining company INCO Ltd. The Sudbury Star reports the caboose, built by Hawker Siddeley for CN in 1967, will be lettered for INCO, which acquired the car in the early 1990s and donated it to the museum in 1998. Restoration was completed by Lakeshore Construction with the help of a donation from Epiroc Canada and a grant from the Rural Economic Development program. “It was a challenging year for the museum in 2020, with COVID-19 restrictions in place,” museum president Stu Thomas said in a release. “Our visitor season was obviously cut short, but it afforded us the opportunity to move ahead with some critical projects, such as the restoration of the caboose. We are eager to welcome visitors back next spring and share another exciting new exhibit with them.”

County to provide $50,000 for restoration of Macon, Ga., display locomotive
County funds have been allocated for repairs to a steam locomotive on display in a park in Macon, Ga., but more funds will be needed. WMAZ-TV reports Macon-Bibb County commissioners are providing $50,000 toward the restoration of the locomotive, Central of Georgia No. 509, a 2-8-0 built by Baldwin in 1906 on display in Carolyn Crayton Park. Chico Scott, whose father Benny worked on the locomotive as one of the first Black engineers in the southeastern U.S., has led the effort to restore the engine. He welcomed news of the funding, telling the station, “Finally, we can get some rust taken off …and get some real true paint. I know it is not going to look like it was in 1937.” County commissioners will continue to seek ways to fund the project.

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