The Restoration of Streetcar 696 Update from Ottawa

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by interurban, Feb 27, 2006.

  1. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Hi , Thought some may be intrested in this great restoration Of Ottawa Street Car #696.
    I last saw her in November 2004.

    Here is Barry to tell us about the progress.

    Hello to Everyone interested in the Restoration of Streetcar 696.
    You have not missed any earlier updates as other "things" here at OC Transpo have kept me from sitting down and typing up a summary on a regular basis.

    Streetcar 696 Progress.
    Since Sept 2005 the volunteers have been busy each working session drilling the holes for the rivet work needed. The gang drilled over 800 holes and then found out we needed them all 1/16th larger. So the volunteers had to redo many of them again. I have to give them credit - the volunteers just quietly dug in and got them done again. As a result we have the two bolsters, complete underframe and sides plus all cross members done and ready.

    On Wednesday night, February 22nd, the volunteers got together and started to permanently rivet the first bolster together. This was a milestone occasion in this project since we are now permanently building the Streetcar 696 up again instead of fabricating parts off of the original. The first rivet session went extremely well considering none of the volunteers did this for a living!. We expect that with one more Wednesday night work session under their belts the volunteers will be ready to start working some Saturdays to complete the rivet work. A news letter will go out when we select the dates to work on Saturdays.

    We knew that many of you that could not attend last Wednesday would want to know exactly how well it went and did we get pictures, so the group worked with the A-Channel TV supper news anchor host James Hendricks to film it! The A-Channel crew interviewed Mike Mueller, Rheaume Laplante, Barry Thomas, Sebastian Landry and the father/son team of Gilles and Kevin Lafreniere while filming many good shots of the rivet team in action! The work session and Streetcar 696 Project will be featured on the Tuesday February 28th A-Channel evening news between 1830-1845 hours on channel 6.

    The first Streetcar 696 truck has been completely disassembled and ready for sand blasting. The springs are apart and being painted before being rebuild. The Electric Motor Company on Preston St has reviewed the first motor and it appears in good condition and likely will just need new wires before being put back together.

    The air compressor unit being rebuilt at the NRC by Benoit Campage and crew is going well and the motor was being tested before it is reassembled and shipped back. The Electric Motor Company on Preston St also helped on this motor work as well.

    The streetcar is moving along well and progress will increase once the new framework is rivetted. Then volunteers will have several new restoration projects to start.

    2006 Calendar Fund Raiser
    This intitative went very well and we have sold all but 40 of the 500 calendars purchased to date. It has been a great fund riser. The 696 volunteers, City of Ottawa Transit Sales Office, and the OC Transpo Credit Union all assisted in selling the calendar. One OC Transpo bus dispatcher - Ron Lane sold over 40 copies himself.

    2007 Calendar Fund Raiser
    In January the volunteers got together again and with the help of Bruce Dudley, Peter Joyce, Mike Mueller, & Wally Weart the new 2007 calendar is now put together. The layout and colour design is being worked on by the OC Transpo Graphics designor Vince Pucci in his share time. This new project should be ready for printing by May 2006.

    Reg Bilodeau - Streetcar Display at OC Transpo Admin Building.
    On Feb 7, 2006 the Streetcar 696 group was successful in getting Master model craftsman Reg Bilodeau to loan his precision handmade 1/32 scale Streetcar 815 model to OC Transpo so it could be put on display in the Transit Administration office lobby. It is also under a large wall mounted poster asking everyone to help restore the Streetcar 696. Over 60 guests, relatives, and streetcar 696 volunteers attended a public thank you to Mr. Bilodeau from the Director of Transit Services in Ottawa. The model is a great way to advertise to employees that the project is on the property and to join in.

    The project is moving forward very quickly. Loucon Metal the main supplier of the steel being rivetted will be pleased when we get to the wood roof and roof phases. In the next two months we should be finished with the heavy steel fabication work and into phases that will require less backwork and cover more area quickly. The upper sides are lighter metal work and the window and roof supports much easier to work with and are spaced 2 feet apart. As well the piping and wiring will soon have to start before the floor is installed.

    New Webpage being designed
    One of the younger volunteers, Kyle McInnes has volunteered to design a webpage for the streetcar 696 project. It will be used to post project updates, pictures and also assist the group in marketing fund raising items. This is totally new area for most of us and Kyle will report on his progress in the next update eamail. Hopefully it will assist in getting more business sponsors and volunteers becoming aware of this unique project while raising funds as well.

    Well that is all for now. As usual there is always something happening on at the Streetcar 696 Project. Why not come out and lend a hand?

    Barry Thomas
    Transit Services -Emergency Preparedness Coordinator
    Operational Training & Loss Management
    Departmental Business & Technical Services
    Public Works and Services - City of Ottawa
    1500 St Laurent Blvd, Ottawa, ON K1G 0Z8
    (613) 842-3636 ext 2222, Fax: (613) 741-7359
    Cell: (613) 913-5091 Email:
  2. ausien

    ausien Active Member

    thanks Barry, Chris, for this informative report/update. Its good to know that poeple do want to perserve the past,and its equipment. could you post pix tooooo
  3. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    Hi Steve the link above is from our 2004 visit with the old girl.

    As Barry said

    "One of the younger volunteers, Kyle McInnes has volunteered to design a webpage for the streetcar 696 project".

    Then I will post a link ,there should be pictures by then friend.:thumb:
  4. MasonJar

    MasonJar It's not rocket surgery


    Thanks for the update! Every time I visit the Science & Tech museum I wonder what is going on... Maybe I'll get there sometime when someone is around - my timing always seems terrible...! :rolleyes: :D

  5. interurban

    interurban Active Member

    You are welcome Andrew.
    696 was on OTC property the last time I saw her in her own barn:thumb: , You can always phone Barry if you or a group would like to see her.

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