Kimberley Underground Mining Railway continues powerhouse restoration

Volunteers hard at work

Despite a season that is seeing some drops in riders because of COVID-19 protocols, the Kimberley Underground Mining Railway volunteers continue to do their very best to make the experience as interesting as possible for tourists.

The latest big project is the Powerhouse restoration.

One of the big attractions for Kimberley Underground Mining Railway visitors is when enter the Powerhouse and volunteers start up this compressor, which has had an electric motor installed to drive it.

As it turned out, volunteers found three missing windows when they uncovered a window bay on the West end of building that was boarded up. This gave them a ‘window of opportunity’ to rig and replace the Rand Compressor rope which is 2,700ft long.

Purchase of the rope was funded by Teck Resources and the installation was funded from a Columbia Basin Trust Sustainable Communities Initiative Grant administered by Regional District of East Kootenay(RDEK) as recommended by the City of Kimberley and RDEK- Area E(Meadowbrook, Wasa, St. Mary’s Valley, Porteous Flats, Wycliff).

One of the last items to complete on the $391,000 Powerhouse Restoration Project will be to install three replacement windows in empty window bay. This heritage building had 32 sets of windows with 3,200 panes which were restored inside and out. Other parts of the Powerhouse Restoration included repairing and replacing sections of brick and painting the inside walls and floor.

Rope installation was handled by Rocky Mountain Lift Services assisted by shop volunteers – their speciality is replacing chair lift cables.

This rope installation project was managed by one of the Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society volunteers John Wiggin.

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