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Buddies of the Brill

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In 2001, the Amalgamated Transit Union Local 966 approached Thunder Bay City Council to purchase two Brill Trolley buses that had been sitting in a scrap yard in Richmond B.C. Their plan was to buy the trolleys and restore them to their original exterior colours, one for the Fort William system and one for Port Arthur.

The city gave the Union $12,000 dollars to purchase and transport the trolleys, which was completed in 2001 as the first phase of the project. The second restoration phase was completed in 2007 and both Trolleys were shown as part of Thunder Bay Transit's 115th Anniversary. The final phase of locating a home for a permanent display began thereafter and as of 2017 is still underway. From this project the non-profit organization Buddies of the Brill was created and this organization continues to advocate for the rich transit history that Thunder Bay has to offer.

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By 2014, it had been over forty years since the Brill Trolley buses were taken off the roads in Thunder Bay. Buddies of the Brill was in their final phase of their Trolley project and the organization called for a transportation museum in Thunder Bay. They also wanted City Council to consider the creation of a transportation heritage committee whose focus would be on the development of the proposed transportation museum.

The Committee was established a year later, while The Buddies of the Brill became incorporated with the Thunder Bay Railway Historical Society and expanded their preservation efforts to the caboose at Marina Park and the Via train at Kam River Park. In 2016, the Heritage Transportation Committee began appointing board members for the future Lakehead Transportation Museum.

For more information please visit the Buddies of the Brill website.