"Jamestown's Snowball Express" Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration, sponsored by The Resource Center and Lutheran Jamestown, will feature Engine 6 when it starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6.
The parade will culminate with the arrival of Santa Claus on the Western New York & Pennsylvania Railroad's Caboose 300.
Engine 6 made its first appearance in Jamestown on Oct. 26, 2012, during the official Jamestown Gateway Train Station opening ceremonies. It has been operated on the New York & Lake Erie Railroad out of Gowanda on several occasions, along with the Lorain & West Virginia Railway in Wellington, Ohio.
"We are excited to have a steam engine and caboose in the parade down Third Street this year in conjunction with the parade's "Snowball Express" theme," said Tiffani Conti of the Jamestown Renaissance Corporation, which is organizing the event. "These are two special additions to what is shaping-up to be an enjoyable event for attendees of all ages."
Built in 1924 for the American Viscose Company of Roanoke, Va., Engine 6 was sold to the Gem City Iron & Metal Company of Pulaski, Va., in the early 1960s.
Scott Symans of Dunkirk purchased Engine 6 in September 2004 and restored it to operating condition between September 2004 and June 2007. During restoration, the engine was disassembled and a new steel cab and smoke box were installed. Additional modifications were made to meet federal railroad regulations.
Ordered by the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie RR in 1960, WNY Caboose 300 was built by the Morrison International Corporation (International Steel Car Company) of Kenton, Ohio. It was painted standard boxcar red and weighed 46,200 pounds.
The original car was equipped with coal-burning stoves for both heating and cooking and included running cold water with an icebox. The car was electrified with a belt-driven axle generator sometime between November 1966 and May 1968 and then replaced with end-of-axle generators and electric markers were installed between 1978 and 1982.
The caboose was acquired by the Western New York Pennsylvania Railroad in 2002 and moved to Falconer for rehab. The caboose was assigned WNYP 300, following the Erie Railroad tradition of 300-series bay window cabooses, with special attention was given to the selection of the proper shade of red paint and the proper font application and number placement.
In addition to being used in shoving movements between Falconer and Poland Center, and between Meadville and Saegertown, Pa., the car is used on several special trains.
"The railroad has been a significant part of the history of Jamestown, and these two vehicles will enhance the train theme of this year's Christmas celebration," said Lee Harkness, general manager of the Jamestown Gateway Train Station, who made arrangements for their inclusion in the parade. "It seems to bring the 'kid' out in everybody."
"Jamestown's Snowball Express" Christmas Parade and Holiday Celebration will be Friday, Dec. 6, in Jamestown. Parade line-up will begin promptly at 5 p.m. on Third Street between Monroe Avenue and Hallock Street, with the parade stepping off at 6:30 p.m. and traveling east on Third Street to Tracy Plaza. The parade will conclude by 8 p.m.
All businesses and organizations interested in participating in the parade are asked to register by Nov. 25. Participation includes a fee of $10 for all commercial and business entrants. For non-commercial, not-for-profit, and civic organizations, the $10 fee is optional.
Registration forms are available online at www.jamestownrenaissance.org. Businesses and organizations may also sponsor a trophy for $25. There will be eight different trophy categories for the parade in 2013 including best theme-related parade unit, best animal, best business, best civic/not-for-profit, best youth involvement, most creative, best all around and crowd favorite.
For more information, visit jamestownrenaissance.org.