Historic Kamloops 2141 Steam Engine digitally preserved through virtual reality | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Historic Kamloops 2141 Steam Engine digitally preserved through virtual reality

Arc/K Project developer Jay Sloat with TNRD Vice-chair Bill Kershaw testing out the new 3D virtual reality tour of the 2141 locomotive on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019.
October 20, 2019 - 6:00 AM

Vistors from and outside of Kamloops can now experience the beloved historic 1912 steam engine train through a virtual reality tour for the first time.

The unique experience was made possible through a partnership with the Kamloops Heritage Railway Society and the Arc/K Project, a U.S.-based company that works in conjunction with various groups across the world to preserve endangered sites and public art through three-dimensional renderings.

The historic Kamloops train was restored over an eight-year period from 1993 to 2001 by a group of volunteers and now operates by offering short heritage rides.

“There were 25 of these locomotives that were made at the time in Kingston, Ontario 107 years ago and this is the only one still in existence,” Nicholas Adams, Kamloops Heritage Railway Society Vice President, said at the official launch of the project yesterday, Oct. 17.

More than 18,000 high-resolution photographs were taken over a four-day period to simultaneously generate the 3D model, according to founder and CEO of the Arc/k Project, Brian Pope.

Although part of the concept behind the project is to preserve the historic cultural site, another goal is to help the society that keeps the 2141 engine running make money from its use in film production.

“The reason why the film commission was involved in all of this is a lot of people would like to come to Kamloops and utilize this beautiful engine in different films and different projects they are working on,” Adams says. “It’s pretty hard to move something the size and weight of a locomotive and even putting it on live tracks is really hard to do as well so this gives people if they want to utilize the engine in a project in the future they now have a digital version of that.”

Over the years, the engine has been featured in various documentaries including one last year done by the BBC highlighting steam engines across Canada, according to Adams.

One of the first people to try out the 3D tour of the 2141 was Thompson-Nicola Regional District Vice-Chair Bill Kershaw.

“It’s remarkable,” Kershaw says. “You can turn the valves, locate yourself anywhere and blow the whistle.”

Kershaw said experiencing the tour was also nostalgic.

“I was born and raised in Barnhartvale and we would come into Kamloops and run to the park and play in the train when it was at the park,” he says. “It’s a very nostalgic moment and very emotional.”

To reserve an opportunity to experience the 3D tour of the 2141 you can do so by calling the Kamloops Library at 250-372-5145 and the North Kamloops Library at 250-554-1124.

The following time slots are available:

Kamloops Library

  • Friday, Oct. 25  1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 31  1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.

North Kamloops

  • Tuesday, Oct. 22  11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday Oct. 30 2p.m. to 4 p.m.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Karen Edwards or call (250) 819-3723 or email the editor. You can also submit photos, videos or news tips to the newsroom and be entered to win a monthly prize draw.

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