Kamloops Heritage Railway using $80K grant funding to build replica classroom railcar

Grant to fund rail classroom

The Kamloops Heritage Railway has received an $80,000 grant to fund a project that will aim to help school-age children learn about the province’s history.

Volunteers at KHR will use the money to convert a decommissioned railcar into a replica of a 1930s CN rail classroom, outfitted with desks and teaching materials.

KHR executive director Cory Clark told Castanet Kamloops the cars used to be used by CN to help teach children in rural communities. He said KHR is partnering with SD73 on the project, and the replica car will be used to teach kids about the history of B.C. and the province’s railways.

“We came up with the plan in March or April,” he said.

“We consulted with SD73 and developed a curriculum. … We’re focusing on grades two through seven and it really is the initiation of B.C. into Confederation — the building of the railways and the historical aspect of it.”

Clark said KHR struggled last year, like many organizations, because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We had zero trips last year — zero revenue,” he said.

“It's devastating to the bottom line. We were fortunate that we were responsible with the money we had and we don’t carry much debt, but programs like this allow us to diversify.”

Clark said the plan is to have the railcar ready for students in September.

“We’re ambitious,” he said. “But we’ve got an amazing group of volunteers.”

The grant funding for the project is part of $100 million being doled out by Heritage BC as part of post-pandemic economic recovery support.

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