Photo Caption: Board Members: President, Mick Henningson, Secretary, Esther Jacobson, Safety, Tom Martin, Station Manager, Desiree McKay, PR, Sharon Henry, Vice? President, Dan Jarrett
Sullivan Mine & Railway Historical Society
President’s 2013 Annual Report
February 11, 2014
The society, for the first time, exceeded over 9,000 train riders in a season to the Underground Interpretive Centre, Powerhouse, Alpine Resort or combination of all three. Regularly scheduled trips began on the Victoria Day Holiday weekend and continued on weekends until the start of the daily trips June 28th. There were a lot of educational School Tours in June, a yearly occurrence for most Grade 5 students in the Kimberley/Cranbrook area. In addition, there were other tours from various school groups including the West Kootenays and even Alberta.
The heavy rains in June coupled with ground waters from the last of the higher snowpack from the Mine runoff above Mark Creek, created some concern for a possible major mudslide into Powder Magazine Creek. Our track crosses this creek close to where it discharges into Mark Creek. As a safety precaution, train travel past this point was halted for a couple of weeks in the latter part of June while the situation was monitored. Fortunately, the rain stopped, the situation stabilized and we were able to resume normal operations before the start of our daily summer operations schedule.
A popular additional feature this year was our weekend 10:00 AM ?Kid?s Trains?. These trips were a ?train ride only? but did pass through the Underground Interpretive Centre and carried on to the Kimberley Alpine Resort. The trains did stop long enough for picture taking & whistle blowing with the Engineer at the Resort Station before returning to the Downtown Station.
Last September, as a first Saturday Headline Event, we offered a combined train/chairlift ride at a very reasonable price in conjunction with Resorts of the Canadian Rockies. Unfortunately, this was the one Saturday where it rained all day!
With the conclusion of our operating season in early September, we started the major part of a significant track upgrade project in the Downtown Station Area. This project was partially funded by Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Grants recommended by the City of Kimberley and Area ?E? of the Regional District. Thanks to our operating revenue, the combined CBT grant, Teck Resources, our huge volunteer base and help from any number of local companies and individuals; we were able to complete this project and finish the year slightly in the black.
We are pleased to be able to provide a major Historic & Educational Tourist Attraction in the Region at a reasonable cost.
The Downtown Station Operation including the Orpheum Theatre again came under the very capable leadership of the Society Station Manager & Director Desiree McKay. The Orpheum Theatre was staffed with multiple volunteers. The Station Operation provided part time employment for 3 staff plus five students acting as conductor/commentators on the trains. Desiree?s ?Green Thumb? was again evident in her beautiful flower displays around the Station & Orpheum Theatre.
Tom Martin, our Safety Director, took the lead in ensuring we remained in compliance with the Inspection, Operating, and reporting regulations of the B.C. Safety Authority. This includes such things as Engineer & Conductor Training & Testing, pre-trip equipment inspections by Engineers, Track Inspection and regular reviews of our Safety Management System. Our goal is always to have no reportable incidents, which we achieved in 2012. We had one reportable Incident in 2013, the causes for which were immediately reviewed and rectified.
We are very fortunate to have an excellent group of shop volunteers led by Sever Rondestvedt. This group of 10 ?regulars? has very skilled people including some recent retirees. The whole group has demonstrated they can basically maintain and fix almost anything, even our 120 year old rope driven Rand Compressor!
Although we run a Seasonal Train and Interpretive Centre Operation, our shop volunteers can pretty well be found at least a day a week in the shop in the winter months. One major project recently completed was the complete inspection and upgrading of the under carriage of one of our coaches. Another was some repairs and upgrades to our recently purchased ?new? (15 year old) backhoe.
Our Public Relations was again very capably handled by Society Director Sharon Henry. Sharon kept our website up to date and did our advertising. Just as important, she trained our commentators and kept the scripts up to date for the various tours. Sharon is also our lead commentator/conductor. She and Society Vice President, Dan Jarrett, also an Engineer, did most of our special train trips for schools, bus tours and other groups.
Besides Dan, the Society has five other volunteer engineers. Our one paid engineer also did pre & post season track maintenance.
Track & Tunnel maintenance is headed up by Society President Mick Henningson. The Society utilizes one Seasonal Employee whose primary duty is track maintenance along with a second employee who does pre and post season track maintenance and functions as an Engineer during the Season. Mick, along with Tom Martin, regularly inspect our 7.5 Km of track. Mick also does tunnel Inspections and coordinates staffing of Mining Shows and Powerhouse Tours. Shop volunteers help with track maintenance activities as required.
General Administration is lead by Society Secretary and Director Esther Jacobson. Lorne Boates, long time Society Volunteer and Treasurer, resigned as Treasurer in 2012 but agreed to maintain our financial records through 2013. Besides her secretarial duties, Esther took on a lot of the legwork formerly done by Lorne, with help from Desiree McKay, the Station Manager. Volunteer Greg McCormick took on the task of handling our Seasonal Payroll. Special thanks to Lorne for getting us through the 2013 Financial Year.
The Society had a very good year thanks to tremendous Community Support, great seasonal employees, and our large group of very talented volunteers.
As previously stated, our goal is to educate people about the history of a mine that employed 65,000 people over its 100 year life. Its is also to provide a major tourist attraction in the Region at Reasonable Cost. I thank the Community, employees, and volunteers who helped us achieve our goals in 2013.