LETTER: Railway society seeks support

LETTER: Railway society seeks support

The Trout Creek Trestle Bridge will soon require a significant maintenance and refurbishment effort

Dear Editor:

The historic Kettle Valley Steam Railway operates on a section of the original Kettle Valley Railway in Summerland and is overseen by the Kettle Valley Railway Society.

The railway has been operating since 1995, preserving some of the history and heritage of steam railway in B.C. and the southern Okanagan Valley by running tourist trains.

Our vintage coaches and gear run behind a 105-year-old Canadian-built steam engine on daily runs offering a glimpse back to the days of steam and our passengers are treated to a historical commentary on the history of the original railway during a beautiful scenic run along Prairie Valley, through West Summerland and to the impressive Trout Creek Trestle Bridge.

Built in 1913, the Trout Creek Trestle Bridge is an icon of the Kettle Valley Railway every bit as impressive as those found in Myra Canyon and the Quintet Tunnels at Hope, with the added attraction of course that we still run our train on it to this day!

Our operation welcomed just over 30,000 riders each of our last two seasons and ridership continues to grow.

In addition to depending on a host of volunteers, our success provides full time employment for four staff and hourly wage employment for over a dozen more, including summer students.

In addition, we generate spin-off benefits to local businesses in Summerland and the Okanagan Valley.

While we are largely self-supporting through ticket sales revenue, we benefit from community support and my first request is that you consider becoming a member of our Society.

Your annual subscription fee helps support our operation and immediately pays for itself as you will receive a voucher for one regular ticket with your membership. Membership also entitles you to a 10 per cent discount at our gift shop and connects you to our society through regular newsletters.

Becoming more informed brings you knowledge of how you might become involved as a volunteer, whether running on the train as a coach host or working in maintenance and support.

Finally, we are currently undertaking a major fundraising effort to address one of those big pieces of work that occasionally come along in operating a railway like ours and which we cannot completely address through our normal self-funding processes.

The Trout Creek Trestle Bridge will soon require a significant maintenance and refurbishment effort in order to continue to support our operations.

The run out and stop on the bridge is a highlight of our runs and the bridge is also a key part of the Trans Canada Trail system. We welcome contributions towards this work. Any donation over $25 will generate a receipt for tax deduction purposes.

Donations can be made, and applications for membership can be found at our website: kettlevalleyrail.org/about/society/membership/ and kettlevalleyrail.org/donate/

Gerry Conrad, President

Kettle Valley Railway Society

Summerland

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