Dan Parsons encouraged the Forestry Heritage Society
- to provide a railroad at the exhibition grounds to help out Fall Fair, and
- to measure community interest for us to build a permanent ridable, miniature railroad.
We began by building a 220′ oval loop, 60′ in diameter and borrowed Dan’s train to provide the rides. It was a big hit at Fall Fair, so we continued.
In November 2011, with a generous donation of $5,000 from Gerri Parsons, we acquired a used railroad from a hobbyist in Nanaimo. It took a great deal of renovation during the winter/spring to be ready for the 2012 operation.
We expanded the track towards the Quanset huts to create a Y turnaround and a tent station near the Farmers Market
In 2012, public rides were provided on July 1 and BC Day in August using the 220′ loop, and then we opened for Fall Fair with the 600′ track using the Y and the tent station near the Market.
With a train and 600′ of track available, we began our first year of regular two-hour Sunday operation from April 28 through Fall Fair Sep 19/20, 2013. Our development projects included building two hand cars to replace the borrowed ones, and building the ride-through shed.
For Fall Fair 2013 we enjoyed a visit from the Burnaby club with two trains added to our own for the riding public. 9 minute video here
In 2014 we upgraded our rolling stock and facilities, building a third ride-astride car, a wheelchair car, caboose upgrades, a shed extension to hold the hydraulic lift, some farm models, and a steam bay.
At the 2014 fall fair we introduced the wheelchair car and enjoyed some cowboy hijnks.
In 2015 we built two more hand cars and added switch control stands.
After a busy season from April through Fall Fair, we introduced our first Santa Train, Friday and Saturday in early December 2015.
In 2016 we expanded the track around the hayfield, and built a tunnel.
We started the trestle which enabled us to have the outer loop at the west end.
We completed the trestle. Leif Bjornson built detail onto the bridge.
We built an over-track station in time for Halloween..
We needed another shed to hold our additional equipment. Dave Banks led a team to build our shed which includes two additional booths for the Farmers Market.
In 2019, we also expanded the track to complete a figure 8 using our original interior loop and added a fence to the trestle. Total track including sidings is now about 2200′
With Covid restrictions, we didn’t open for the public and completed a few maintenance tasks with small physical-distanced work parties.
Following our re-opening on July 18, we continued each Sunday 1230-2:30 pm until Sep 26, then took a break until Ghost Train and Santa Train. Our Raffle was a great success.