BRIDGE BUILDING In 1913, crews installed the girders as they constructed the railway bridge over Trout Creek Canyon. The bridge is still in use today. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

Historic railway bridge receiving upgrade work

Maintenance at Kettle Valley Steam Railway bridge in Summerland to be finished by end of year

Crews are at work on Summerland’s historic railway bridge over Trout Creek Canyon.

The construction work means the bridge is now closed to pedestrians as crews are doing repairs to the structure.

Gerry Conrad, secretary of the Kettle Valley Railway Society, said the work is normal midlife maintenance for the bridge.

It includes removing the deck, replacing the timbers underneath and repairing the deck surface and replacing some of the metal support work at the end closest to Summerland.

“This is all to keep the bridge in operation for another decade and a half or two decades,” he said.

The work began at the beginning of December and Conrad said crews are expected to have it completed before the end of the year.

He said the estimated cost is a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

The bridge repair work will not affect the Kettle Valley Steam Railway’s annual Christmas Express Trains. Those trains, which run Dec. 13 to 17 and 20 to 23, do not stop on the trestle. Instead, they stop at the siding nearby.

The bridge and the steam train are parts of transportation history in Summerland and the Okanagan Valley.

The bridge across Trout Creek Canyon was constructed in 1913 and the first train crossed it on Oct. 25, 1913. It is 73 metres above the canyon floor.

The first train passed through Summerland on May 31, 1915. The last passenger train was on Jan. 16, 1964.

Since the late 1990s, the Kettle Valley Steam Railway has operated a tourist train on a 16-kilometre section of track. This is the only preserved section of the historic railway.

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SPANNING A CANYON In order to bring train service to Summerland in the early 20th century, a bridge was required across Trout Creek Canyon. The bridge is 73 metres above the canyon floor. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)

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