A healthy crowd of people came out on Saturday to help celebrate Island Railway Days at the Parksville Train station on the weekend, marking the 125th anniversary of the completion of the railway.
A number of local dignitaries spoke to kick off celebrations at the event, including MLA Ron Cantelon who said he strongly supports the railway on the island as a green and efficient way to travel and move freight.
Cantelon said he’s confident local federal Conservative MP James Lunney and the federal government will come through with the second part of the grant to upgrade the track and resume passenger travel.
Cantelon’s leader, premier Christy Clark, recently announced the province will invest $7.5 million, half of what is needed to restore passenger service.
The events allowed the public to tour heritage rail cars, locomotives and speeders, and there were children’s mini train rides, a miniature train, live music and cake.
The Arrowsmith Potters Guild, who occupies and maintains the station, had Raku firing and hands-on clay building for both children and adults to make their own pottery.
Guild president Jacie Herbison addressed the crowd at the start of the event.
“Tell your friends and neighbours that the railway’s not dead, it’s just sleeping for a little bit.”