The crew that keeps the railroad running

The crew that keeps the railroad running

Another great year on Kimberley’s railway

President Mick Henningson reports to members at Sullivan Mine and Railway AGM

The Sullivan Mine and Railway Historical Society held their AGM this week, and as is the case most years, President Mick Henningson was able to tell members of another successful year running the tourist attraction.

Last summer, the Railway exceeded 9,000 riders for the first time. This includes visits to the Power House, the Underground Interpretive Centre or up to the Resort Station. It also includes a number of school trips, which Henningson says continue to be very popular with schools in the Cranbrook/Kimberley area as well as from further afield. Grade 5 tours are a yearly occurrence for most area schools, he said. Students from the West Kootenay and Alberta also arrived for tours in 2013.

For the past several years, wet Junes have caused a bit of grief for the Railway and 2013 was no exception. The Railway was forced to stop operation for a couple of weeks in late June due to concern of a  potential mudslide into Powder Magazine Creek, which the Railway crosses. However, the rains did stop and the Railway was able to begin their summer full-time schedule on time.

New this year, the Kids Trains, a 10 a.m. train ride only, proved successful. The train goes through the underground but doesn’t stop, proceeds up to the Resort for a quick picture taking stop, then returns downtown.

The Railway also tried a new feature in partnership with the Resort —a train/chairlift ride combination. This was planned for the September First Saturday.

“Unfortunately, this was the one Saturday where it rained all day,” Henningson said. However, should they be able to come to agreement with KAR again, it is quite possible the ride will be offered next year.

When the Railway shuts down in September, the team of volunteers who keep it running don’t put their feet up. September until the snow flies is when track maintenance takes place. Volunteers started a significant track upgrade in the Downtown Station area, Henningson said.

“This project was partially funded by Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Grants recommended by the City of Kimberley and Area ‘E’ of the Regional District. Thanks to our operating revenue, the combined CBT grant, Teck Resources, our huge volunteer base and help from any number of local companies and individuals; we were able to complete this project and finish the year slightly in the black.”

Henningson acknowledged all the volunteers who work so hard for the Railway; Desiree McKay who manages (and plants the flowers) at the Downtown Station; Safety Director Tom Martin who works to keep the Railway in compliance with the B.C. Safety Authority;  and the group of shop volunteers led by Sever Rondestvedt.

“This group of 10 “regulars” has very skilled people including some recent retirees. The whole group has demonstrated they can basically maintain and fix almost anything, even our 120 year old rope driven Rand Compressor,” Henningson said.

Public Relations are handled by Sharon Henry, who is also the lead commentator/engineer. Engineering duties are also covered by Society Vice President Dan Jarrett.

Henningson himself handles track and tunnel maintenance, and general administration is covered by Esther Jacobson. The Society’s long time treasurer Lorne Boates resigned last year, but agreed to keep the books until the end of 2013, for which the Society is very grateful, Henningson said. Volunteer Greg McCormick took on payroll for 2013.

“The Society had a very good year thanks to tremendous Community Support, great seasonal employees, and our large group of very talented volunteers,” Henningson said.

“Our goal is to educate people about the history of a mine that employed 65,000 people over its 100 year life. Its is also to provide a major tourist attraction in the Region at Reasonable Cost. I thank the Community, employees, and volunteers who helped us achieve our goals in 2013.”

 

Just Posted

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Ryan McKenzie of the Kimberley Trails Society made an in-depth presentation to City Council describing the initial steps of the Electrify the Mountains eBike trails project. This is a look at the project one map.
Kimberley City Council hears details on Electrify the Mountain project

At the meeting of City Council on Tuesday, June 8 Ryan McKenzie… Continue reading

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the 2021 BC Summer Reading Club. Kimberley Public Library file
Kimberley kids invited to join summer reading club at Public Library

The Kimberley Public Library invites kids of all ages to join the… Continue reading

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

KSCU Branch Manager Brent Jossy and assistant Manager, Tara Field, meet with David Bellm society President to present cheque. Submitted file
Kootenay Savings supports Indoor Tennis Society

The Kimberley Indoor Tennis Courts Society is grateful to Kootenay Savings Credit… Continue reading

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

Most Read