iN VIDEO: Kamloops' one-of-a-kind train kicks off 2018 Christmas season | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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iN VIDEO: Kamloops' one-of-a-kind train kicks off 2018 Christmas season

The Spirit of Christmas train loads up at the Kamloops Heritage Railway on Dec. 8, 2018.
December 09, 2018 - 4:30 PM

KAMLOOPS - Kamloops' Spirit of Christmas train ride is an annual holiday event enjoyed by locals and attractive to train-enthusiasts from all over, as the 2141 locomotive is said to be the only one of its class left in the world. 

Kamloops locals and tourists— hailing from Portland, Oregon and Calgary, Alberta to name a few— hopped aboard the 2141 Steam Locomotive last night, Dec. 8. The train, originally built in 1912, has been rescued, restored, and now reused by those who love trains.

The 2141 hauled freight and passengers in its early years accross the prairies, the Heritage rail website says. Once it was converted from a coal-powered engine to steam power it was shipped off to Victoria. Then the train was retired in 1958 when diesel replaced steam power.

It would have been destroyed along with the rest of its kind if former Kamloops mayor, John Fitzwater, hadn't purchased it in 1961. The 2141 then became playground equipment at Riverside Park until 1994 when it was transported to be restored to a working engine. In the summer of 2002 the steam engine finally carried it's first load of passengers in nearly half a century. 

On Saturday night the temperature was -2 C, young and old waited sipping on hot chocolate and munching on cookies until the train arrived at the Kamloops Heritage Railway.

At about 7 p.m. the first of nine sold-out excursions departed the station. Passengers were greeted by Santa Claus and other Christmas characters who handed out goodies, hugs, and high-fives. 

The Heritage Railway is a non-profit that puts on a number of railtours throughout the year. There are also opportunities to volunteer with them. More information can be found on their website.

To contact a reporter for this story, email Shelby Thevenot or call (250) 819-6089 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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News from © iNFOnews, 2018

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