Corry R.A.I.L.S. (Corry Rail and Industrial Legacy Society) formed in 2016 with the focus to find, restore and display artifacts from the Corry area’s industrial and railroad heritage, while encouraging local tourism. We are a 501c3 Charitable Organization.
Six months after forming we had settled on what we hoped would be our first artifact … Project “A”…to attempt to purchase a rare Climax Locomotive Class “A” built in Corry in 1902. In mid 2018 we visited it in Alaska and over the next year we achieved various stages in negotiations until we had a signed Agreement in August of 2019, while at the same time raising funds for its purchase and retrieval.
Since then, the RAILS Team has accomplished the retrieval of the A-313 Climax Locomotive and it now waits in the Restoration Building less than 1/2 mile from the place of its origin. Work continues…making connections…raising funds…finding skilled craftsmen…gathering materials….
Follow our progress here, on our Facebook page (Corry Rails) and visit the project headquarters at 132 Mead Avenue in Corry- Just across the rail tracks. Just watch for announcements of Work Days and Open House events- or contact us if you will be in the area. We love to do “Show and Tell” on our project!
Bringing the history of the A-313 home to Corry has involved a myriad of emails, phone calls, letters, contacts….mental telepathy…and trips to Alaska. Carl shared this synopsis of the travel to Anchorage, Palmer and points beyond.
There have been 4 trips to this point:
- 2018 – June 30, 2018 – July 4, 2018 – Tom and I went on the spur of the moment (2 days notice) to meet Erik and see the container, warehouses and cabin & storage at Big Lake… also met up with Pat Durand, who we had met at Strasburg at an HRA seminar.
- 2019 – Tom and I (on short notice, again) went to Anchorage and Nome in September/October 2019 to begin making arrangements for transportation… had dinner with Pat Durand and Jim & Viki Jansen (Lynden Transport) on our first night… flew to Nome the next morning and met with the Reader clan (Charlie’s children), and located other Climax parts, as well as meeting Stan Andersen (builder plate) … and Our Seabee hosts, Toby & Trish Schield.
- 2020 – Covid Pandemic interrupting June plans for a retrieval were partially lifted in late July. Tom and I were the advanced party, joined by Grady Smith, Steve Neiderriter and Norm Thomas and Donnie Rosie (videographer) in August. In ten days we were able to get the parts repositioned in the container and shipped via Lynden to Seattle. Barnhart Transportation brought it home from Seattle, arriving in October, 2020.
- 2021 – In August, Alaskan restrictions prevented our research trips to Fairbanks, Nome and Council. Norm Thomas and I visited the Univ. of Alaska Fairbanks Archives, the Tanana Railroad Museum (which has led to the donation of Climax Light Wt. Flatcar Trucks)… To Nome to search for parts to use as templates for missing parts from A-313…. To Council to see and Video the area where A-313 worked in 1902… Received the original builder Plate from Stan and Steff Andersen… Donnie Rosie joined us in Nome and Council to video the areas where the Wild Goose Railroad ran. Then back to Anchorage to go through the warehouses with Erik looking for the 24 missing parts from the Keith Christensen Estate. Between the templates acquired in Nome and finding some of the known missing parts in Anchorage, we were then able to have the engines accurately put back in working order.
Coming up on October 7, is First Friday celebration of Innovation “Climax and Corsets”. We will be located on Center Street near the railroad tracks and the old Ajax Ironworks building. Stop by and see the restored Corry Waterworks Ajax engine and some items from our A-313 Climax Locomotive
We try to be involved with area community events, and participate in various train shows, steam shows and educational events.
You can dig in and help with restoration during Work Days at the Restoration Building near the railroad tracks on Mead Avenue.
Recovering, returning and restoring a piece of Corry area history involves a need for support of many kinds. Corry Rail and Industrial Legacy Society and Museum has been fortunate to have been the recipient of loans, grants and monetary and in-kind donations.
If you would like to make a donation, or purchase some RAILS “Gear” to show your support, please check our our online store, or visit Hiram’s Marketplace on Center Street in Corry.
Your support is appreciated by the RAILS Team and the A-313!