Members of the crew of the Spirit of Summerland locomotive are

Steam locomotive heritage honoured

The Spirit of Summerland, the locomotive pulling the Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s train has been used for the past 100 years.

  • Oct. 10, 2012 4:00 p.m.

The Spirit of Summerland, the locomotive pulling the Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s train has been used for railway service for the past 100 years.

On Saturday, railway staff and supporters gathered to mark the centennial of the locomotive.

Built in Montreal, it was one of the most powerful locomotives in Canada at the time, said railway historian Jonathan Hanna.

Doug Campbell, a brakeman with the railway, said the train was built for plenty of service.

“The engine was created as a workaday locomotive,” said Doug Campbell, a brakeman on the steam railway.

Today, the steam railway runs 182 trains a year and covers a distance of more than 5,800 kilometres.

Joe Smuin, an author who has written extensively about the railway, said much work had been done to restore the locomotive in Summerland.

“Most of you have no idea of the depth of accomplishment you see here,” he said.

“You’re seeing no small miracle and a great deal of dedicated talent.”

Okanagan Coquihalla MP Dan Albas said it is important to reflect on the community’s heritage.

“When you honour our past, it says a lot about our future,” he said.

The railway draws more than 25,000 riders each year.

“Tourists come from all over the world,” said Mayor Janice Perrino.

“You make us all very proud.”

 

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