By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: April 20, 2012
West Coast Railway Association (WCRA) people are scrambling to meet the April. 31 deadline to repair an observation car that was the target of a copper theft last month.
Thieves targeted three coaches, but the train car Henry Pickering has to be refurbished first to be made operable for the 2012 lease to Rocky Mountaineer for the Whistler Sea to Sky Climb train.
The copper thefts from three trains, has left the association with a $5,000 tab, and the non-profit association is struggling to arrange for the funds.
The trains are also used for one of the year’s most popular event, Day out with Thomas, which draws more than 15,000 visitors.
“We are trying to sort it out as soon as possible, but those trains are not usable and may affect the visitor experience,” said Ken Tanner, the newly appointed general manager of the West Coast Railway Association.
Tanner said he appeals to the community to donate for the repairs.
“We are a non-profit association, and we appeal to the community to support us,” Tanner said.
Besides the $5,000 for repairs, the association will also have to find extra funds to pay for the enhanced security of the premise.
Since the incident, the park is strengthening security, installing alarms, and taking other precautionary measures. It’s all costing the association additional money.
Last month, the perpetrators drove up the pitch dark dyke on the west side of the park, used their cutters to cut through the chain link, and snip the cables from at least three cars.
Tanner said it’s unfortunate that thieves would target the association.
“It’s a real shame, really it’s about as low as you can get,” Tanner said.
Police across North America are dealing with complaints of copper thefts as the price for that metal soars.
Tanner said the association was working towards adding more exhibits to the park.
“We are planning to enhance the visitors experience at our park,” he said.