A crowd of residents gathered in front of the skate park on July 22 to watch as the caboose and plow donated by Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) were finally installed in their new home.
The village was approached by CPR in late 2015 to find out whether they would be interesting in receiving the caboose and plow, as Nakusp has a history with the railroad.
The plow made it to Nakusp the night before, but because of loading issues with one of the flatbed trucks, the caboose had to wait overnight at the ferry terminal at Shelter Bay. Once it arrived, members of the Nakusp Rail Committee and CPR got to work.
It was a dreary day as crew members got to work. Grey clouds blocked out the sun, and a cool breeze was blowing. Bringing the two pieces of rail history in town was exciting for all those involved in the project.
“I think it’s wonderful to see it here finally,” said Donovan Gentles, an employee of CPR. “It’s been quite an adventure.”
Gentles was the person who suggested CPR donate the plow and caboose to Nakusp. The plow was the first of the two to be installed. With the use of two cranes, it was lifted off the flatbed truck and moved onto the rail ties that had been installed at the site back in June.
There was the briefest moment of trepidation on the part of residents as the flatbed, which had transported the plow, was driven away and it was left literally hanging in mid air.
However, there was nothing to fear, as it was installed on the rail bed without issue.
After a small break, the members of the rail committee and CPR got back to work, repeating the process of looping two chains through the caboose and lifting it off the flatbed and onto the rail bed.
Since the start of the project there has been the odd setback or delay. Gentles was not worried when something would come up, saying there are always setbacks in any project.
“You’re talking about moving huge pieces of equipment over a barge, down a highway, to a town,” he said. “That’s never a small feat.”
Once the caboose was installed a round of applause rose up from the crowd.
Among those on hand to watch as everything was put in place was mayor Karen Hamling.
“I’m really, really proud of this group and what they’ve done,” she said. “It’s pretty exciting. They’ve given a lot of themselves to do this, and I’m really, really proud of them.”
Members of the rail committee were proud too.
“It felt like a long time coming, but with everybody’s help, it all came together well,” said Rob Glentworth, vice president of the rail committee.
“We had to work around the height restrictions, and permit issues. Everybody pulled together as a team and made it happen, and here we sit. It was awesome.”