If you’re relatively new to the community, you may not know the railway once held an important role in Nakusp and area. The Nakusp Rail Committee will soon be changing this by installing an old caboose and rail snow plow across from the beach in the village’s main park. The project is being funded in part by $10,000 from the Trust.
The retired caboose and plow have been donated by Canadian Pacific in recognition of its history with the community. The caboose, built in the 1970s, and plow, built in the 1920s or 30s, will be transported from Revelstoke, and installation in Nakusp should be complete by July 1, 2016.
“Nakusp’s history is based on the railway. However, until now we have not had any significant exterior display, and the only remaining evidence of this history are sections of abandoned rail bed and one interpretive sign on the waterfront walkway,” said Beth McLeod, Secretary, Nakusp Rail Committee. “Having these pieces on display as part of our heritage, eventually with interpretive signage, will help significantly increase the knowledge of our rail history. Plus it will be another tourist attraction to help keep people in town longer.”
To support the mining boom, the railway between Nakusp and Sandon was completed in 1895 and extended to Kaslo in 1912. At the terminus in Nakusp, goods and passengers were able to continue by steamship to the main railway line in Revelstoke. Because of dwindling use, the last train out of Nakusp ran in 1988.
“One of the Trust’s strategic priorities is to support arts, culture and heritage, and this project is an important step in expanding the awareness of local history,” said Lynda Lafleur, Columbia Basin Trust Manager, Community Relationships North. “It has also been an excellent example of groups collaborating to achieve a common goal, backed by strong community support.”