In 2008, Tribute Arts, a division of Sumner Multimedia Corporation, commissioned local St. Thomas artist John Sumner to paint '5700 - Restored To Glory', a 4ft X 6ft oil painting of the Canadian National Steam Locomotive #5700. Al English, proprietor of the local art gallery 'Artsy Smartsy', is releasing in St. Thomas a Special Collector's Edition of signed and numbered prints of '5700 - Restored To Glory'. The prints will be available for sale at Artsy Smartsy, located at 557 Talbot Street, St. Thomas and also through the Elgin County Railway Museum (ecrm5700.org) in downtown St. Thomas. A portion of the proceeds of prints sold will be donated to the Museum.
In 1988 the city of St. Thomas, Ontario was in the market for a steam locomotive to serve as a symbol of the city's railway heritage. 5700 was available when the Museum of Science & Technology in Ottawa declared it surplus. 5700 has since been lovingly restored to glory by the members of the Elgin County Railway Museum.
One of only five 4-6-4's owned by Canadian National, #5700 is the centerpiece of the Elgin County Railway Museum’s collection. Originally numbered 5703, she was built by the Montreal Locomotive Works in 1930 for high speed passenger service in CN's Montreal to Windsor corridor. Originally slated to be scrapped at the end of the steam era in 1960, 5703 received a new lease on life when the original 5700, which was marked for preservation, accidentally had a cutting torch taken to it. Realizing their mistake, Canadian National pulled 5703 from the scrap line and renumbered it 5700.
"I was fortunate enough to have George Copley, original Fireman and sometime Engineer that drove the 5700, pose in the Fireman’s seat for the painting. Ron Bareham, the Elgin County Railway Museum President, and Bernie Bechard, a Museum Director, were also gracious enough to pose for the painting", says artist John Sumner.
"The member's of Elgin County Railway Museum have devoted 20+ years of time and resources to restoring and maintaining the 5700 for all to view and appreciate. I think John has captured that devotion in this print 'Restored To Glory' ", says Al English.
'5700 - Restored To Glory' prints can be viewed and/or purchased at:
557 Talbot Street, St. Thomas, ON, N5P 1C5
Elgin County Railway Museum
225 Wellington Street,
PO Box 200262
St. Thomas, ON, N5P 4H4