Division 898 honors one of its own, Harry Home
(BLE Editor's Note: The following letter to the editor and photograph were received by the BLE International Division on January 9, 2003.)
I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate the career of one of Division 898's Honorary members, Harry R. J. Home.
Harry followed in his father's footsteps and hired on the Canadian National Railway in the signal department in Boston Bar, British Columbia, in 1949.
In 1953, Harry transferred to the shops department in Jasper, Alberta. It was in Jasper that Harry would eventually become a fireman, locomotive engineer, husband and father.
Harry became a member of Division 898 (Lucerne) in 1962. It was soon after that when Harry began to serve the members of Division 898. He served as Local Chairman from 1975 to1985. He finished his service to the division as Vice President in 1997. During this time Harry also served the community of Jasper, holding various elected positions on the local School Board. He also served as a Board Member on the Alberta Resources Railway (ARR).
But what Harry may be best known for is his efforts and dedication to restore and operate the Mountain-type 4-8-2 steam locomotive, 6060. It was Harry who saved the 6060 from the scrap heap in 1960 when CNR switched over to diesels.
Harry has been frustrated (but has not given up) in his efforts to run the 6060 on regular excursions out of Jasper. He was able to bring it to Jasper for a major overhaul in 1986. He then ran it to Vancouver's Steam Expo in May 1986, pulling 10 loaded grain hoppers. He ran it back the next year in a trip which also featured the Royal Hudson double heading 14 loaded passenger coaches.
The 6060 made its latest trip to Jasper last year, where it was the main attraction in a celebration of Jasper's railway heritage put on by Parks Canada. The 6060, owned and operated by The Rocky Mountain Rail Society, continues to run excursions out of Stettler, Alberta. During the summer months, the 6060 runs excursions with Alberta Prairie Steam Tours.
Between trips to Stettler, he can be found in Jasper fussing over the 6060 in preparation of the next run up to Big Valley. Brother Home retired from CNR in 1998 and continues to live in Jasper, with his wife Edna.
In October of 2002, Harry was honoured by being inducted into the "Heroes" category of the Canadian Railway Hall of Fame. This year he will be honoured further when CNR renames the station "Jasper West" to "Home."
The members of Division 898 wish to congratulate Harry for his achievements and all take special pride in calling out, "Clear to Home."
Brother Home and his "baby," the 6060.
© 2003 Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers