Brockville is getting a new bell to mount outside its historic railway tunnel, after the original bell was stolen.

The 300-pound bell was stolen over the Christmas holidays. To date, the bell has not been located.

But the town of Smiths Falls has stepped in, to loan a bell to Brockville.

A bell from the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario will be installed along the Brockville waterfront, where the old bell used to be.

“The Town of Smiths Falls and the City of Brockville share a deep and rich history of railroading,” Smiths Falls mayor Shawn Pankow said in a press release. “The donation of an authentic locomotive bell from the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario’s tremendous collection of artifacts here in Smiths Falls demonstrates the strength of the railroading bond.”

The museum says the bell was once aboard a D 10 series locomotive built in Kingston. The engine was dismantled in 1952. The bell eventually made its way to a private school in Hamilton, where it was used to signal the start of the school day. The bell finally found a home in the Railway Museum of Eastern Ontario in the early part of the 21st century.

In thanking the museum and the town of Smiths Falls, Brockville Mayor Jason Baker says, “This gesture helps to turn a frustrating act of petty theft to an opportunity to be reminded how the railroad can both literally and socially connect our communities.”