Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) has decided one of its “riding end platforms,” a caboose, can be disposed of. Rather than being cut up into scrap, CPR would like to see it preserved by donating it to a community that was once a strategic part of the railway system in British Columbia.
One of the communities CPR is considering donating the caboose to is Nakusp.
The caboose is similar to what was used in the Kaslo subdivision in the late 1970s until the last train in Dec. of 1988.
CPR would also like to donate a plow as well. It was built in late 1920s or ‘30s, and would have been similar to the plow used on the Kaslo subdivision.
Right now, everything is in the preliminary stages, nothing major has been decided.
Though CPR would like to donate the caboose, there are costs associated with the move that won’t be covered, such as trucking costs, and a crane to lift it on and off the lowbed and onto the site.
“Our understanding is it’s going to cost approximately $10,000 just to haul it from Revelstoke to Nakusp,” said Laurie Taylor, chief administrative officer for the Village of Nakusp. “Then we’re estimating it’s about $10,000 to place it and landscape it, so approximately $20,000 minimum.”
Right now, the village doesn’t have that kind of money to get the caboose to Nakusp, so a community meeting has been set up to determine if residents would like to bring it, and possibly the plow, to the village.
There is already one person who would like to see the caboose come to Nakusp, village councilor Tom Zeleznik
“I think it’s great for tourism,” he said. “History shows that we were strong in the train area, and history is very important to our community.”
Zeleznik said there is a lot of history in the area that has been lost over the years. Much was lost in the floods back in the 60s, and the Minto was lost as well.
“I think it’s really important for our community to remember our history, and I think it’s a great opportunity for a group or organization to take it on.”
If the caboose comes to Nakusp, one of the biggest costs is going to be maintenance. If it arrives, the village would be expected to keep up its appearance and use. Zeleznik thinks one possible way to offset costs such as this could be tours.
“There are a lot of train buffs all over the place,” he said. “It would be good to go and visit the Revelstoke train museum — there’s one in Cranbrook also — and find out how they financially support their train museum.”
A meeting has been set for Jan. 7. It’s at 6:30 p.m. at the Emergency Services building. Anybody interested in having the caboose come to Nakusp can attend the meeting and brainstorm where it should be put, and how to fundraise to bring it to the village.