There are trains that get you places, and there are trains that leave you with a memorable experience. Kamloops Heritage Railway (KHR) is latter of the two. I got the chance to discover the old-school railways and classic steam engine first hand, not once but twice. It made me realize that a leisurely, unhurried journey can perpetuate the enjoyment and luxury of a true escape from our fast-paced lives. Kamloops Heritage Railway reignited my long lost fascination with the railways.
This train is pulled by restored steam locomotive Canadian National Railway 2141 a.k.a. “Spirit of Kamloops”. In the summer of 2002, the Kamloops Heritage Railway carried its first passengers on the Spirit of Kamloops rail tour. In its inaugural season, this train carried over 10,400 passengers on 96 trips! The ambience of KHR will take you back to the early 1900s.
Before I boarded the KHR train, I didn’t know what to expect. Having not boarded a train in a long time, I was truly excited about it. I signed up for the classic Bill Miner Train Robbery show. Once on board, we were flanked by the beautiful can-can dancers, who mesmerized us with their graceful moves. Soon after the train is flagged off, it takes a brief stop on the wooden bridge over the Thompson river where the passengers can see a beaver dam.
The train then traveled through the picturesque Kamloops Indian Reserve land, where we witnessed the St. Joseph’s Church in all its glory with the stunning stained glass windows. After showcasing the key points of interests, the train makes its way back to Kamloops Railway Station.
Bang! Suddenly a train robbery occurs, with the outlaws riding in on their horses. An excellent, almost real robbery show put up by the actors left the audience enchanted. There are volunteers who are dressed up to play different parts on the trip. Overall, the entire crew made a good effort to make the whole adventure more enjoyable!
The train and the cars still look spectacular! You can walk around while the train is on the move, to check out the quaint train cars. Most of the interior décor is still maintained in its original state with minimal restoration.
Kamloops Heritage Railway ensures an unforgettable escapade for visiting tourists and locals alike. They conduct many more exciting tours and shows like this throughout the year. I am truly looking forward to their “Spirit of Christmas” rail tour, which is a playful one-hour ride through the wintry Kamloops night. This tour captures the magic of an old-fashioned Christmas and takes us back in time. You can stay up to date with their latest events through their Facebook page or website.
Choo choo, folks!