Left to Right: Al Davis, Pat Ridler, Bob Bjorn, Iain Macleod, Howie Mason and Frank Vanden Broek took part in a cheque presentation at the old unit on the morning of August 25. Missing from photo Alec Rogers (who was taking a photo, too)

Ian Cobb/e-KNOWCranbrook’s Downtown Business Association (DBA) presented the Cranbrook Sunrise Rotary Club with $5,000 today (August 25) to go toward the service club’s refurbishment project of the locomotive beside the old Elko Train Station. Sunrise Rotary President Frank Vanden Broek said the club gratefully accepted the donation from the DBA, noting it helps in their efforts to raise the roughly $90,000 needed to sandblast, prime and paint old locomotive No. 4090.

“There’s a lot of work to be done,” Vanden Broek said, noting the cost of the paint alone is “in the hundreds of dollars a gallon.” However, with that cost comes about 30 years of life in the spruce-up project, which will wear Canadian Pacific Railway colours. DBA chair Iain Macleod said the association boarded the project because “we think it’s one more part of connecting the area,” noting it will create a park-like extension running from the old locomotive, past the Elko station, and west toward the railway museum.

The project will help beautify the entrance to the downtown, Macleod said, adding “It will make it more inviting” and should serve to entice more people to stop while passing through Cranbrook. The funds for the donation come from DBA membership dues “to help with these kinds of things,” Macleod explained.

Vanden Broek said the project will get underway “in a couple of months” and it is hoped that it will take about a year to complete, as Rotary continues to raise funds for the project. The Columbia Kootenay Cultural Alliance’s Heritage Program, an offshoot of the Columbia Basin Trust, has already provided a $20,000 grant to the project. As for the rest, the $90,000 figure will include in-kind services, Vanden Broek said, adding Rotary will “also kick in a fair amount – for any shortfalls.” Other grand opportunities are being explored and donations are being gratefully accepted.

Along with sprucing up and painting the old locomotive, the project will include the placement of a story board with a history of the unit. “We’re also working on the idea of putting electrical to it, and maybe do some Christmas lighting or different themes,” Vanden Broek offered.

Ian Cobb/e-KNOW