2141 steam engine back on tracks starting Thursday evening

By Chad Klassen
August 23, 2017 - 4:42pm Updated: August 23, 2017 - 6:14pm

KAMLOOPS — Now that the smoke has cleared in kamloops for the time being, the 2141 'Spirit of Kamloops' steam engine will come out of hibernation starting on Thursday evening. 

The Kamloops Heritage Railway is running its traditional Bill Miner train robbery ride — the first time the 105-year-old locomotive has been on the tracks since the end of July. 

"This will be our first run in August, and in addition to all the excitement of the horse and all the guns and the train robber himself, Mr. Bill Miner, we are also going to be going around with the robbery bag to collect money for the fire evacuees. We did that all July and we wanted to pick that up again," said manager of railtour operations Rosanne Nelson. 

The Heritage Railway Society has collected hundreds of dollars so far. There is also a 1960s and 1970s-themed ride on Saturday night. 

"We invite the Kamloops Vintage Car Club to come along and bring their cars from that era, and they might also bring all their other era cars," said Nelson. "They usually ride along with us on the reserve, so we have a parallel ride, a little parade if you will. They also bring along their ambulance and their fire engine, and they put them into the station plaza for people to look at ahead of time."

It's been a long three weeks for the Heritage Railway Society during the smoke that caused a shutdown. But it hasn't completely hurt them. 

"We have three seasons, so this is only half of one season," explained Nelson. "We have the Halloween season and Christmas season, which is actually bigger for us than the whole summer. We feel ok. Obviously we've lost money and maybe even some riders. We had a lot of people we had to cancel that were from England and Germany and Switzerland and Hong Kong, so that hurts a little. We like to show off to the international visitors."

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