2141 is one of a group of 25 engines (numbers 2130 to 2154) built by the Canadian Locomotive Company in Kingston, Ontario for the Canadian Northern Railway. Her classification is “Light Consolidation” because of her 2 8 0 wheel configuration. She is “light axle loading” — 114 tons in working order. Her official class is M 3 d and she is the only survivor of this type. She has 57″ drivers, 23″ x 26″ cylinders, and her boiler is rated at 180 psi. She has a haulage rating of 35% which means she can pull 30 loaded old-time cars or about 9 loaded modern coal cars. The engine weighs about 190,000 lb. (95 tons) and originally burned coal. She was converted to burn oil in 1948. The tender carries 6,000 gallons of water and 3,000 gallons of fuel. When working hard, it can go about 50 miles between water fill-ups and 125 miles before needing more fuel.
From 1913 – 1919 she carried passengers between Calgary and Saskatoon for the Canadian Northern Railway, from 1919 – 1948 she carried a mix of freight and passengers in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta for the Canadian National Railway, and from 1948 – 1950 she operated with freight in BC near Smithers. In 1950 she was moved to Vancouver Island to finish her working days hauling logs and other freight between Victoria and Youbou / Cowichan Bay. Her last trip was July 4, 1958 from Cowichan Bay to Victoria, being replaced by a diesel locomotive. She was then slated for demolition, as were most of the steam locomotives of the day.
Mayor Jack Fitzwater of Kamloops had other ideas. It took him three years to persuade City Council and the CNR that selling the locomotive to Kamloops was a better choice. On Oct. 28, 1961 after payment of $2,000.00, CN operations manager T.A. Mainprize presented the engine to Mayor Fitzwater and the City of Kamloops. 2141, which had been refurbished in the CNR Port Mann yards, became a static display in Riverside Park.
The locomotive sat on display in the park for 33 years and was maintained by the city. In 1993, the city was approached by a private enterprise seeking to restore and operate a steam locomotive to pull a tourist train in Alberta. When news of this was circulated to special interest groups associated with railroading, an emergency meeting was held to explore ways to keep the engine in Kamloops.
On February 11, 1994, the 2141 Steam Locomotive Restoration Society was formed to restore and operate the engine on behalf of the City of Kamloops. The Society completed the restoration over a period of 8 years and 80,000 hours of labour. On January 15, 2002, under steam and her own power for the first time since 1958, the 2141 was moved to her new home at 600 Lorne Street. The City of Kamloops provided a new 5000 square foot building to house and maintain the steam locomotive. At the same time, over 2,000 feet of track and switches were built to connect the backshop to the CN Okanagan subdivision line at mile 3.0. On June 26th, 2002 the Kamloops Heritage Railway carried our first passengers on the Spirit of Kamloops railtour. Since then, the Kamloops Heritage Railway has operated over 414 trips, travelled over 6,249 kilometres and carried over 47,955 passengers.