Excerpt from an article in Canadian Geographic Travel Magazine Spring 2012
It may look like a stereotypical kiddy ride, a squat fire-engine-red locomotive pulling open-air cars with bench seating — the kind even the smallest in the family is tall enough to ride — but Kimberley’s Underground Mining Railway offers more than your average amusement park loop.? The train travels 15 kilometres through the Mark Creek Valley, crossing over bridges and passing through distinctive rock outcroppings, showcasing the natural beauty of the Kootenays. That’s a sharp contrast to the darkness that envelops cars as they enter the 230-metre tunnel that houses the Sullivan Mine Interpretive Centre, where visitors learn what? a ‘slusher’ is and what a mucking machine does. Demonstrations of decommissioned equipment provide a picture of the realities of hard-rock mining which was once the town’s raison d’etre. With additional stops at a period powerhouse, schoolhouse and theatre, the excursion is as much time travel as it is a joyride.”
Just a couple of points of clarification:
- The newly reinstated Resort Tour is about 15 kilometres long: the Mining Loop is about 4 kilometres.
- The train makes an additional stop at the Sullivan Mine Powerhouse for a guided tour.
- The Schoolhouse, Kimberley Caboose and Orpheum Theatre are located at the Downtown Station are are free for visitors to explore at their leisure.