WEDNESDAY MORNING EDITORIAL — Some will no doubt read about Kamloops City council’s decision on the 2141 heritage steam train Tuesday and think, “Cripes, there goes another $200,000 waste of our tax money.”
It depends on how you look at it. In one sense, the old 2141 is a luxury rather than a necessity, like those old cars we love to look at in the Easter parade. It has cost taxpayers a lot of money, and seems to do little but chug a few miles north up towards Rayleigh and then come back again, backwards.
On the other hand, there’s no question it’s a popular tourist attraction. It makes for great pictures in brochures, and represents our long history with railroads, even though it didn’t get its start here.
Since the 2141 was parked for repairs a couple of years ago, its absence has been felt by the tourism industry, and its familiar sight and sound rattling and roaring down the tracks and over the bridge are missed.
The thousands of hours put in by Kamloops Railway Heritage Society volunteers are legendary. They love that old bucket of bolts so much they refuse to let it die. They keep raising money, keep asking for help from the City, and keep showing up to work on the engine.
There may come a time when the public, and council, says enough is enough. But in the meantime, we can look forward to having the 2141 back in action next year.