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2141 just won’t quit, and that’s a good thing

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.”

KRHS president Bill Abley.

KRHS president Bill Abley.

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.

 

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About Mel Rothenburger (6630 Articles)
ArmchairMayor.ca is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At ArmchairMayor.ca he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

5 Comments on 2141 just won’t quit, and that’s a good thing

  1. Kerriann // May 8, 2014 at 6:00 AM // Reply

    Hate to be a wet blanket, but we are in debt in this city….spending 200,000 on a less than functional luxury is sorta silly. They could park the train in the park and allow people to go through it as a tourist attraction/photo op, couldn’t they?

  2. Cynthia Ross Friedman // May 7, 2014 at 12:04 PM // Reply

    Is it true that KGHM-Ajax made a a donation of some sort? A defibrillator?

  3. And a big “THANK YOU” to the 2141 Team!!!

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