The Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society
The Western Vancouver Island Industrial Heritage Society was started in 1980, by six members of a model railroaders club. The group was displeased with the condition and placement of the 1912 Shay Locomotive, the “TWO SPOT”, so they requested permission from the City of Port Alberni to cosmetically restore it. During this cleaning process, sonic thickness readings were taken on the boiler shell, revealing very little wear. Robert E. Swanson, British Columbia’s locomotive inspector and driving force behind the "Royal Hudson" restoration, was invited over to inspect the “Two-Spot”. He agreed that the renovation should take it to operational status. They started the restoration in a leased metal building with no heat and a dirt floor, located at the City Works Yard. Despite the tough working conditions it would prove worth it. On August 11th, 1984, the “Two Spot” made its inaugural run from the Roger Street crossing to be met at the Port Alberni Station by a large and passionatecrowd.
Over the next three decades, the Industrial Heritage Society would continue to collect, restore, and operate everything from speeders, to steam engines, to logging trucks.