Historical Steam Traction Boilers 

Inspection & Technical Services (ITS) oversees the operation, repair, and alteration of historical steam boilers in the province of Manitoba. Below is some useful information that pertain to the provincial requirements regulating historical steam boilers in Manitoba.


“Historical Steam Traction Boiler” – A steam boiler of a riveted or welded construction, including steam tractor, traction engine, and hobby steam boiler but excluding a steam locomotive – built prior to 1955 that: 

  • Is readily movable.  
  • By means of its own power, or 
  • Due to its being mounted on wheels or on a truck carriage; and  
  • Is being preserved, restored and maintained for demonstration, viewing or educational purposes.  

Note: Despite any other provision including the provisions of a code or standards adopted as a guide, historical steam traction boilers must not be operated at a pressure exceeding 175 pounds per square inch.   

Historical Steam Traction Boiler Design Registration: 

Prior to the historical boiler being placed into service, the boiler design shall be *registered with ITS. 

All designs shall be submitted electronically to QASupport@gov.mb.ca

Please refer to bulletin ITS 20-003 “Electronic Submission Guide” for more information on required documentation and submission requirements available on the Bulletins, Guides & Forms page.



When submitting the calculations for existing construction, the following shall be considered: 

  • The maximum allowable working pressure (MAWP) shall be calculated, based on the lesser of the original thicknesses from the affidavit/manufacturer’s data report or registered drawings or thickness results from non-destructive examinations (NDE) and the original factors of safety from the code of construction used, by computing the strength of each boiler component. The MAWP shall be the lesser of 
  • The MAWP based on the computed strength of the weakest component; and  
  • The original design MAWP.  
  1. *Design registration entails assigning a Canadian Registration Number to the boiler design; in accordance with the original code of construction.  


Historical Steam Traction Boiler Repair and Alteration:   

Inspection and Technical Services (ITS) requires preapproval of all repairs and/or alterations performed on historical steam traction boilers that have a Canadian Registration Number (CRN). The repair and alterations procedures shall be approved by the regulatory authority before the work commences.  

Changes in the boiler condition might justify recalculation of the MAWP in accordance with the method given above; and shall be treated as an alteration if recalculated to a different value. 


All repairs and alterations shall be reported using the form “Repair & Alteration Report ITS ES Form 01” available on the Bulletins, Guides & Forms page.

Submissions can be sent to TechnicalServices@gov.mb.ca with the Subject Line – “Repair/Alteration Historical Steam Boiler – (Insert CRN or B-Number of the boiler)” 

Historical Steam Traction Boiler Operator Licensing: 

A candidate is qualified for a historical steam boiler operator’s certificate of competency after completing all the following:  

  • Passing the historical steam boiler operator’s certificate of competency written examination. 
  • *Completing 120 hours of experience on a historic boiler that is authorized for operation.  
  • Passing a practical driving test to convey competency in the safe operation of historic steam boilers. 

For inquiries and examination scheduling, please contact the department at the following email address: ITSTrades@gov.mb.ca 

Note:  *Below are additional requirements for the hours of experience mandate: 

  • Participation in the approved historical steam engine course will count for 40 hours. The course is offered by the Steam Association of Manitoba (SAM). Please visit the following website for directives: http://mbsteam.ca/ .  
  • 50 hours of practical training shall be while the boiler is under steam and operation.  
  • The operator shall present a proof of hours (Log Book) including notes, presenting information on the hours accumulated. 
  • A licensed operator with a valid license shall sign-off on the license candidate’s proof of hours, to indicate that the person proceeding with the driving test is ready for the safe operation of the unit.  

Useful Reference Documents: available on the Bulletins, Guides & Forms page

  • Bulletin ITS 20-003.  
  • Repair & Alteration Report ITS – ES 01.  
  • Steam and Pressure Plants Regulation.  
  • The Steam and Pressure Plant Act.  
  • Boiler, pressure vessel, and pressure piping code - CSA B51.  
  • National Board Inspection Code- Part 2 (Inspection) & Part 3 (Repairs & Alterations).